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NHL Betting Tips For Thursday, October 5

Jon and DerekOur 2017-18 NHL betting season got off to a great start last night as the Blues cashed as +144 underdogs on the first period moneyline in Pittsburgh.

It was a little unnerving to see the Pens score first, but St. Louis quickly answered back to tie the game, then added a powerplay marker late in the frame to cash our ticket.

As we said on Twitter last night, over the past 12 years, defending Stanley Cup champions are now 1-8-3 on the first period moneyline in their home opener the following season. It seems pretty obvious that the banner-raising ceremonies are a distraction.

Situational nuggets like that are unfortunately few and far between in the early going of the NHL season, and we’re likely going to wait a couple of weeks before we start betting multiple games per day. Everyone has their early-season projections and expectations, but teams will inevitably emerge as surprises (like how good Columbus was last year and how bad Dallas was) and we’re not into guessing which ones they will be.

So no official NHL betting picks tonight from us. But after a long offseason, we’re all Jonesing for some NHL betting action. So here’s a breakdown of tonight’s action (it’s a bit limited because only 2 teams tonight, the Penguins and Flyers, have played a game this season), along with our thoughts on each contest.

Odds below are at the time we made the pick. Be sure to check out our live odds page for updated odds on today’s games.

Canadiens LogoVS PickSabres Logo
Game: Canadiens @ Sabres
Time: 7:00PM ET

These long-time division rivals always play some pretty spirited games, and we shouldn’t expect anything less tonight. It’s also the first game behind the bench for new Sabres coach Phil Housley, and Jack Eichel could have some extra energy after signing a long-term contract extension earlier this week.

Montreal’s Achilles heel last year was goal scoring, and it’ll be interesting to see how big of an impact Jonathan Drouin can make with the Habs. Look for a very competitive game here tonight, and we lean slightly to the Sabres at the current +116 price.

Other things to know:

  • Montreal has won 7 of its last 10 trips to Buffalo
  • The Under is 6-2-1 in the last 9 meetings in Buffalo

Probable goalies: Price (confirmed), Lehner (confirmed)

Predators LogoVS PickBruins Logo
Game: Predators @ Bruins
Time: 7:00PM ET

We think the Predators are a tad overrated coming into the year because we all remember their playoff run to the Stanley Cup final, not necessarily that they were 8th in the West over an 82-game regular season. They’re also without Ryan Ellis until January. But with Boston without Backes, Bergeron and Krug for the opener, it’s hard to back the Bruins as well.

Other things to know:

  • Nashville has won 3 of the last 4 meetings and 4 of 6
  • The Under is 4-1-2 in the last 7 meetings
  • The home team has won 12 of the last 14 meetings

Probable goalies: Rinne, Rask

Avalanche LogoVS PickRangers Logo
Game: Avalanche @ Rangers
Time: 7:00PM ET

Easy to want to back the Rangers here, but the -200 price on New York is too rich for our blood in a season opener. Though the Avalanche was horrible last year, the Avs were actually somewhat competitive through the first two months of the season (9-11-1 going into December). New York also wasn’t nearly as good at home last year as it was on the road.

Other things to know:

  • Colorado has won 10 of its last 14 games in New York

Probable goalies: Varlamov, Lundqvist (confirmed)

Capitals LogoVS PickSenators Logo
Game: Capitals @ Senators
Time: 7:30PM ET

The Capitals have lost a lot of their core from their back-to-back President’s Trophy-winning teams, but they still have plenty left to get past Ottawa here. Especially since the Senators have to open the year without Karlsson, due to injury. However, the Sens surprised us all with their run to the Eastern Conference final last spring, and it shouldn’t be a surprise if they come up with another big effort tonight.

Other things to know:

  • The Under is 17-6 in the last 23 meetings
  • The home team has won 24 of the last 33 meetings

Probable goalies: Holtby, Anderson (confirmed)

Wild LogoVS PickRed Wings Logo
Game: Wild @ Red Wings
Time: 7:30PM ET

This is Detroit’s first game in its new home at Little Caesars Arena, which might put an extra bounce in the Wings’ step tonight. We saw them come up with an inspired effort last year in the final game at Joe Louis Arena. Other than that, we don’t see much reason not to back the Wild here, even at the -140 price. The Over 5.5 (+132) might also be worth a look.

Other things to know:

  • Detroit has won 4 of the last 6 meetings
  • Detroit has scored 3+ goals in 7 of the last 8 meetings
  • The Over is 6-2-4 in the last 12 meetings

Probable goalies: Dubnyk, Howard

Penguins LogoVS PickBlackhawks Logo
Game: Penguins @ Blackhawks
Time: 8:30PM ET

The Penguins are right back in action after last night’s 5-4 OT loss at home to St. Louis, while the Blackhawks are playing their season opener.

Who does this situation favour? Well, over the last 4 years, teams playing the second game of a back-to-back are 4-1 when facing teams playing their first game of the campaign. That’s a small sample size, but it also makes sense that it could be an advantage to have 1 game under your belt.

With the Penguins motivated to bounce back from last night’s loss and the possibility that the Hawks take a few minutes to find their legs, Pittsburgh on the first period moneyline makes a lot of sense.

Other things to know:

  • Chicago has won the last 6 meetings, and outscored Pittsburgh 9-2 in 2 meetings last year
  • Pittsburgh has scored 2 goals or less in 6 straight meetings, and 1 or less in 4 of them
  • The Under is 7-1-2 in the last 10 meetings

Probable goalies: Murray, Crawford (confirmed)

Flyers LogoVS PickKings Logo
Game: Flyers @ Kings
Time: 10:00PM ET

The Flyers are in a similar situation as Pittsburgh, playing for the second straight night while their opponent makes its season debut. Unlike the Pens, however, Philly is coming off a win. Whether that raises confidence and morale or makes them play with less urgency tonight is tough to know, and LA should bring it tonight after a disappointing campaign last season. At -160 odds, however, the odds on the Kings look pretty inflated.

Other things to know:

  • Philadelphia has scored 2 goals or less in 9 of the last 10 meetings
  • LA has scored 2 regulation time goals or less in 6 straight meetings and 9 of the last 10
  • The Under is 6-1-3 in the last 10 meetings

Probable goalies: Neuvirth, Quick

Coyotes LogoVS PickDucks Logo
Game: Coyotes @ Ducks
Time: 10:00PM ET

We expect Arizona to be one of the most-improved teams in the NHL this year after the Coyotes made some much-needed upgrades offensively. Anaheim always seems to start the season slow, and the Ducks are without Getzlaf, Kesler, Bieksa, Eaves and a couple of other regulars tonight. At +140, Arizona might be the best underdog play of the night, even though a lot of the value from the original +160 line is gone.

Probable goalies: Domingue, Gibson (confirmed)


Good luck!

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