April 5, 2012; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes center Eric Staal (12) carries the puck against the Montreal Canadiens at the PNC center. The Hurricanes defeated the Canadiens 2-1 in the shoot out. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Picks - Week 1

This is the first of what I hope to be a weekly sports betting column where I will post my best bets from the NHL every Saturday morning for the games that day. All odds that I quote are from Bet365.

After a long lockout and 13 games to start the season on Saturday I am sure it is tempting to blow the bankroll on the first day.  But even though the season is only 48 games long, it is still a marathon not a sprint when it comes to sports wagering.  It is important to be selective in the early going until we have a better read on the teams and try to find teams and situations that present value.

1) St. Louis Blues (Regulation) +130 vs. Detroit – Most sites or casinos offer a regulation bet in the NHL (also known as the 3-way moneyline) and I find this to be a very valuable type of wager especially when taking a favorite.  The Blues are my top rated team in the Western Conference after a break out year last season.  They take on a Detroit Red Wings team that has lost two of its three top defensemen from last season, including Hall of Famer Nicklas Lidstrom.  I think the Blues will be too much to handle for the Wings on opening night and we get really good value with the Regulation line in this spot.

2) Carolina Hurricanes (Moneyline) +115 at Florida – The Hurricanes made a couple big moves in the off-season trading for Jordan Staal and signing unrestricted free agent Alex Semin. They are a team that is on the rise and I expect them to challenge for the Southeast division title. The Florida Panthers are coming off a surprising season winning the Southeast division.  However, they were the only team that made the playoffs with a negative goal differential and they led the league with 18 points from shootout and overtime losses.  It’s safe to say that they were a little lucky and we can expect a decline in performance this season. Take the Hurricanes as the road dog.


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