Free NHL Picks: Best Betting Trio for Opening Night

David Lawrence

Wednesday, October 7, 2015 3:21 PM UTC

Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015 3:21 PM UTC

The countdown is finally over as the 2015-16 NHL season is set to get underway on Wednesday night with four games, including the best NHL picks to start on the winning track.

Montreal Canadiens vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
The Maple Leafs are at the start of a bigger rebuild than perhaps anybody actually realizes as despite reloading their front office and bringing in arguably the best head coach in the NHL in Mike Babcock they still have an extremely long way to go from a talent perspective before they will be ready to contend for a playoff spot again. Phil Kessel’s exit has changed the dynamic of this team and they really don’t have an identity with castoffs like Brad Boyes and PA Parenteau expected to figure prominently among their top-six forwards. Meanwhile, Montreal expects to contend for a Stanley Cup once again this season led by the league’s reigning Hart and Vezina trophy winner Carey Price. The Canadiens took a chance on Alex Semin with the hope that he can deliver on a one-year deal while new captain Max Pacioretty, Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher will be expected to continue their ascent. Montreal is in a different league than its biggest rival right now and this could be one of the most lopsided games for opening night in the NHL. Take the Canadiens with your NHL picks.

NHL Pick: Canadiens -135 at Heritage

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Vancouver Canucks vs. Calgary Flames
The Flames are a team on the rise in the Western Conference and will welcome back their star defenseman in Mark Giordano after he missed the second half of last year. Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau and Sam Bennett lead a talented young cast and Calgary has one of the deepest defense cores in the NHL but there are still some concerns about the team’s goaltending with Karri Ramo getting the nod to start the opener. Meanwhile, there is no concern about Vancouver’s goaltending situation with Ryan Miller expected to play at an elite level again this season. The Sedin twins continue to rank among the highest scoring duos in the NHL every season and with the ascension of Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi on a second line that includes Radim Vrbata the Canucks could spoil the party for the home faithful in Calgary on Wednesday night. Take them as a dog on the NHL odds.

NHL Pick: Canucks +125 at Pinnacle

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San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings
The Kings hope that improved health and the addition of Milan Lucic can help make the difference in them getting back to the playoffs after falling short last season and they will be looking to make a statement in their opener against one of their California rivals. The Sharks opted against a complete rebuild and will hope that former LA goaltender Martin Jones can be their answer in goal after trading for him to be their No. 1 in the offseason. Joe Pavelski was named San Jose’s captain a couple of days ago and will lead their top six that is once again built around Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Logan Couture. Scoring was a problem for the Sharks last season though and it won’t get any easier in their opener against a Kings team that is looking to return to its strengths and shut down opposing attacks as one of the top defensive teams in the league this season. Look for this to be a lower scoring game with Los Angeles pulling out the victory on home ice.

NHL Pick: Kings -154 at 5Dimes

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