2018 NHL All- Star Game Betting Preview

Doug Upstone

Friday, January 26, 2018 7:16 PM UTC

Friday, Jan. 26, 2018 7:16 PM UTC

We are at the so-called midseason break in the NHL, and today on NBC at 3:30 Eastern there is the revised format of the All-Star Game. This has become more popular with fans and players.

Two years ago, the league went to a 3-on-3 style tournament with four different teams. Two teams representing the Eastern and Western conferences will face off against each other, with the two winners squaring off for the championship. The Metropolitan Division will face the Atlantic on the Eastern side of the bracket, while the Central and Pacific divisions will battle for Western supremacy.

The rosters will include six forwards, three defensemen and two goalies for each team.The festivities are being held at Amalie Arena in Tampa, and the winning team will share $1 million in prize money.

Atlantic vs. Metropolitan Divisions

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Free NHL Pick: AtlanticBest Line Offered: Bookmaker

Eastern Conference Outlook

The NHL odds have the Atlantic Division as opening -120 favorites. The Metropolitan is the reigning champions and they have a loaded roster again. They will have on the ice three elite scorers in Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and John Tavares, who have always thrived in their careers with so much open space. They will be supported by Josh Bailey (Islanders), Claude Giroux (Flyers) and Taylor Hall (Devils).

The Atlantic will have the home crowd advantage and they will be cheering for the four Tampa Bay players. They are forwards Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos, along with defenseman Victor Hedman and netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Though the Metropolitan is certainly talented, the Lightning can coordinate players and has great free-lancers in Brad Marchand (Bruins), Auston Matthews (Maple Leafs) and Erik Karlsson (Senators), which is why I will lean with Atlantic.

Central vs. Pacific Divisions

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Free NHL Pick: PacificBest Line Offered: BetOnline Western Conference Outlook

In the West, the Pacific Division a very small -107 favorite.

The Central has more than twice as many first-time All-Stars compared to the Pacific, with five vs. two. The new faces in the Central include Brayden Schenn (Blues), Blake Wheeler (Jets), John Klingberg (Stars), Alex Pietrangelo (Blues) and goalie Connor Hellebuyck (Jets). They still have mainstays like Patrick Kane, Tyler Seguin (Stars) and Eric Staal (Wild), all who have made at least five All-Star appearances.

The Pacific Division has just a pair of fresh faces in F Brock Boeser (Canucks) and Rickard Rakell (Ducks). No question this division has more veterans like F Johnny Gaudreau (Flames), Anze Kopitar (Kings), Brent Burns (Sharks) and Drew Doughty (Kings). Plus, Connor McDavid, makes it two appearances in his first two years in spite of how Edmonton has played this season.

We would be remiss to not include James Neal and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who are each All-Stars for a third time, just now with a remarkable Vegas squad.

For NHL picks, I'll side with the Pacific's experience.

And The Winner Is......

At this time we have no odds on the championship game, however, I will stay with the Atlantic because of the home crowd and having extra rest.

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