The NHL All-Star Game is back in action for the first time in three years. Last year, the guys were in Sochi, Russia for the 2014 Winter Olympics and the year before, there was the NHL lockout. Now we’re back in action in Columbus where Team Foligno is a small NHL betting favorite versus Team Toews.
Team Toews vs. Team Foligno
Odds: Team Foligno -115
For a full disclaimer, if you’re betting on NHL All-Star hockey, you’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel. I mean, come on: let’s just wait a couple of days until the real, live action gets back to business.
But, of course, we’re betting anything that moves on the ice and that includes the All-Star Game. When evaluating the rosters, there’s very little to go on now that we have a fantasy draft. On Friday, two captains – Jonathan Toews and Nick Foligno – selected their teams. For those who watched, they might want to give the edge to Team Toews as Team Foligno was very much the buddy system – at least early on. In the first three or four rounds, players were picking fellow teammates opposed to the best players available and that could give Toews the edge. When you look at the talent pound-for-pound, Team Toews ended up with five of the top nine points leaders while Team Foligno only got three (two of the players in that top-nine aren’t playing). When it comes to goaltenders, it looks like Team Toews picked the better crop with Corey Crawford, Roberto Luongo and Jaroslav Halak.
At the end of the day, it’s an All-Star Game, so we’re grasping for straws a little bit but in this case, it seems like Team Toews has an edge.
NHL Pick: Total 21
We’re faced with a total of 21 on the NHL odds in this contest and the logical bet in this game is an over. Yes, it is an insanely large number – especially since there’s virtually never a total of 5.5 or 6 in a regular hockey game. However, the NHL All-Star Game is not a regular game. Don’t expect to see much defense here whatsoever as there’s no hard checking in this game. That means the offensive players will have plenty of space to work with, maneuver and create plays. That also means we should see some goals.
Beyond that, the goaltenders don’t impress me that much as there aren’t a ton of shutdown netminders. There’s Luongo, Halak, Corey Crawford, Brian Elliott, Carey Price and Marc-Andre Fleury. Other than Price, the remaining guys are having good season but aren’t historically great. And Fleury especially could be a weak link. He’s had a rough time recently as his Penguins have dropped 10 of 13 and he’s been one of the chief reasons for that slump. He has an .892 save percentage and a 3.19 GAA this month.
It’s hard to handicap an All-Star Game as we’re really grasping for straws, but it seems like we have a little bit to go on here. Also, four of the last five All-Star Games have seen 21 goals or more, so we’ll take the over as our NHL pick.
Parlay Pick: Team Toews & Over 21 at The Greek