NHL Betting: The Three Biggest Betting Takeaways from Hockey’s Opening Week

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Michael Savio
Hockey news


  • Blackhawk’s rookie center Connor Bedard has three points thru three games
  • Brady Tkachuk leads the Sens with four goals
  • The Lightning have been outscored 11-6 over their previous two games

The new NHL season is underway, and we have learned a lot about these teams over the first seven days of the season. We’ve seen close battles, surprise winners, and some brutal starts for teams across the league.

We have been locked into the first week of the NHL to find our favorite future bets. Below we will be sharing out three top picks to help you win big at NHL betting sites this season.

The Blackhawks Are Better Than Expected

Odds to make the playoffs: +700 at DraftKings Sportsbook

Chicago is still in the early stages of building their team around top rookie Connor Bedard, but they have looked better than expected. The 18-year-old has already scored his first career goal and he is second on the team in points with three. Most experts picked Chicago to once again be one of the worst teams in the NHL, but a 2-2 start has them looking far improved from their horrendous 2022-23 season.

Chicago opened with a 4-2 win against the Pens, but what stood out to us was their 4-1 win against a very good Maple Leafs team. They are now 2-2, thanks largely to a fantastic start from Arvid Soderblom (1-1, 1.51 GAA, 95.5% SV) and Petr Mrazek (1-1, 2.54 GAA, 93.5% SV) in goal. They also had a great start from veteran center Tyler Johnson, who leads the team with three goals.

The playoffs are still a longshot, but they are certainly playing well enough to hang around for the final wildcard spot in the Western Conference.

The Senators Could Be a Sneaky Stanley Cup Bet

Odds to win Stanley Cup: +5000 at BetMGM Sportsbook

There are a lot of things going right for the Ottawa Senators. They have a wealthy new ownership group, plans for a gorgeous new arena, and now have a very well-constructed roster. They added star blueliner Jacob Chychrun at the trade deadline last season and added Vladimir Tarasenko over the summer, giving their roster a nice boost for this year’s campaign.

The Sens have started 2-1 after dropping a tough opened to the Canes, and they still don’t have Josh Norris back on the ice. Captain Brady Tkachuk leads the team with four goals and Chychrun, Mathieu Joseph, and Tim Stutzle all have two. Norris will add even more scoring to this already loaded offense, and it could help lead them to a surprising Stanley Cup run.

The biggest concern for Ottawa will be their goalie, as they failed to get any consistency at the position last season. Cam Talbot is gone, leaving Joonas Karpisalo and Anton Forsberg as the team’s top options between the pipes. If they can get consistent play from one of both players, this is going to be a very difficult team to beat.

Tampa Bay is in Trouble Without Vasilevskiy

Odds to finish under 95.5 points: -113 at FanDuel Sportsbook

We knew that Tampa’s championship window was closing, but an injury to goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy may have slammed it shut. The Lightning have started off losing two of their first three games. After beating Nashville at home, Tampa was outscored 11-6 against the Red Wings and Sens. Those struggles have negated the effectiveness of the Tampa offense, and it will make life hard in an ultra-completive Eastern Conference. 

Tampa has a combination of Jonas Johansson and Matt Tomkins in goal as they wait for Vasilevskiy to return in a couple of months. Johansson was decent in their opening win against Nashville but had no answers for the Red Wings when he allowed five goals on 41 shots. Tomkins didn’t fare much better in his start, allowing four goals on 37 shots against the Sens.

While we aren’t ready to say Tampa’s playoff hopes are in trouble, it is hard to imagine them finishing with 95 or more points with Vasilevskiy missing at least two months of the season.

Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid. As an adult, Michael started picking games for a small sports betting site and has built it into a career. His experience allows him to provide tips and information to help other bettors improve their game. Michael cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams, the Arizona State Sun Devils (his alma mater), and the Ottawa Senators. He specializes in baseball betting but has extensive experience in football, basketball, and hockey. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children or hiking and enjoying the outdoors.