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The NHL kicked off the 2021 season Tuesday, October 12th.  After 9 days of hockey, we already have started seeing some interesting trends, unreal highlights, and a slew of rookies scoring their first goal in their first NHL game.  After taking the time to see how the season started, I feel it’s finally time to start posting some daily picks.  The NHL is is a great market to bet on as the markets are still small and the daily schedule allows an opportunity to find value every day of the week.  Below I’ll dig into a trend I noticed to start the season and then give the first few picks of the season.

 

Early Betting Trend

Home teams have been winning 62% of all the games (51) that have happened this season.  The record is 32-19 in favor of home teams.  I think a large reason for this trend is due to the fact fans are allowed back in the arena.  Hockey is a sport where the momentum of the game can be influenced by the fans inside the arena.  The energy the players feed off of the fans, at times, can be what makes a game-winning goal possible.  Look for this to eventually drop off as players adjust back to the playing environment with fans.  For now, this is a trend I am using to pick underdogs at home.

 

My Picks

I have a couple of picks.  Some follow the trend I mentioned and others do not.

• San Jose Sharks moneyline -110.  The line opened as high as -149.  I do recognize that Ottawa has overperformed due to playing at home.  With the Sharks having issues with their roster, Evander Kane being the biggest issue, I would expect them to be a bigger underdog tonight.  Their dominant performance in Montreal, to me, told me that they are very undervalued by the public.  Sometimes the media can create a misconception on a team due to off-ice issues.

•Oilers -1.5 +135.  Arizona is most likely going to be the worst team in the NHL and Edmonton has Connor McDavid.  I expect this game to be a one-sided affair.

•Panthers moneyline -125.  This is the year for the Panthers.  They have been slowly putting together a dominant force in Miami.  The loss of Keith Yandle has seemed to have little effect on the defense.  They’ve started the season 2-0 and I believe are going to shock the league by beating the Colorado Avalanche.

•Red Wings moneyline +115.  Steve Yzerman has put together another team I think will be winning a cup in a few years.  The scrap pack that is the Red Wings brings an old-school approach to the league.  I love their play and think they can rough up Calgary Flames.

•Blackhawks moneyline -135.  This is a make-or-break game for me with the Blackhawks.  They need to beat Vancouver tonight to have any hope for the season long term.  I know that sounds like an extreme reaction for a team 0-2, but overall this team looks lost and needs a win.  Thankfully Vancouver is a young team still putting it together and easily can be beaten by a veteran team like Chicago.

 

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