Last Updated: 2017-10-08
We are back with a new round of NHL situational betting tips! The season is less than a week old, but we’re going to take a look at some good betting opportunities for the next seven days. We’ll be doing this every week at BangTheBook.com, so stay with us as we try to isolate those good spots, whether they are revenge, travel, letdown, sandwich, or any of those other key games that we look for in the daily sports.
You’ll get the hang of it as we go along, but this is an article that we have had a lot of success with along the way. Early on in the season, we’re still getting a feel for these teams and a lot of teams are still very fresh and shouldn’t fall victim to as many of these spots, but, as the season goes along, we’re going to make money isolating these games.
Here are the situational betting tips for October 9-15:
Monday October 9
Calgary Flames at Anaheim Ducks – The Calgary Flames played well against the Anaheim Ducks in the first round of the 2017 NHL playoffs, but were sent packing with a sweep. The Flames lost the first three games by just one goal, including a Game 3 overtime loss and then lost 3-1 in the finale. It was a nail biter until the end. Well, the Flames kick off a two-game swing through California by looking for revenge against the Ducks. The Flames will be an intriguing underdog as a result.
Chicago Blackhawks at Toronto Maple Leafs – The Blackhawks are in a pretty tricky spot on Monday night. This is the front-end of a back-to-back with a visit to Montreal on Tuesday. The Blackhawks also play four games in six days to start the week. One of the biggest edges to be found by playing on these situational spots is that we can often predict when backup goaltenders will start. That won’t be the case in this game, but coming off of home games against Pittsburgh and Columbus makes this an interesting situation. Furthermore, for Toronto, a team that got a taste of the playoffs last season, this is a barometer to see how the Leafs stack up early in the season. With 15 goals in two games, it seems like things are going well.
Tuesday October 10
St. Louis Blues at New York Rangers – Two teams are on a back-to-back on Tuesday night. The Blues are one of those teams, as they make the two-game swing through the boroughs of New York. The Rangers are Tuesday night’s opponent. This will be the fourth game in six nights for the Rangers. As teams are trying to get back into the flow of the season, these can be some tough spots. Keep an eye on the goaltending rotation for the Blues to see how they handle the Monday/Tuesday B2B. Perhaps we could see a bit of value on St. Louis if Jake Allen is the one that gets the nod.
Philadelphia Flyers at Nashville Predators – This is the Home Opener for the Nashville Predators, who captivated the entire Music City with last year’s Stanley Cup Finals run. That team will get honored during a pregame ceremony. Bettors seem pretty split on how to handicap these situations. Some believe that the ceremony is a distraction and can lead to a slow start. Others like playing on the emotion of the night. Whichever angle you prefer, you’ll have the chance to play it here in this one. The Predators are in a good spot here from a travel standpoint, since the Flyers are working their way back from a California swing to start the season. They played three games in four nights in San Jose, Los Angeles, and Anaheim and won two of those three games. They’ll host Washington on Saturday.
Arizona Coyotes at Vegas Golden Knights – It is going to be a very emotional night in Las Vegas on Tuesday. It is the Home Opener for the Knights in their inaugural season and very much a winnable one. The pregame will likely include a tribute to the victims of the senseless shooting that happened on October 1. The Knights are also 2-0 already, which is a bit of a surprise. The Coyotes are a team that should be on the rise with some good, young talent and a young, aggressive GM in John Chayka. The Coyotes should be a good value to spoil the opener for the Knights with the Rapid Revenge Theory in play off of Arizona’s home loss to Vegas on Saturday.
Wednesday October 11
Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals – When these two teams get together, there is always something more on the line. The Penguins have gotten the best of the Capitals in the playoffs each of the last two years, but the Capitals tend to get the best of the Penguins in the regular season. The Penguins were embarrassed last Thursday by the Blackhawks, but bounced back nicely against the Predators in Pittsburgh’s first home game on Saturday in a Stanley Cup Finals rematch. I would expect the Capitals, who have played flawless hockey through two games, to take this first matchup of the season.
New York Islanders at Anaheim Ducks – The Ducks will welcome the Islanders, who will use Tuesday as a travel day to get out to the left coast for Wednesday’s game. These early-season road trips can be tricky handicaps. They give the players time to reignite that camaraderie that is so important during the season, but the Islanders haven’t played in the Pacific Time Zone since last season. Preseason games are generally regional. The Islanders will have two days off before playing again, so they’ll have time to adjust, but it could be a bit of a shock to the body clock on Wednesday. I’d probably look to lay the home price here.
Thursday October 12
Minnesota Wild at Chicago Blackhawks – This is always a good rivalry between two close geographic rivals. The Wild and the Blackhawks get together at the UC on Thursday night, as the Blackhawks play their third game in four nights and fourth in six nights. The Wild will be the more rested team with four days off prior to this game, but I think that works against Minnesota in this instance. You want to be playing. You want to develop that timing and that chemistry. Sitting around for four days to practice is great, since you can work on line combos and schemes, but you cannot simulate game conditions. Even if the Blackhawks are a little bit tired, I still think playing is better than not playing. On the other hand, the Blackhawks were swept out of the playoffs in the first round by Nashville last season and have the chance to exact revenge on Saturday, so there could be a little bit of a look-ahead spot.
St. Louis Blues at Florida Panthers – The Blues will take the ice for the fourth time in six days when they visit the Panthers. The Panthers will be on four days off, so we have a similar situation to the game that we just talked about. It’s all about what you believe and how you perceive this spot. As far as I’m concerned, like I said above, I’d rather be playing. The Blue will be playing and have fewer things to figure out early on in the season than Florida does. I’d probably look at the Blues here, despite what looks like a pretty unfortunate scheduling spot.
Friday October 13
Detroit Red Wings at Vegas Golden Knights – These situations are going to be interesting to follow all season long. The Red Wings probably won’t fall victim to the bright lights of Sin City because this is the tail end of a back-to-back after playing Arizona the night before. I’ll be curious to see how Vegas’s home ice advantage will be graded this season. I’ll also be very interested to see how the road teams fare. With the late arrival in Vegas, I’m not sure if the players will treat it as anything more than a business trip, but this is a very young Red Wings team that doesn’t have much in the way of playoff prospects.
Anaheim Ducks at Colorado Avalanche – Look for a live home dog in this spot. The Anaheim Ducks are playing a standalone, Friday night game in the altitude in Denver. The Avalanche play in Dallas the next night, which looks like a tough game, so they’ll be pushing a little bit harder to get this one. This will be the first road game for Anaheim, who returns right back home to play Buffalo and then has only one game next week with Montreal at home. It is a really strange schedule to open the season, but I don’t think they’ll be all that invested in this one, which should give Colorado an edge.
Saturday October 14
Nashville Predators at Chicago Blackhawks – Revenge spots are always interesting to look at early in the season. Chicago has one here against Nashville, as the Predators swept the Blackhawks in the first round about six months ago. You can bet that the Blackhawks remember that. The Predators will be coming in for a standalone road game, but I’m not worried about that with a division game and two teams that have a lot on the line in this one and throughout the season. I think we get the best from both teams here. It’s up to you to decide whose best is better.
New Jersey Devils at New York Rangers – I think the Devils will be a live dog on Saturday night. It’s a back-to-back with travel for both teams, but a flight from Columbus to New York City is certainly more taxing than the short trek for New Jersey. Friday night’s game is also a big one for the Rangers against the Blue Jackets. The Devils could be in a letdown spot if they can knock off the Capitals, so maybe this spot changes as we go throughout the week, but I wouldn’t think so.
Washington Capitals at Philadelphia Flyers – The Capitals will play their fourth game in six nights when they head up to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers. The Flyers have three days off prior to this game, but they were much needed after the four-game road trip to start the season from California to Nashville. That makes this the Home Opener for the Flyers, well into the start of the season. I would probably look to take the Flyers in a spot like this, especially with Washington on a back-to-back and with Toronto at home to kick off the next week after their epic playoff series in the first round last year.
Sunday October 15
New York Islanders at Los Angeles Kings – The Islanders wrap up their California swing with a back-to-back against San Jose and Los Angeles. The Kings had three days off before Wednesday’s game against Calgary, two days off after that, and now this back-to-back. Again, I think flow and rhythm are so important early on in the season and this is a spot that should clearly benefit the Kings. We’ll see what kind of price we have to lay, but I’d be looking at the hosts in this one.
Boston Bruins at Vegas Golden Knights – Once again, we won’t get to see the full scope of Eastern Conference road teams playing in Vegas. The Bruins visit Arizona the night before and then head to Vegas. With Eastern Conference teams only coming to town once this season, not having the full home ice advantage of those teams sitting around and gambling, drinking, or taking in shows into the wee hours of the morning could be a detriment. There will be a lot of excitement for all of the early-season home games for the Knights, so maybe that helps with the home advantage. We’ll have to see how that dynamic plays out and we have three chances to see it this week.
Keep an eye out every Sunday for the NHL situational betting tips throughout the season!
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