Our NHL handicapping professional discusses four teams he believes will possess optimum underdog betting value early in the season. Go inside to read this intriguing and insightful article detailing precisely why he’s chosen these clubs.
NHL Best Money Line Underdog Bets in October
The 2016-2017 NHL regular season is right around the corner. When reviewing each team's current active roster, I actively sought clubs which are likely to be profitable money line underdog betting values, especially so in October. My thought process was quite simple. Identify teams I deem to be the most improved, and as a result, will be undervalued at the onset of this upcoming NHL campaign. I've decided on four clubs meeting those precise criteria, and there's two of them from each conference. Let me share those teams with you, and provide some specific reasons why I came to those conclusions.
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The Flames are just 2 years removed from being a playoff team. After that very surprising 2014-2015 season which saw them advance to the Western Conference Semifinals, they regressed a year ago. The biggest enigma and cause for the decline was their poor goaltending. Well, that was addressed during the offseason, and done so in emphatic fashion.
Calgary's goaltending has gone from its biggest weakness a season ago, to a place of strength for the upcoming season. The additions of former St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott, and free agent acquisition Chad Johnson (Buffalo) are an immense upgrade. Elliot was 23-8-2 for St. Louis last season, compiling a stellar 2.07 GAA, and a superb .930 save percentage. Johnson is coming off a career year in Buffalo, going 22-16-1 with a 2.36 GAA and .920 save percentage. Solid goaltending can steal games that should have otherwise been lost.
It's about time that all the premium draft picks Edmonton amassed in recent years begins to pay dividends. I believe that will be the case this year when they open their brand new arena. The excitement, anticipation, and expectation level will be extremely high. Quite frankly, it should be, and this talented young roster is running out of excuses for past failures.
What's different compared to past years? It's a simple answer, Connor McDavid is back, and healthy after missing 37 games last season. When he was able to play, the teenage rookie sensation lived up to the hype, scoring 16 goals, adding 32 assists, and scoring 48 points in just 45 games played. He's the real deal, and will make others around him exceed their career averages. One of those players is veteran Milan Lucic who was obtained in free agency during the past offseason. It wouldn't shock me in the least to see Lucic collect his first career 40-goal season, and only so if regularly placed on a line with McDavid.
New Jersey Devils
Anytime you have a goaltender the caliber of Cory Schneider, wagering on him as a money line underdog will most times than not provide an enticing betting value. Schneider was 27-25-1 last year with a rock solid .924 save percentage, and also posted 4 shutouts.
After missing the playoffs last season, I firmly believe New Jersey will be a serious contender to be in the postseason parade during this go around. New Jersey returns a pair of 30-goal scorers in Adam Henrique and Kyle Palmieri. They were also able to attain 24-year-old Taylor Hall in a trade with Edmonton. Hall tallied 26 goals, 39 assists, and 65 points for the Oilers a season ago. Another key addition will be veteran defensemen, Ben Lovejoy. The 32-year-old Lovejoy was an integral part of Pittsburgh's 2016 Stanley Cup winning run.
There's a good chance that NHL betting odds will allow you to catch New Jersey at some pretty attractive prices during October. Keep an eye out for those ideal situations to arise.
The Sabres made a 27-point improvement last season compared to the one before. I look for them to continue climbing up the NHL standings. This a young but very talented team. Buffalo had four 20-goal scorers a season ago, and each was 24-years-old or younger. Center Ryan O'Reilly was Buffalo's leading scorer and looks to be on the cusp of being an elite NHL player. Second-year pros Jack Eichel (24 goals) and Sam Reinhart (23 goals) are stars in the making, and both are coming off terrific rookie seasons.
Goaltender Robin Lehner is back and healthy. Lehner required offseason surgery on his ankle. The big Swede broke his ankle in last year's season opener, missed half the year, and upon his return was hindered by that prior to finally being shut down in March. Lehner has worked extremely hard on his rehab, and I look for him to be in top form as Buffalo's #1 goaltender.
My professional advice, stay on high alert in order to catch Buffalo as an underdog for one of your NHL picks during the first month of action. This will be a 90-point or more team, and they'll be a very realistic.