All posts by Alex Moretto

Stanley Cup odds: League-leading Capitals now the favorites

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Have you ever ended a relationship out of boredom to go in search of something new, only to realize what a great thing you had with your ex?

The early stages of the relationship were new, exciting, and passionate. Then, over time - it could have been weeks, months, years - you got bored for no real reason and ended things so you could chase that feeling again?

Now you're back on the open market looking for someone to give you exactly what you just had. But once you realize that, it's too late. What you had is gone and your ex is doing great. They're onto bigger and better things while you sit with the lights off in your basement listening to Radiohead, wondering how you could be so naive.

The Washington Capitals are that ex.

Following a first-round playoff exit and a quiet offseason, the Capitals began the year at a very reasonably priced 20-1 to win the Stanley Cup. Nine teams had shorter odds than the 2018 champions and perennial cup contenders.

Instead of capitalizing on that value by betting on a squad that's always among the last handful of teams still playing in late-April, people were too busy searching for something new and exciting. One of the most heavily bet teams this offseason, because of all the moves they made, was the New Jersey Devils. The price got driven all the way to 25-1. There's not one person holding a Devils futures ticket that doesn't have a considerable degree of regret.

Essentially, the betting public was digging for the next Washington Capitals, only the current Washington Capitals hadn't gone anywhere. The market was slow to adjust and now all the value is gone.

The Capitals are the current Cup favorites in most spots, with their odds shortening to as low as 5-1 in some places following a scorching 13-2-4 start to the season - the best in the league.

While you missed the boat with Washington, there's still time to hitch your wagon to few other teams before the value is gone.

Value picks

Dallas Stars (25-1)

The price on the Stars was too short in September with them being somewhat of a popular preseason pick, but the value has been restored after they stumbled through the first few weeks of the season. Dallas has since battled back, winning seven of its last nine, and is just three points back of third place in the Central Division. The Stars are a deep team with experience, good puck movers on the blue line, solid goaltending, and good coaching. They could be 15-1 before long.

Montreal Canadiens (30-1)

At what point will the Canadiens start getting the love they deserve from oddsmakers? Hopefully, the answer is never. The Habs have taken 13 of a possible 16 points over their last eight games to move just three back of the Bruins for the division lead. And there's a lot to like about this Montreal team when it comes to its chances of winning in the playoffs.

The thing about the Habs is they can beat you in so many ways. They're capable of playing with speed and skill, but also won't back down from a fight. They have a deep group of forwards and can be exhausting to play against when they're rolling all four lines. Shea Weber is healthy and playing at an elite level, while Carey Price is zoned in and remains a front-runner for the title of world's best goaltender. The Canadiens also have the cap space and assets to make a splash at the trade deadline if they're in a position to do so.

Arizona Coyotes (30-1)

The Coyotes are constructed similarly to the Canadiens in the sense that they are a deep team that relies more on committee scoring than a few high-end skill guys. Nick Schmaltz and Clayton Keller have been excellent, among others, and it's only a matter of time before Phil Kessel starts scoring. Darcy Kuemper has been excellent and Antti Raanta is one of the league's best back-up goalies.

In a weak Pacific Division, the Coyotes a strong bet to secure a playoff berth. Once there, depth scoring and disciplined defensive play will make them a tough out.

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

NHL weekend betting preview: Leafs face dreaded back-to-back

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With four games on Friday, 11 on Saturday, and seven more on Sunday - including a matinee on each day - there's no reason to leave your home during one of the busiest weekend slates so far this season.

Game betting

Tampa Bay Lightning at Buffalo Sabres (Friday)

The NHL is taking its show to Stockholm, Sweden, for a doubleheader between the Lightning and Sabres this weekend. Tampa Bay hasn't come anywhere close to living up to lofty expectations so far this season, but a trip across the pond might be exactly what it needs to break out of this funk. Buffalo, meanwhile, has lost three in a row after a hot start, scoring just three goals in those games. The Lightning have dominated this series, winning 16 of their last 20 over the Sabres. This feels like a safe spot to ride with the chalk.

New Jersey Devils at Edmonton Oilers (Friday)

At this point, we no longer have to keep calling this the Taylor Hall Revenge Game - he's been gone long enough. The Oilers have also dominated the Devils since trading Hall to New Jersey, beating them in five of six games that he's featured in, including both at Rogers Place. Following back-to-back home losses this week, trust Edmonton to round out its homestand with a win on Friday night.

Philadelphia Flyers at Toronto Maple Leafs (Saturday)

For the second successive Saturday night, the Leafs and Flyers will clash on Hockey Night in Canada, and they have a tough act to follow after last weekend's 11-round shootout. Both teams are coming into this game hot; Toronto's on a three-game winning streak and Philadelphia's on a four-game point streak. Following a pair of unders for each team this week, look for an outburst of goals on Saturday night, as the over has hit in nine of the Flyers' last 12 visits to Toronto.

Vegas Golden Knights at Washington Capitals (Saturday)

It'll be a 2018 Stanley Cup rematch in D.C. on Saturday night with the Golden Knights visiting the Capitals. Washington is on an improbable run of 10 overs in its last 11 games, while both meetings with Vegas last year also flew over the total. At the rate the Capitals have been scoring, it's only right to keep riding the wave and trust the over in this spot.

Dallas Stars at Winnipeg Jets (Sunday)

Don't look now, but the Stars are back to .500 after winning seven of their last eight games, while the Jets haven't been able to string any sort of streak together. Winnipeg has won just one of its seven contests at MTS Place in regulation - with a game against the Canucks scheduled for Friday before this one - and the last five have all gone under the number. Dallas' winning streak has been predominantly based on good defense and goaltending, so look for another tight encounter here with the game staying under the total.

Toronto Maple Leafs at Chicago Blackhawks (Sunday)

Michael Hutchinson will almost certainly get the nod here for the Leafs in their fifth back-to-back of the season. They're 0-4 in this spot so far, while the Blackhawks are actually 2-0 when playing their second game in as many nights. Chicago is struggling and could be in for a long season, but this is a nice spot to back the team at plus-money while continuing to fade the Leafs until they prove capable of winning on no rest.

Game props

Vancouver Canucks at Winnipeg Jets (Friday)

Despite all the talk about Winnipeg's lack of talent on the blue line, the early returns haven't been nearly as bad as advertised. The Jets have allowed just nine goals in their last five home games, while the free-scoring Canucks haven't been nearly as strong offensively outside of British Columbia. Vancouver has scored just five goals in its last six trips to Winnipeg, so the team total under 3.5, 2.5, and perhaps even 1.5 are all worth strong consideration.

Los Angeles Kings at Montreal Canadiens (Saturday)

The Canadiens sure love playing on Saturday nights. They've scored at least five goals in four of their five games on Hockey Night in Canada this season and there's no reason that shouldn't continue against a Kings team that has allowed 63 goals already this season - only the Red Wings have conceded more. Bet the over on the Habs' team total at 3.5, and even at 4.5 if you want to live a little.

Toronto Maple Leafs at Chicago Blackhawks (Sunday)

Adding to the note on this game above, the Leafs have allowed 18 goals (excluding shootouts) in their four games on the second half of a back-to-back, while the Blackhawks have scored eight in their two. Overall, the first-period over has hit in four of those six contests. You can back the over on the 1.5-goal total in the opening 20 minutes, while also putting some coin on Chicago's team total over 3.5.

Player props

Los Angeles Kings at Montreal Canadiens (Saturday)

Max Domi is marred in a bit of slump with just one point in his last six games after recording an assist in six straight. There's no better spot for him to break out than at home against one of the worst defensive teams in hockey.

Nashville Predators at San Jose Sharks (Saturday)

The Sharks can't prevent anyone from scoring these days, as they're level with the Kings in allowing 63 goals already this season. The Predators shouldn't have an issue getting on the scoreboard, with Roman Josi a good bet to record an assist in this game. He has 12 through the first 16 contests, including seven on the power play.

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Hart Trophy odds update: Pastrnak forcing his way toward the top

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The NHL season is still in its infancy, but if you had to pick a Hart Trophy winner right this second, who would it be?

Not so easy, is it?

Several players have pieced together great starts to the season, resulting in a jump up the odds leaderboard.

Here are the latest odds for the NHL Hart Trophy winner, along with some of the biggest movers since the start of the season:

Player Current Odds (11/5) Opening Odds (10/1)
Connor McDavid 3-1 13-4
Nathan MacKinnon 7-1 9-1
Sidney Crosby 7-1 7-1
Nikita Kucherov 8-1 5-1
Auston Matthews 9-1 10-1
Alex Ovechkin 10-1 10-1
David Pastrnak 10-1 33-1
Brad Marchand 12-1 40-1
Mark Stone 16-1 50-1
Taylor Hall 20-1 12-1
Mark Scheifele 22-1 22-1
John Carlson 25-1 N/A
Steven Stamkos 25-1 25-1
Mitch Marner 28-1 28-1
Johnny Gaudreau 33-1 50-1

Connor McDavid (3-1)

Previous odds (Oct. 1): 13-4

No surprise here, as Connor McDavid opened as the clear favorite and continues to occupy that spot after notching 24 points through 16 games, leading the Edmonton Oilers to first in the Pacific Division.

If the Oilers make the playoffs, McDavid will warrant significant consideration for the award due to his team's lack of depth. However, the underlying numbers are slightly concerning for the club.

Edmonton has outscored teams 18-9 at five-on-five when McDavid is on the ice despite being outshot and outchanced. That's a testament to McDavid's skill, but even a little regression from him would be incredibly detrimental to the Oilers' playoff chances.

Nikita Kucherov (8-1)

Previous odds (Oct. 1): 5-1

The Washington Capitals began the 2017-18 season 5-6-1 before winning the Stanley Cup. So at 6-5-1 now, the Tampa Bay Lightning shouldn't panic.

But one of their stars is generating concern, as 11 points in 13 games is an alarming rate of production for Nikita Kucherov, who has topped 100 points in each of the last two seasons. It's still early, but he'll need to score 89 points over the team's final 69 games to reach that mark again (don't hold your breath).

Something really does seem off about Kucherov, who has posted pedestrian numbers at both five-on-five and on the power play.

David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins (10-1)

Previous odds (Oct. 1): 33-1

David Pastrnak's 28 points through his team's first 14 games are the most since Daniel Alfredsson and Peter Forsberg managed the same tally in 2005-06.

It's been an unbelievable start to the campaign for Pasta, who's on a 12-game point streak after being held off the scoresheet during the Boston Bruins' first two contests. He's scored eight power-play goals, which is more than the total 10 teams have produced.

Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron also deserve credit. With Pastrnak at right wing, the three form the NHL's most dominant line, combining for 31 goals for and only nine against this season. They're unstoppable right now with Pastrnak as the ring leader, and an MVP both on and off the ice.

Mark Stone, Vegas Golden Knights (16-1)

Previous odds (Oct. 1): 50-1

It's become common to call Mark Stone the best winger in hockey, but that doesn't make it any less true. He's on pace for his best career offensive output after notching 18 points in 15 games.

Stone's underlying numbers are right in line with his career averages. That suggests his production could regress, but perhaps the change of scenery has made all the difference. Including the playoffs, he's tallied 41 points in 40 games since being dealt to the Vegas Golden Knights.

Taylor Hall, New Jersey Devils (20-1)

Previous odds (Oct. 1): 12-1

Taylor Hall took home the Hart Trophy at the end of the 2017-18 campaign, his second season with the New Jersey Devils. A knee injury limited him to just 33 games last year, but optimism was high in New Jersey coming into 2019-20 following general manager Ray Shero's busy offseason.

Early returns haven't met lofty expectations. Hall has recorded fewer goals (two) than the Devils' wins (three) through their first 12 games. New Jersey is also being outscored and outshot at five-on-five when Hall is on the ice as frustration starts to build in Newark.

John Carlson, Washington Capitals (25-1)

Previous odds (Oct. 1): N/A

No one has made a bigger jump up this board than Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson, who has never received a Hart Trophy vote.

His 23 points rank fifth this season, and he's scored by far the most among defensemen. He's totaled more goals and assists than Sidney Crosby, Mitch Marner, and Elias Pettersson, among others. The Capitals' 20 goals at five-on-five when he's on the ice slots Carlson second among all NHL players.

His credentials are obvious, and if the season ended today, he might be the Hart Trophy front-runner. However, getting the support of a star-studded cast doesn't help Carlson's case, and it's uncertain if his point-scoring pace is sustainable.

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

NHL weekly betting preview: Habs-Bruins rivalry renewed

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There are some tasty games on tap this week as we head into the first midweek slate of November.

The highlights include a Pacific Division clash in Edmonton, an Original Six rivalry in Montreal, and a meeting between two of the league's highest-scoring teams in the Sunshine State. Here's your guide to betting all of those games and more:

Game betting

Arizona Coyotes at Edmonton Oilers (Monday)

All the talk to start the season was about how good the Central Division is, but it hasn't held a candle to the Pacific thus far. The Oilers lead with 21 points, while the Coyotes sit sixth despite an 8-4-1 record. Edmonton has steadied the ship with back-to-back wins but Arizona has caught fire and is the better team of the two. Back the Coyotes at even money Monday night.

Montreal Canadiens at Boston Bruins (Tuesday)

Little else gets the Bell Centre going quite like a visit from the big, bad Bruins does. This rivalry has simmered down a bit since the days of Tim Thomas and Carey Price dropping the gloves, but it still remains one of the most entertaining in hockey. The Bruins have their eyes fixed on this game as they start Jaroslav Halak on Monday against the Pittsburgh Penguins to save Tuuka Rask for Montreal. Still, the Canadiens are typically very strong at home and have Boston's number recently, beating the Bruins five straight times in Quebec, and in eight of the last 10 overall. They'll deal Boston a rare loss Tuesday night.

St. Louis Blues at Vancouver Canucks (Tuesday)

These two teams would sit atop their respective divisions if you used points per game rather than total points. The Canucks are 4-0-1 at home this season, scoring at least five goals in half of their games, including five of their last six. That prowess will be put to the test against the defending Cup champions, though the Blues' defensive record on the road has been less than stellar. Goals shouldn't be in short supply in this one, which has all the makings of a fascinating watch.

Washington Capitals at Florida Panthers (Thursday)

Both teams will be rested for this game, as the Panthers last played Saturday and the Capitals most recently suited up a day later. Florida has quietly been an offensive powerhouse this season, while nine of Washington's last 10 games have gone over the total. Until they start setting the Capitals' totals at 7.5, there's no reason not to keep betting the over.

Vegas Golden Knights at Toronto Maple Leafs (Thursday)

Toronto has consistently been beaten at home by good teams this season, losing to the Blues, Capitals, and Tampa Bay Lightning. The line is always a bit inflated for the Maple Leafs - as tends to be the case for a public team - but these home games remain great spots to fade Toronto until it provides evidence to suggest it's finding its game. Vegas has not impressed on the road this season, but there is great value in backing the Golden Knights as underdogs.

Game props

Colorado Avalanche at Dallas Stars (Tuesday)

Injuries continue to plague the Avalanche, who have scored one goal or fewer in three of their last six contests. This is a tough game for them to rediscover their scoring touch, as they square off with a Stars team that rarely concedes at home. Playing Colorado's team total under 2.5 would appear to be the logical choice, but have a look at the first-period under instead. Scoring will be at a premium over the opening 20 minutes between these two; their last five meetings in Dallas have produced just three goals in the first frame.

Detroit Red Wings at New York Rangers (Wednesday)

Let's stick with the first-period unders here. There has been one goal or fewer scored during the initial 20 minutes in the last nine meetings between the Red Wings and Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Who are we to go against tradition?

Los Angeles Kings at Ottawa Senators (Thursday)

Just about anyone can score on the Kings these days, even the Senators. Los Angeles has allowed at least five goals in five of its seven road games this season, while Ottawa has scored at least four in four of its last six at home. The Senators should be attractively priced to go over the 3.5 team total and we should take advantage.

Player props

Los Angeles Kings at Toronto Maple Leafs (Tuesday)

The Maple Leafs could bring back Mike Komisarek and he would probably score in this game, so Auston Matthews definitely should. He's scored 10 of his 11 goals at home this season and will have ample opportunity to continue that trend against Los Angeles on Tuesday night.

Washington Capitals at Florida Panthers (Thursday)

Brett Connolly has got his Panthers career off to a strong start with five goals through the first 14 games. Look for him to add to his tally against his former team in what will be his first contest against the Capitals after spending the last three years in Washington.

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Stanley Cup odds update: Oilers, Ducks on the move

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Nearly a month into the season, the NHL landscape is taking shape. We have enough of a sample size that slow starts are cause for legitimate concern, while hot ones provide valid reason for optimism. As a result, Stanley Cup odds are also on the move.

Let's look at some of the biggest risers and fallers as October ends.

Edmonton Oilers (20-1)

Previous odds (Oct. 8): 50-1

Any value on the Western Conference co-leader is gone as the Oilers' odds have shortened to 20-1 courtesy of their 8-3-1 start. Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid are on pace for 143 points each, while James Neal has already exceeded his goal total from last season. Still, this feels like a great time to sell high on Edmonton.

The power play is scorching, but per 60 minutes of five-on-five play, the Oilers are 26th in the NHL in Corsi For, 29th in Fenwick For, 30th in shots for, and 25th in expected goals for (courtesy of Natural Stat Trick). Those rankings would be even worse if not for the heroics of their top line. Edmonton has minimal talent outside of its big four forwards, and that lack of depth will eventually prove its undoing.

Anaheim Ducks (25-1)

Previous odds (Oct. 8): 80-1

Bob Murray has done an excellent job of orchestrating the Ducks' turnaround following a quack-less 2018-19 campaign. Most pundits predicted they'd compete for a lottery pick this season, not a wild-card berth, but they're a well-coached team with a strong system and one of the best goalies in the world in John Gibson.

Anaheim is also getting solid contributions from veterans Jakob Silfverberg, Adam Henrique, and Ryan Getzlaf, while defenseman Hampus Lindholm - a former sixth overall pick - appears to finally be having a breakout season. Still, the Ducks lack the scoring or high-end talent to be taken seriously as Cup contenders and will likely only go as far as Gibson can take them.

Calgary Flames (30-1)

Previous odds (Oct. 8): 20-1

An obvious regression candidate coming into the season, the Flames have sputtered. Their inability to string together victories speaks to the team's mediocrity.

Surprisingly, it's not goaltending that's holding Calgary back - David Rittich and Cam Talbot have performed admirably thus far. It's the rest of the team that's cause for concern. Though the Flames haven't been bad, they haven't done anything particularly well, and just about all of their underlying numbers rank below the median. They're talented enough to stay in the wild-card race, but the same issues that were exposed in the playoffs last season will result in a big step back this season.

Vancouver Canucks (40-1)

Previous odds (Oct. 8): 50-1

There might not be a more exciting team in hockey this month. The Canucks are fourth in the NHL in goals per game this season and runaway leaders with 5.4 goals per game at home (Nashville is second with 4.43). Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser, Bo Horvat, and Quinn Hughes form one of the best young cores in hockey, and general manager Jim Benning, who took a lot of heat for acquiring veteran J.T. Miller (13 points in 11 games) this summer, suddenly looks like a genius.

So what about the goaltending? Jakob Markstrom's been impressive, while highly regarded prospect Thatcher Demko has been terrific in four starts and appears capable of shouldering the load should Markstrom drop off. The Canucks may be a couple years away from being legitimate contenders, but there's something special brewing in Vancouver.

Arizona Coyotes (40-1)

Previous odds (Oct. 8): 60-1

After losing their first two games, the Coyotes have lost just once in regulation over their last nine. It's time to start taking them seriously. They're allowing just 2.09 goals per game - only Boston's conceded fewer - and the underlying numbers suggest they could be even better; the team's rate of 1.77 expected goals against per 60 minutes is the lowest in the NHL.

And it finally looks like Arizona has the scoring to match. The Coyotes have scored at least three goals in seven straight and rank in the top 10 for expected goals for per 60 minutes. Phil Kessel (two goals in 11 games) hasn't even hit his stride yet. In a murky Pacific Division, you would be wise to put your money on Arizona at this price before Edmonton.

New York Rangers (80-1)

Previous odds (Oct. 8): 30-1

Kaapo Kakko told Finnish media he's not having fun playing hockey, and that about sums up the Rangers' October. They're by no means a bad hockey team, but they're not nearly as far along in the rebuilding process as a lot of people wanted to believe. Frankly, 80-1 is where this line should have been all along.

Condolences if you drank the Kool-Aid and bought in at 30-1. If it's any solace, you're not the first person to fall for undeserved hype surrounding a New York team, and you won't be the last.

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

NHL weekly betting preview: Oilers fly east, Habs head west

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October has just about come and gone.

Some teams will be aiming to stay hot over these final few days, while others will be desperate to generate some momentum heading into November. Here's your betting guide to the final week of October:

Game betting

Florida Panthers at Vancouver Canucks (Monday)

Travis Green is likely still wondering how his team blew a 5-1 lead to lose in a shootout against the Capitals on Friday night. The Canucks have had two days off to think about losing me my bet, but they get the chance to right the ship here against the Panthers. Florida is coming off an impressive win in Edmonton last night, but this is a tough spot for it on a back-to-back with travel and backup Samuel Montembeault in net.

San Jose Sharks at Boston Bruins (Tuesday)

No team has lost fewer games this season than the Bruins, who find themselves in a tricky situation Tuesday as they gear up for their third game in four nights. As high as they're flying right now, this feels like a letdown spot after a perfect weekend, which included a shutout win over the St. Louis Blues in a Stanley Cup Final rematch. The Sharks are reeling through this East Coast trip, but expect a much better effort than they put forward against the Ottawa Senators on Sunday. San Jose will likely be priced close to +200 and offer excellent value.

Washington Capitals at Toronto Maple Leafs (Tuesday)

The Maple Leafs have been playing .500 hockey through October, and while they've hardly lived up to lofty expectations, they've been relatively easy to predict from a betting perspective. Much has been made about their deficiencies in back-to-backs, but they've consistently followed them up with impressive performances, including wins over Boston and San Jose in their last two attempts. The Capitals are concluding a lengthy five-game road trip, including four stops in Canada, and might lack the intensity of a more desperate Toronto side. Take the Leafs here at what's likely to be a very short price.

Tampa Bay Lightning at New Jersey Devils (Wednesday)

The Devils have only played nine games this season, fewest among all teams. That's not a comment on their on-ice performances, though it really could be. This will be just the second game in 11 nights for New Jersey, for no good reason. With just two wins thus far, the Devils sit in the NHL's basement, and with so much time off to iron out their issues, there's no excuse for them not to come roaring out of the gate. They face a Lightning team that will have played the night before in New York. The Devils aren't nearly as good as the preseason hype suggested, but this is as good a spot as any to back them so far this season.

Edmonton Oilers at Columbus Blue Jackets (Wednesday)

Following a 7-1 start, the Oilers head into the week going 1-1-2 over the last eight days. They've lost their last three road games, scoring just one goal. They begin an East Coast swing in Detroit on Tuesday before flying to Columbus for the second half of a back-to-back. The Blue Jackets keep things close at home, as each of their last five contests at Nationwide Arena has been decided by just a goal. Expect another tight game, with the under looking a strong play.

Montreal Canadiens at Vegas Golden Knights (Thursday)

The Canadiens have lost 10 of their last 13 contests on the road when playing the second game of a back-to-back, as they are here in the infancy stages of their West Coast trip. Keith Kinkaid will also almost assuredly be in net for Montreal, with Carey Price likely to start Wednesday night in Arizona. The price on the Golden Knights will be steep, so you can also look toward the puck line if you aren't willing to lay the juice.

Game props

Chicago Blackhawks at Nashville Predators (Tuesday)

Until the Blackhawks prove they can score consistently, you should probably bet against them doing so. They had a five-goal outburst against the lowly Kings on Sunday but have otherwise been starved of goals. Prior to that game, they scored just three times in their previous three outings, and they were shut out in their only road contest this season. Ride their team total under 2.5, especially against a Predators team that's held Chicago to two goals or fewer in each of its last six trips to Bridgestone Arena.

Montreal Canadiens at Vegas Golden Knights (Thursday)

Doubling up on this game, hit the Canadiens' team total under 2.5 goals. In their last 14 games away to Western Conference teams in the second half of a back-to-back, they've scored two or fewer goals in 12 of them. And, of course, there's also the old adage about Quebec-born goalies elevating their game against the Canadiens. Could a shutout for Marc-Andre Fleury be in the cards?

Player props

Florida Panthers at Vancouver Canucks (Monday)

No team is averaging more goals per game this season than the Canucks. They should definitely improve on that against a Panthers club allowing 3.45 goals thus far. (Only six teams have allowed more.) Florida will play its backup and could be tired playing in its second game in as many nights. Elias Pettersson's three goals this season have come in Vancouver's four home contests. Look for him to add to his tally in this one.

Edmonton Oilers at Detroit Red Wings (Tuesday)

The Oilers boast the league's top power-play unit and will take on the Red Wings and their 29th-ranked penalty kill. Seven of James Neal's 10 goals this season have come with the man advantage. Back him to get on the scoresheet against Detroit.

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

NHL weekend betting preview: Habs host Leafs at Bell Centre

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It has been a profitable week on the ice thus far, so let's keep the momentum going into a busy weekend on the schedule.

One of hockey's oldest rivalries headlines the weekend slate as the Montreal Canadiens host the Toronto Maple Leafs, while a Stanley Cup rematch graces TD Garden.

Game betting

San Jose Sharks at Toronto Maple Leafs (Friday)

It's the chalk play, but how do you stay away from the over 6.5 in this game? Both teams can score at will, while they each struggle to keep the puck out of their own net. The Sharks are on a 9-1 run to the over when playing their second game in as many nights, and until the Leafs prove they're capable of playing sound defense, there's no reason to think this game should be any different.

Washington Capitals at Vancouver Canucks (Friday)

The Capitals have three well-deserved days off to reset after this one. It's been a busy start to the season for them with 13 games in 25 nights, including a ton of travel. Washington is also on the second game of a back-to-back and fatigue will be an issue for it. The Canucks have been idle since Tuesday and are a strong bet at even money.

St. Louis Blues at Boston Bruins (Saturday)

If this isn't the best revenge spot on the calendar, I don't know what is. The Bruins spent the summer watching videos of Blues players bathing in beer and eating food out of the Stanley Cup, after they came so close to winning it themselves. Nothing that happens on Saturday will take that away from St. Louis, but Boston can put a small band-aid over its heart-sized wound with a win. You know how bad the Bruins want this.

Toronto Maple Leafs at Montreal Canadiens (Saturday)

Once more, the schedule makers have taken away from the allure of a Habs-Leafs game this season, with Toronto again playing it as the second game of a back-to-back. As a result, Michael Hutchinson will get the nod in goal. He's posted a save percentage below .900 this season, with the Leafs 0-3 in his starts. Carey Price will steal the show again as the Canadiens make it two for two over the Leafs this season.

San Jose Sharks at Ottawa Senators (Sunday)

The Sharks have performed reasonably well in the second half of back-to-backs under Peter DeBoer, though they typically struggle in the game that follows - especially when it's on the road. San Jose is 5-12 in this spot over the past two seasons, so consider backing the Senators here at what will certainly be an attractive price.

Game props

Colorado Avalanche at Vegas Golden Knights (Friday)

The best team in the Western Conference was dealt a blow this week with the news that star winger Mikko Rantanen will miss at least a couple weeks with a lower-body injury. His absence will be sorely missed in a game in that could be a Conference Final preview against the Golden Knights. The Avalanche have had three days off in advance of this contest, which can be problematic with all the distractions Vegas has to offer. It's possible they spent Thursday night celebrating their hot start and will come out sluggish as a result. With the price on Vegas a bit high (-165), take them -0.5 in the first period at +150.

Calgary Flames at Winnipeg Jets (Saturday)

A Heritage Classic, this game will be played at Mosaic Stadium in Regina, Saskatchewan. Since Heritage Classics were instituted as yearly occurrences in 2008, outdoor games are 14-7-5 to the under, assuming a six-goal total for each contest. The under is worth a look here as well, but the Jets' team total is our focus. They've scored three or less goals in each of their last 12 games against the Flames, and two or less in nine of those contests. Under 3.5 and under 2.5 are both worth a look here. Goals have become an issue for Winnipeg, with just eight in its last five games.

Los Angeles Kings at Chicago Blackhawks (Sunday)

Only twice in the last nine meetings between the Blackhawks and Kings have there been two or more goals in the opening 20 minutes. With neither team scoring much these days, the first-period under looks like a strong bet here.

Player props

Washington Capitals at Vancouver Canucks (Friday)

Vancouver's power play has been humming along nicely this season, especially at home where it has converted on 44.4% of its opportunities. Bo Horvat is the team leader in that regard, with four goals on the man advantage. Look for him to add to that total against the Capitals, who can't seem to stay out of the penalty box - their 41 minor penalties are third-most in the NHL this season.

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

NHL weekly betting preview: Leafs back at it in Boston

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Round 2 between the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs this season goes Tuesday night.

The rivalry highlights a delicious midweek slate that includes a Central Division clash and a meeting between a pair of Eastern Conference favorites in the Sunshine State.

Game betting

Colorado Avalanche at St. Louis Blues (Monday)

The Avalanche will look at this game as a passing of the torch. The Western Conference leaders are white-hot as they visit last season's champions, with the Blues coming off consecutive home losses. However, it's the third game in four nights for Colorado, which has lost seven of its last eight trips to St. Louis. The Blues haven't dropped three successive home games since February 2013.

Ottawa Senators at Dallas Stars (Monday)

Dallas isn't off to the start it hoped for, but there's no better slump-buster than the Senators, right? Well, this is a tough spot for the Stars, who return home from a back-to-back in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. The Stars are 4-11 over the last two seasons when playing their third game in four nights. They're also 0-3 at home this season with just four goals. At +190, the Senators are live 'dogs.

Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins (Tuesday)

Revenge will be on the Bruins' minds as they welcome the Leafs to TD Garden after losing to Toronto in overtime Saturday. The Leafs will likely start Michael Hutchinson in what will be their second game of a back-to-back after hosting Columbus. Toronto got run over in two trips to the Garden during the 2018-19 regular season, and it's hard to see the Leafs beating a rested Boston team under these circumstances.

Pittsburgh Penguins at Tampa Bay Lightning (Wednesday)

The Lightning will have had three days off to think about their 6-2 home loss to the Avalanche when they host a Penguins team that plays at Florida the night before. Tampa has won 14 of its last 16 home games on three days' rest. Only once last season did the Lightning lose two in a row at home, falling 1-0 to the Blues in overtime. They've consistently bounced back from losses under Jon Cooper and have won all three of their home games against the Penguins over the last two seasons. The chalk could be a bit high, but this is a great spot to back the Bolts.

Minnesota Wild at Nashville Predators (Thursday)

The beginning of Minnesota's schedule has been brutal, with 13 of the team's first 18 games away from home. The Wild are 1-5 on the road this season, lost all five of those games by two or more goals, and recorded their lone away win against the Senators. They last won in Nashville in 2016 and have scored just nine goals in their visits since. Play the Predators on the puck line.

Game props

Anaheim Ducks at Nashville Predators (Tuesday)

Anaheim has enjoyed a strong start, but it would be a whole lot better if the Ducks could find their scoring touch. They have been held to two or fewer goals in five of their nine games and scored just eight times in four contests on the road. Excluding the playoffs, the Ducks have been held under 2.5 goals in each of their last six trips to Nashville.

Vegas Golden Knights at Chicago Blackhawks (Tuesday)

The Golden Knights have scored at least four goals in each of their six all-time meetings with the Blackhawks. Across three trips to Chicago, they've put up 17 goals. Back Vegas' team total over 3.5. The first-period over 1.5 is also worth a play despite the likely high juice - every time these teams have played each other, the over 1.5 has hit in the opening 20 minutes.

San Jose Sharks at Montreal Canadiens (Thursday)

Heading into the week, the Canadiens (7-2, 77.8%) and Sharks (6-2, 75%) are two of the five most profitable teams when it comes to the first-period over. They meet Thursday in Montreal, where the over 1.5 in the opening frame looks tasty.

Player props

Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins (Tuesday)

We hit with David Pastrnak scoring in the game in Toronto on Saturday night. Let's back him to do so again in Boston. He simply can't help himself against the Leafs.

Pittsburgh Penguins at Tampa Bay Lightning (Wednesday)

With the Penguins thin down the middle and Tristan Jarry likely to start in net, Lightning center Brayden Point is a good candidate to score. Point has three goals in five games so far and put up three goals in three contests against the Pens last season.

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

NHL weekend betting preview: Bruins renew rivalry with Leafs

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An Original Six rivalry highlights this weekend's slate as the Boston Bruins head north of the border aiming to continue their dominance over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Of course, that's just one of 22 games scheduled over the next three days, as the NHL season starts to kick into high gear. Here's your guide to making the weekend a profitable one:

Game betting

Dallas Stars at Pittsburgh Penguins (Friday)

With one win in their first eight games, the Stars are simply trying to stop the bleeding. Winning hockey starts with defense, which is one thing Dallas has managed to do well over the first two weeks - the goals have just dried up. Injuries have left the Penguins shorthanded up front, and Pittsburgh's last six home games against Western Conference teams are 5-0-1 to the under. Dallas' last 11 away contests against Eastern Conference clubs are 7-2-2 to the under. With the total set at six in this game, look for a tight, low-scoring affair.

Carolina Hurricanes at Anaheim Ducks (Friday)

This is a really tough spot for the Hurricanes, who face their fifth game in eight nights and their third in four, including a pair of back-to-backs. Anaheim has been a juggernaut early in the season, thanks in large part to stellar goaltender John Gibson. Teams are still looking to get their legs under them this early in the campaign, and fatigue will definitely play a part for Carolina against a stingy Ducks team. The hosts are small underdogs here and are well worth a bet to kick-start the weekend.

Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs (Saturday)

News that Leafs captain John Tavares will miss at least two weeks with a broken finger is poorly timed as the team welcomes the Bruins to town Saturday night. Boston has played well early in the year and should rebound here after losing to the Lightning in a shootout Thursday. The Leafs lack the depth to absorb the loss of their captain, have struggled against good teams, and are typically owned by the Bruins.

Buffalo Sabres at San Jose Sharks (Saturday)

Don't look now, but the Sharks have turned things around after a poor start, winning three in a row as they head into Saturday's contest on two days rest while in the midst of a homestand. The Sabres, and Carter Hutton, have been on a tear, but this is a tough spot as they conclude their California road trip with a third game in four nights.

Edmonton Oilers at Winnipeg Jets (Sunday)

Credit the Jets for avoiding a miserable start despite trotting out a depleted defense, but they've still been vulnerable shorthanded. Winnipeg owns the league's worst penalty kill (56.3%) heading into the weekend and will welcome the Oilers, who own the league's best power play (45.5%), to town. Those numbers really don't bode well for the Jets. Look for the Oilers to keep their hot start alive, courtesy of their special teams.

Calgary Flames at Anaheim Ducks (Sunday)

Not sure exactly who in the league offices the Flames pissed off, but it was someone. Calgary wraps up a brutal opening stretch - six games in nine days - in Anaheim, following an unenviable travel schedule that saw the team head from Dallas to Vegas to San Jose to Calgary to Los Angeles. This game concludes the Flames' second back-to-back in a week and it comes against the white-hot Ducks. It also doesn't help that Calgary has lost 32 of its last 33 games in Anaheim. That's not a typo. This is one of those empty-the-bankroll type of plays.

Game props

New York Rangers at Washington Capitals (Friday)

With the Rangers on a back-to-back, Henrik Lundqvist gets the start for them in Washington. He's a shell of the goalie he once was and is in for a long night as he plays behind a tired team against the free-scoring Capitals. You should be jumping at Washington -1 in regulation at +125.

Montreal Canadiens at St. Louis Blues (Saturday)

After beating the Blues 6-3 in Montreal last week, the Canadiens travel to St. Louis for a return date with the Stanley Cup champions. The Habs don't typically excel in matinees, and with the Blues out for revenge, this should be a much tighter, lower-scoring game than what we saw Saturday at the Bell Centre. Playing Montreal's team total under 2.5 should be profitable in this spot.

Calgary Flames at Anaheim Ducks (Sunday)

As mentioned above, this really is the perfect storm. The Flames, who already suck in Anaheim, will be playing the Ducks under brutal conditions. John Gibson might be in line for a shutout. Play Calgary's team total under 2.5, as well as 1.5, the latter of which should be priced around +350.

Player props

Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs (Saturday)

Is there anyone Leafs fans are more tired of seeing than David Pastrnak? He owns the Leafs like the Yankees owned Pedro Martinez. In fact, Boston's whole top line does. The Bruins should have even more success with Tavares missing from Toronto's top line. The man they call Pasta torched the Leafs for six goals in four games last season and he should be celebrating another at Scotiabank Arena on Saturday night.

Edmonton Oilers at Winnipeg Jets (Sunday)

By now you know about the mismatch between the Oilers' powerplay and the Jets' penalty kill. James Neal has been one of the catalysts of Edmonton's powerplay, with six of his eight goals coming on the man advantage. He's got a great chance to add to that tally against the league's worst penalty kill Sunday.

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

NHL weekly betting preview: Leafs travel to D.C., Bruins host Bolts

Find line reports, best bets, and subscribe to push notifications in the Betting News section.

Although this midweek preview consists of only three days as a result of the holiday, there's no shortage of games for us to pad our wallets ahead of the weekend.

Among them, the Toronto Maple Leafs head to the United States capital, two Atlantic Division heavyweights clash at TD Garden, and the New Jersey Devils search for their first win.

Game betting

Tampa Bay Lightning at Montreal Canadiens (Tuesday)

The Canadiens are playing a fast, exciting brand of hockey early in the season, and the Lightning can score goals at will. However, Claude Julien tends to tighten things up against offensive powerhouses, while Tampa will be eager to get things in order on the back end. The total is set at 6.5, but eight of the last 10 meetings between these teams have finished under that number.

Arizona Coyotes at Winnipeg Jets (Tuesday)

Following a disappointing start to the season, the Coyotes appear to be rounding into form, though scoring has proved to be a real issue for them, which should play right into the hands of the defensively shorthanded Jets. Arizona have lost all nine of their visits to Winnipeg since the 2012-13 lockout. At a short price of -130, back the Jets to make it 10 in a row over the Coyotes north of the border.

Dallas Stars at Columbus Blue Jackets (Wednesday)

It's hard to pass up getting the better team (the Stars) at a significant discount due to their poor start to the season. Dallas' losses have come against the Bruins, Blues, Red Wings, Flames, Capitals, and Sabres. It's been a tough schedule, but four of those five losses have been by just a goal. Expect a bounce back from the Stars after being blanked in Buffalo.

Tampa Bay Lightning at Boston Bruins (Thursday)

The Bruins are home on two days rest after hosting the Ducks on Monday. It's a spot they typically excel in under Butch Cassidy, going 7-2 since he took over for Claude Julien. Back the scorching-hot Bruins at a short price on Thursday.

New York Rangers at New Jersey Devils (Thursday)

This is a strange spot for the Rangers, who will be playing just their fourth game of the season when they take on the Devils at the Prudential Center. The Rangers are 2-6 in their last eight games in New Jersey, while losing nine of their last 10 on at least four days rest, which is what they have here. Bet the Devils to finally claim their first win of the season in what will be their seventh game.

Game props

Nashville Predators at Vegas Golden Knights (Tuesday)

This will be the seventh all-time meeting between the Predators and Golden Knights. There have been just four goals scored in the first period of their previous six contests, with each of them staying under 1.5 goals in the opening frame. At +135, that's gravy.

Toronto Maple Leafs at Washington Capitals (Wednesday)

The Leafs faced this situation four times last season - traveling for the second game of a back-to-back after playing the first at home. They were 1-3 in those contests, but more importantly, allowed 23 goals over that span. Play the Capitals team total over 3.5 at plus-money, as well as the over 4.5 at close to +300 if you're feeling it on hump day.

Nashville Predators at Arizona Coyotes (Thursday)

Arizona may not be scoring many goals these days, but it isn't conceding many either. The Predators have scored just 11 goals in their last seven visits to the desert. Play their team total under 2.5 at plus-money, while the under 1.5 in the first period is also worth a strong look.

Buffalo Sabres at Los Angeles Kings (Thursday)

In their last four road games in the second of a back-to-back, the Sabres have just four goals. They've also been shut out in four of their last six visits to Los Angeles, with the Kings winning each of those games 2-0. Buffalo's team total under 2.5 should be priced around +140 given the rate they've been scoring, and certainly warrants a play here.

Player props

Toronto Maple Leafs at Washington Capitals (Wednesday)

Alex Ovechkin has a higher goals per game rate against Toronto than any other Eastern Conference team with 39 goals in 48 career games. He's also potted six in his last six against the Leafs the past two seasons. Back him to add to his total in this game.

Tampa Bay Lightning at Boston Bruins (Thursday)

Over the past three seasons, David Pastrnak has 15 points in 12 games against the Lightning. He had six in three against them last season, including five assists. Trust him to get another helper on Thursday at the Garden.

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.