Check out our picks for the first seven games on tap for the 2021-22 NHL regular season!
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Placing advanced single bets is usually difficult during the NHL regular season. Games are happening nightly, so the top NHL betting odds aren't available more than a day or two beforehand. Typically, only future wagers, such as those on the Stanley Cup winner, are able to be submitted with plenty of time to spare.
However, the start of the NHL's regular season is always an exception. Linemakers drop odds weeks prior to the first opening faceoffs because they don't have any other non-exhibition games with which to contend. So while hockey that matters is, at this writing, roughly one week away, we have a unique window of opportunity to drop betting picks for the top 2021-22 NHL regular-season openers.
The first seven matchups, taking place on Tuesday, October 12, and Wednesday, October 13, are already on the board. Here are those latest NHL odds, courtesy of BetOnline:
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-170||+153||Pittsburgh Penguins|
|Vegas Golden Knights||-240||+214||Seattle Kraken|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||-180||+162||Montreal Canadiens|
|Washington Capitals||-130||+118||New York Rangers|
|Edmonton Oilers||-180||+162||Vancouver Canucks|
|Colorado Avalanche||-265||+235||Chicago Blackhawks|
|Winnipeg Jets||-153||+138||Anaheim Ducks|
With so much time to go before these contests begin, you will definitely want to confirm this NHL regular season betting odds at BetOnline and other top online sportsbooks. Some of the numbers are going to move in the coming days.
NHL Opening Night Predictions 2021
Many might be expecting us to predict a select few of the seven games taking place during the first two days of the NHL regular season. Our response: Why choose?
What follows are NHL picks for the first seven games of the season. While we are still waiting to see what all of these teams look like during the 2021-22 campaign, we have enough intel on their rosters, last season's performance, and this year's preseason to make informed predictions.
Tampa Bay Lightning (-170) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (+153)
The two-time defending champion Lightning were always going to curry favor over the Penguins. Even with people concerned about some of the losses they suffered over the summer, they were fated to get the title bump.
Some still might be tempted to predict an upset. Don't do it. The Penguins remain a good team on paper, but they're aging and already dealing with injuries to Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
OSB Prediction: Tampa Bay Lightning (-170)
Vegas Golden Knights (-214) vs. Seattle Kraken (+240)
This line is genuinely tough. Though bettors tend to steer clear of expansion teams in their debuts, the Kraken have built a roster heavy on veteran leadership and strong goaltending presences. Perhaps they will struggle to score, but they're assembled to survive slugfests.
On paper, that's exactly what this game seems to be. The Knights, for all their strong play over the past half-decade, remain woefully thin in the middle. We're taking the slight upset.
OSB Prediction: Seattle Kraken (+240)
Toronto Maple Leafs (-180) vs. Montreal Canadiens (+162)
In the overarching NHL discussion, people might be too low on the Canadiens following their magical playoff run. In this game specifically, though, we'd expect them to be a heavier underdog.
Montreal lost four major contributors over the offseason in Shea Weber, Phillip Danault, Tomas Tatar, and Jesperi Kotkaniemi. They have the depth to figure things out long-term, but we'd be remiss to roll with them over an established contender like the Maple Leafs.
OSB Prediction: Toronto Maple Leafs (-180)
Washington Capitals (-130) vs. New York Rangers (+118)
Picking this game comes down to a matter of taste.
Do you prefer the Capitals, a team brimming with top-shelf, yet aging, offensive firepower? Or do you like a younger Rangers roster chock full of big, burly, mean defenders?
For this single-game matchup, we are drawn toward the Rangers. They overhauled their front office and then doubled-down on defense—a surefire recipe for regular-season success.
OSB Prediction: New York Rangers (+118)
Edmonton Oilers (-180) vs. Vancouver Canucks (+162)
Predicting Oilers-Canucks comes down to a bigger-picture question: Is this the year in which Edmonton finally stops underachieving?
We lean yes. Not only are the Oilers returning two perennial MVP candidates in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, but they added higher-end depth in Warren Foegele and Zach Hyman over the offseason.
OSB Prediction: Edmonton Oilers (-180)
Colorado Avalanche (-265) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (+235)
Many NHL experts believe the Avalanche had but a one-year window to contend for the Stanley Cup and blew it. We disagree.
Colorado's core might be on the older side, but they're opening the season against one of the league's worst teams. This isn't a decision we feel the need to rethink.
OSB Prediction: Colorado Avalanche (-265)
Winnipeg Jets (-153) vs. Anaheim Ducks (+138)
Most of the advanced metrics say the Jets are a bad team that has gotten lucky and turned in a solid record over the past two years. They might be right.
And yet, goaltender Connor Hellebuyck might be the best in the business between the posts. Pit him against an unproven offense like that of the Ducks, and you should end up seeing a Winnipeg victory.
OSB Prediction: Winnipeg Jets (-153)
Check out this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one is best for all of your NHL betting: