The NHL season is only a few weeks old and already we have some teams pulling away from the pack and making some instant profits for anyone sharp enough to follow them. Here’s a look at some of the hottest NHL bets out of the gate for the 2017-18 season and whether or not we will add them to our guaranteed sports picks:
New Jersey Devils (6-2, +5.48 units)
The Devils finished with only 183 points last season, recording only 28 wins to finish at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. New Jersey is already almost a quarter of the way to that tally through three weeks of hockey, opening the season with three straight victories – two coming on the road as a plus-money underdog.
Fueling the Devils’ hot start is an uptick in scoring, with the team netting 3.8 goals per game. New Jersey has been solid with the man advantage (22.9 power-play percentage) and making the most of their chances. Now, this might not last forever. The Devils are coming off a 3-0 loss to San Jose and are giving up far too many shots (34.8 shots against per game) to keep opponents off the scoreboard. Before that loss to the Sharks, New Jersey had won three straight one-goal games. That could have been a sign that the wheels were coming loose for the Devils.
St. Louis Blues (6-2, +4.46 units)
The Blues have provided some serious betting pop to start the season, and not just because they’re 6-2 heading into the weekend. St. Louis has played a road-heavy schedule to open the year, winning four of those games away from home which means some tasty odds on the NHL moneylines.
The Blues play balanced hockey with 3.2 goals for versus 2.6 goals against. Those offensive numbers may peak once St. Louis starts playing more contests on home ice. It has averaged an unimpressive 30.2 shots per game and the special teams haven’t been anything to write home about. Before an extended home stand at the end of the month, the Blues play twice more on the road – at Vegas and at Carolina – with a home game versus Calgary in the middle.
Vegas Golden Knights (5-1, +5.91 units)
The Golden Knights have been the big surprise of the 2017-18 season so far, playing inspired hockey in the wake of the mass shooting in Las Vegas earlier this month. The team has helped the city heal with their efforts on the ice, and has padded the pockets of those loyal hockey bettors in the desert.
Like most new franchises, not much was expected from the Golden Knights and their early moneyline prices were set accordingly. Vegas cashed in with some favorable home-ice odds and opened the year with three straight wins as sizable moneyline pups on the road. Starting Saturday, the Knights have three more at home before hitting the road for an East Coast trip that spans six straight away games. The odds will be tempting given Vegas’ hot start, but it may be best to hold off on the first few games to see how this new team steps up to the challenge.
Other NHL moneymakers:
Toronto Maple Leafs (6-1, +4.21 units)
Tampa Bay Lightning (6-2, +2.87 units)
Los Angeles Kings (5-1, +2.84 units)