NHL Week 1 Betting Lines, Picks & Tips – Wednesday Night

In this article, we’ll provide you with our top picks and advice for the opening night of the NHL season, with the Washington Capitals at St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks at Vegas Golden Knights. We study the odds, betting lines, teams, and players to give you our recommended betting picks to beat the New Jersey bookies!

Washington Capitals at St. Louis Blues (ML: -140) – O/U: 5.5

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019 – 8:00 p.m. EST

Betting Pick: Blues -1.5 (+180)

PointsBet Online Sportsbook Offer: Get two risk-free bets up to $1000
Promo Code: USODDS

The St. Louis Blues will begin their Stanley Cup title defense against the team that won it the previous season, the Washington Capitals. Our top pick is for the Blues to win and cover the puck-line. Let’s dive into the facts and figures below to learn why this is our top betting pick.

Betting Lines Analysis: Capitals at Blues

The Blues’ moneyline increased from -125 to -140, but here’s where it gets interesting. It’s the Capitals getting 65 percent of public bets on the moneyline while the Blues are getting 87 percent of the money wagered in that regard.

In addition, the total has stayed the same at 5.5. We’ve seen 72 percent of public bets/99 percent of money wagered on the total going over.

Capitals Betting Form

The Caps are familiar with Banner Night, as they just hosted one of their own last season. That was a comfortable 7-0 win over the Bruins to open the 2018-19 season, so they know how this whole spectacle goes. But does that mean it’ll help against a well-rounded Blues team?

After a crushing first-round exit to the up-and-coming Hurricanes last season, the Caps will look to get back to basics. Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom will lead the top line on a potent offense which scored the fourth-most goals (274 total, 3.34 per game) in the NHL last season. However, you’ve got Backstrom and T.J. Oshie getting older and a Blues’ defensive group that is one of the best in the business.

Braden Holtby will be between the pipes for Washington after going 32-195 with a 2.82 GAA, .911 save percentage and three shutouts last season. You have to wonder how Holtby will respond, as this is a contract year for him, but we’re talking about one game here. At the end of the day, we believe the Blues have the upper hand in that regard.

Blues Betting Form

It really seems like just yesterday we saw the Blues hoisting the Stanley Cup. Hockey does have a quick turnaround from one season to the next, and perhaps that’s why we’ve seen teams come out with a little more vigor recently on Banner Night.

The Blues are bringing one of the most balanced attacks to the table. If you thought the defending champs would fall off, you were incorrect. Brayden Schenn, Vladimir Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz will be the top line that leads the offensive punch for St. Louis. Ryan O’Reilly and David Perron will certainly make an impact as well for a team that ranked in the middle of the NHL in scoring (244 total goals, 2.98 per game). However, we have to remember that the Blues team we saw later in the season was a much better one.

The Blues bolstered their blue line last week by trading for Justin Faulk from the Hurricanes – they even signed him to a huge seven-year deal worth just over $45 million. Adding Faulk is a major addition to a defensive group that already includes Jay Bouwmeester, Alex Pietrangelo, and Colton Parayko.

Jordan Binnington was marvelous for the Blues during the Stanley Cup run and he’ll get the start on Banner Night. A lot of experts still feel like Binnington’s best days are still ahead of him, and that’s a scary thought, considering he went 24-5-1 with a 1.89 GAA, .927 save percentage and five shutouts during the regular season. That, of course, was followed by winning the Cup.

Betting Pick: Blues -1.5 (+180)

While three of the last four meetings between these teams have gone over the total, we think this is a great opportunity to steal some extra funds from the sportsbooks. The Blues will have plenty of mismatches in their favor with the third and fourth lines. Not to mention, St. Louis can throw unbelievably talented defensemen at Ovechkin every time he touches the ice. Look for the Blues to roll easily in this one.

Bettors can get these great odds on the Blues’ puck-line at BetMGM. First-time customers can get a bonus of up to $500 when creating a new account.

San Jose Sharks at Vegas Golden Knights (ML: -175) – O/U: 6.5

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019 – 8:00 p.m. EST

Betting Pick: Over 6.5

William Hill Online Sortsbook Offer: Bet $50 Get $50

The San Jose Sharks and Vegas Golden Knights rivalry has become one of the best in hockey over the last two seasons. This will be the first of two meetings over the next three days, and the two teams even faced off in the final preseason game. Our top pick is for the total to go over 6.5 goals. Let’s dive into the facts and figures below to learn why this is our top betting pick.

Betting Lines Analysis: Sharks at Golden Knights

The Golden Knights’ moneyline has decreased from -190 to -175. We’ve seen 58 percent of public bets on the Sharks to win on the moneyline while 84 percent of money wagered is on the Golden Knights to win. In addition, the total opened at 6.0 but has since increased to 6.5. We’ve seen 51 percent of public bets/60 percent of money wagered on the under at 6.5.

Sharks Betting Form

The Sharks scored the second-most goals (289 total, 3.52 per game) last season and we shouldn’t expect anything to change in that regard. They have the best 1-2 defensemen punch in Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson, who are all about getting it done at the offensive end. Burns actually led the Sharks in points (83) last season playing in all 82 games while Karlsson had 45 points in only 53 games. While those 45 points were a career-low for Karlsson, he does have the most points (563) of any NHL defenseman since the 2012-2013 season.

San Jose’s power play will always be humming with those two on it. Last season, they ranked sixth a with 23.7 percent success rate.

The Sharks did lose Joe Pavelski to Dallas in the offseason but this team has plenty of other weapons to make up for it. While they will be without Evander Kane (suspension), Tomas Hertl and Logan Couture are big names that’ll need to keep the foot on the gas pedal offensively.

Martin Jones will get the start between the pipes. He was 36-19-5 with a 2.94 GAA, .896 save percentage and three shutouts last season. For all the offense the Sharks put up for Jones, they did allow the 11th-most goals (258 total, 3.15 per game) in the NHL last season.

Golden Knights Betting Form

The Golden Knights have plenty of motivation coming into this game. In last season’s best-of-seven series between the teams, Vegas was leading 3-0 late when it received an absolutely terrible five-minute penalty which led to San Jose scoring four goals on the ensuing power play.

Vegas was a little better than league-average offensively last season, with 246 goals (3.00 per game) and it should definitely get off to a fast start tonight. Given the aggressive nature of this matchup, the Golden Knights need to improve on their 25th-ranked power play (16.3 percent) last season.

Marc-Andre Fleury will start in goal for the Golden Knights. He was 35-21-5 last season with a 2.51 GAA, .913 save percentage and eight shutouts. Fleury has always been a solid backstop for Vegas, but as we’ve mentioned many times, it’s going to be hard to stay on guard with so many scoring opportunities in this matchup.

Betting Pick: Over 6.5

There should be plenty of power plays in this one, considering there were 114 penalty minutes assessed in that preseason finale. Look for that to be a key in seeing plenty of goals on the board in the season opener. Not to mention, 14 of the last 21 meetings (and seven of the last nine) between the Golden Knights and Sharks have gone over the total.

Bettors can get excellent -105 odds on the 6.5 total at William Hill Sportsbook. First-time customers can get a $50 deposit-match bonus when signing up for a new account.

Al Walsh
Al Walsh Chief Sports Writer