The first week of the 2018-19 NHL season is in the books. While there are a number of teams that have surprised early on, the first six days went largely as expected around the league. We took the time to look ahead and identify a handful of opportunities for hockey fans to cash in betting on some favorable matchups for the upcoming week. Here is a look at the five best games to bet on in the NHL this week.
Vegas Golden Knights at Washington Capitals
Wednesday, 8:00 PM ET
All of the talk about the Golden Knights being primed to regress following their Cinderella debut season has become reality following a 1-2 start in which they are still looking for their first regulation win. Vegas followed up a shootout victory over the Minnesota Wild with a disheartening 4-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres. Now the Golden Knights will have to take on the streaking Capitals in a Stanley Cup Finals rematch. Washington has averaged 6.5 goals per game while capturing three of a possible four points through its first two games. There is a good chance their high-flying offense keeps it up on Wednesday night with a reminder of why the Capitals won it all last season.
Related: NHL Betting Guide
Toronto Maple Leafs at Detroit Red Wings
Thursday, 7:30 PM ET
The Maple Leafs have averaged 4.3 goals per game throughout their first three contests. The problem is that they have also allowed an average of 4.3 goals per game. Toronto will make tightening things up in its own end a priority this Thursday night when it takes on a Detroit side that is still looking for its first win of the season. The Red Wings are going to have a hard time avoiding the Atlantic division basement this season. The Maple Leafs should have no problem coming out on top when they visit Detroit on Thursday night.
Pick: Maple Leafs
Vancouver Canucks at Tampa Bay Lightning
Thursday, 7:30 PM ET
The Canucks have plenty of reason for optimism with Elias Pettersson and a solid cast of prospects that make the team’s future look extremely bright. The problem is that Vancouver still has too many holes to think it can contend for a playoff spot this season. Canucks fans will get a reminder of just how far their team is from contending for a playoff spot this Thursday night when it faces one of the Stanley Cup favorites in the Lightning. Tampa Bay is looking to bounce back following a poor opening night effort despite still picking up a 2-1 shootout win over the Florida Panthers. Look for the Lightning’s big guns to dazzle in a lopsided win over Vancouver on Thursday night.
Detroit Red Wings at Boston Bruins
Saturday, 7:00 PM ET
We don’t mean to beat up on the Red Wings too bad. However, Detroit has a very difficult schedule to open the season including a trip to Boston on Saturday night. The Bruins are relatively healthy up front and they have opened the regular season with a sense of urgency as they attempt to establish some early position in a tough Atlantic division that features the Maple Leafs and Lightning. Look for Boston to continue to roll on Saturday night with a win over the Red Wings on home ice.
Anaheim Ducks at St. Louis Blues
Sunday, 7:00 PM ET
The Ducks opened the season with three straight wins while the Blues opened the year with a pair of losses. That said, St. Louis has actually been the better team overall with the exception of finding ways to get those critical points in the standings. That will change on Saturday night when the Blues bounce back with a big win over Anaheim at home. The Ducks are dealing with a number of injuries and will have a hard time keeping up with St. Louis on the road in this one. Consider the Blues matchup with Anaheim among the most favorable for sports handicapping purposes in the NHL this week.
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