Last Updated: 2017-10-29
The NHL schedule just keeps rolling right along. By the end of this week, the season will be more than a month old, which is kind of crazy, but time is just flying by with all of these seasons it feels like. Per usual, we’re scouring the NHL calendar to find those situational betting opportunities to take advantage of and cash some tickets.
The NHL has done its best to work in some extra days and some opportunities to get the players some rest, but we still have a lot of spots out there each and every week. Looking for those chances, even without a deep knowledge of the game or its players, is something that anybody can do with just a little time and effort. In your case, you can do it by simply reading this weekly article.
Here are the NHL situational betting spots for the week ending November 5:
Monday October 30
Dallas Stars at Vancouver Canucks – A couple days off in picturesque Vancouver isn’t a bad thing, in most instances, but it feels like a detriment here for the Stars. Fortunately, a lot of players can visit family and friends during downtime north of the border like this, but still. The Stars started this road trip last Tuesday against Colorado, had a travel day, and then played a back-to-back in Alberta against Edmonton and Calgary. Now, they wait two days to play Vancouver and then wait two additional days to play Winnipeg before finally heading home. The Canucks are nothing special, but three days off at home and some practice time aren’t a bad thing. They’re an interesting home dog here.
Los Angeles Kings at St. Louis Blues – This is a great spot to fade the Kings. The Kings have been an analytics darling at the outset of the season, so their prices and the daily steam have been noted in the betting market. This is the last game of a monster six-game road trip that started all the way back on Saturday October 21 in Columbus with the Kings’ first game outside of California. This is the fifth road game in eight days and sixth road game in 10 days. The Kings have two days off before hosting Toronto on Monday. I’m not sure how much will be left in the tank for this one and the team has to be excited to get back home.
Vegas Golden Knights at New York Islanders – Get on this one early, preferably on the overnights, but you’re going to see significant steam against the Golden Knights. Vegas has not played a road game since October 7, which was the second game in franchise history. The Knights are 8-1 on the season and a great story, but regression is coming. This is the start of a six-game road trip and Vegas won’t be back home until November 10, which is just a brief stop until hitting the road again the following Tuesday. This is a blind fade of the Knights with long travel from Vegas to NYC and it is about as bad of a spot as we can get with a team that hasn’t played on the road in forever and is really overachieving.
Boston Bruins at Columbus Blue Jackets – The Blue Jackets got off to a hot start, but things have really leveled off lately. This is a really good spot for the Blue Jackets on Monday night against the Bruins. Boston is struggling in its own right and this is a standalone road game for the B’s. The Jackets hit the road for three straight away from Nationwide that carries over into next week. A well-rested Sergei Bobrovsky will be back in the cage for Columbus and the standalone angle is a good one. Add the Jackets to some ML parlays or play it straight.
Tuesday October 31
Vegas Golden Knights at New York Rangers – This one will be very interesting. Obviously, all of the road/travel concerns are still present for VGK as they go from Brooklyn to Manhattan. It’s also a back-to-back. What is particularly interesting about this spot is that the metrics crew is very anti-Rangers and has been dating back to last year. So, in this particular spot, the Rangers have a massive situational advantage and aren’t exactly equipped to make the most of it. This may be a line where you can take Vegas back when the fade on the spot comes in. On the other hand, it may be a spot where Vegas really gets exposed in a bad spot as a paper tiger of a team. The price will dictate this one.
Arizona Coyotes at Detroit Red Wings – The only other team tasked with a back-to-back on Tuesday is the Arizona Coyotes. Theirs is also difficult. It is the final game of a lengthy road trip and features travel from Philadelphia to Detroit. This is the first game back home for the Red Wings after a road trip of their own and it is a standalone home game before hitting the road for Ottawa and then the Western Canada swing. Detroit isn’t a very good team, so this line should be quite reasonable and they’re a good look in this situation.
Wednesday November 1
Pittsburgh Penguins at Edmonton Oilers – The Rapid Revenge Theory will be in play on Wednesday with the Penguins on the road against the Oilers. These two teams played in Pittsburgh last Tuesday and the Penguins won comfortably. We’ll see if the Oilers can flip the script in their barn. Pittsburgh will have two days to wait around in Edmonton, which can sometimes lull a team to sleep, especially with three games in four nights beginning with this one. I’d expect a flat Penguins team here and a solid win for the Oilers based on the situation.
Toronto Maple Leafs at Anaheim Ducks – The Maple Leafs have the dreaded three games in four nights in California swing to focus on this week. It starts Monday in San Jose and then continues with the Anaheim/Los Angeles back-to-back on Wednesday and Thursday. It also features a stop in St. Louis on the way back. Anaheim is off to another one of its slow starts. At least this one isn’t as bad as the others have been. This is the first game back off of a four-game road trip and the Ducks will only play two games away from home, both in San Jose, through Thanksgiving. Their next road game outside of California will be November 27. They are a long-term team to back with a favorable schedule. I’m not sure about this spot, but things are setting up well for them.
Thursday November 2
Vegas Golden Knights at Boston Bruins – We’ll be looking to see how the Golden Knights have adjusted to Eastern Time as they take the ice for their third game in four nights. The Bruins have two days to sit around and wait on this one. They’ll be ready to go, especially if Monday’s effort against Columbus is as flat as I project. NHL players have always done a lot of traveling, but going from an expansion city and flying around to these different places does take a little bit of time to get used to. You’ve got new teammates. New people to go to dinner with. There are a lot of dynamics that need to come together on the road. The Knights aren’t a straight fade all week, but they are to be approached with caution. If you want to fade them, do it early. If you want to back them, do it late.
New York Islanders at Washington Capitals – With a busy NHL slate, you should be able to find a nice ML price to put together with the Capitals. This is a team that has been dealing with some pretty significant injuries and has gotten off to a little bit of a lackluster start. Three days off before this game against the Islanders allows Washington to settle back in after a long road trip and get back to business. This is an odd spot for the Islanders, with two days off before and two days off after, so it really feels like a standalone road game.
Carolina Hurricanes at Colorado Avalanche – The Avs are looking to reestablish their home ice advantage, so they’re going to be an auto play team for me against comparable or inferior competition at home. This is one of those spots. Carolina plays in the altitude once a year. They’ll be able to get there a little bit early and adjust, but Colorado is off for the same length of time to iron some things out in practice with a second-year head coach that took the job under sub-optimal conditions last season. It will be Colorado or nothing for me in this one.
Friday November 3
Nashville Predators at Anaheim Ducks – Before we go any further, take a look at how the NHL schedule is set up. Mondays vary with anywhere from one game to four or five. Tuesdays are busy. Wednesdays are not. Thursdays and Saturdays are very busy, with small slates on Fridays and Sundays. This is important because you can start planning out the weeks in terms of knowing when you’ll have big cards to digest or just a handful of games. The closest thing to a situational spot on Friday is that the Predators are playing three games in four nights in California. This is the one with an off day, so it isn’t that bad for Nashville. It’s a night to focus on college football and the NBA.
Saturday November 4
Vegas Golden Knights at Ottawa Senators – As if the long road trip with four games in six days wasn’t bad enough, this is a 2 p.m. puck drop in Ottawa. I’ve often wondered about these games, since the Golden Knights are in a hotel and are off schedule anyway. Does it hurt the home team more? To leave the family at 9 a.m. to get to the rink and get situated. To not have a morning skate. I’m not entirely sure. Anything I ponder is just speculation, but it merits consideration. It’s an early start for Vegas, but it might not be a really bad spot. It might be tougher for Ottawa, in all honesty.
Montreal Canadiens at Winnipeg Jets – We haven’t talked much about the Canadiens this season, but they aren’t good. They’re even worse without Carey Price. We probably won’t see Price for Saturday’s game in Winnipeg. The Habs play three games in four nights, with Minnesota on Thursday and Chicago on Sunday. They’ll hope to scratch out a win here with Al Montoya, but that seems unlikely. The Jets are in the midst of a homestand and need to start banking some wins of their own. Grab this one at the open because I think it’ll go up.
Toronto Maple Leafs at St. Louis Blues – This is a good spot to sing the Blues on Saturday. Toronto is coming back from the three games in four nights swing through California with a stop in Missouri to take on a really strong Blues team. St. Louis is at home all week, so they are in great shape here. There really isn’t much more to this handicap, to be honest.
Carolina Hurricanes at Arizona Coyotes – How brutal is this setup for the Hurricanes? As mentioned above, they draw Colorado on Thursday. They’ll be in Arizona on Saturday and then come all the way back east to play at home on Monday. This seems like a wasted trip that could have included Vegas and the California teams at some point. But, it doesn’t. I’d fully expect a flat game here. Arizona has a few winnable games this week, which is good for them, since there aren’t a ton of them.
Chicago Blackhawks at Minnesota Wild – This is the front end of a back-to-back and a standalone game for Chicago, who really hasn’t been playing that well lately. The Blackhawks started hot, but have had problems scoring since. Minnesota has just been ravaged by injuries this season, so they have had some concerns of their own. It’s always big when these two teams get together, though, and this is one that should command a top effort from both squads. We’ll see Corey Crawford for the Blackhawks with Anton Forsberg on Sunday, so be sure to factor that into your overnight capping.
Sunday November 5
Colorado Avalanche at New York Islanders – Colorado has four days off after this little East Coast back-to-back against the Flyers and the Islanders. This is the second game of that stretch and is a tricky spot for the Avs. The Islanders have two days off before this one and should be ready to go. It is also a quicker turnaround for Colorado with a 6 p.m. puck drop. In that respect, I think it does help the home team. Unlike the Vegas spot, which doesn’t come on a back-to-back, the recovery time is a lot shorter here for Colorado and that hurts.
Montreal Canadiens at Chicago Blackhawks – We may see a line move based on the expectation of Carey Price vs. Anton Forsberg, which is a big edge to the Habs on paper, but the Habs are bad. It’s a back-to-back for Chicago, but also one with longer travel for Montreal from Winnipeg. A Blackhawks/Islanders ML parlay might be a nice little play after you’re done counting up your football winnings or losses from Week 9.
Keep an eye out for these NHL situational betting spots all season long at BangTheBook!