The 2011/2012 NHL regular season got underway last Thursday night and while all 30 teams have their sights set on crowning themselves as the next Stanley Cup Champions, the reality is that most likely only a few teams have a legitimate chance at grinding their way through the 82-game regular season and four grueling rounds in the postseason to bring home the Stanley Cup.
The other reality is that NHL offers a tremendous opportunity to generate a solid return on investment over the course of the next eight months for anyone who takes the time to properly handicap the sport. Each week, Bang the Book will compile all the pertinent information you need to keep you up-to-date on the betting trends for the top performing teams as well as provide some inside betting tips on some of the key matchups for the upcoming weekend.
A couple of Stanley Cup favorites are already off to a strong start especially in the state of Pennsylvania where Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are undefeated after the first week of play. The Penguins are 3-0-1 in their first four games. They opened the season at 9/1 odds to win it all this season and so far they are 3-1 against the spread and plus $286 on the money line. The total has gone ‘over’ in three of the four games and the Pens are averaging 3.25 goals a game while giving up 1.7.
The Flyers were opened at 11/1 to win the Stanley Cup and so far they are a perfect 3-0 with solid wins over Boston, New Jersey, and Vancouver. They are 2-1 ATS, plus $261 on the money line and the total has stayed ‘under’ in two of their three games. Philadelphia has scored an average of 3.33 goals a game while giving up 1.67.
Speaking of the Bruins, the defending champs are 1-3 out of the gate while scoring an average of 1.75 goals and giving-up an average of 1.75 goals per game. They are 1-3 ATS and minus $109 on the money line. The total has stayed ‘under’ in all four of their games.
The Canucks have been opened as the odds-on-favorite at 9/2 to avenge their loss in last year’s Stanley Cup Finals and finally bring home a title to the city of Vancouver. They are 1-1-1 straight-up in their first three games and 1-2 ATS. They are minus $100 on the money line and the total has gone ‘over’ in two of the three games.
Turning to this weekend’s games, there are a couple of intriguing matchups on the schedule. This Friday night in a Pacific Division clash, the Anaheim Ducks play host to the San Jose Sharks. These two split last season’s series 3-3, but the road team had a slight 4-2 edge. Four of the six games went ‘over’ the total with the line set at 5.5 for all six games. The Ducks should be a solid pick as a moderate favorite on the money line, but the best play in this one could be the ‘over’.
Saturday’s action features a couple of interesting matchups when the Rangers and the Islanders face-off in an early Atlantic Division battle for bragging rights in the city of New York and Chicago hosts Boston in a showdown between the last two Cup Champions.
The Rangers won three of the five against the Islanders last season with four of the games going ‘over’ the total. The Bruins and Blackhawks only met once last season with Boston coming away with a 3-0 shutout as a 125 home favorite. Stick with the road teams in both these games as the Rangers and the Bruins come away with wins.
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.