As part of the new Pittsburgh Penguins season, Pittsburgh Hockey Now will have some fun with NHL betting content. We’ve enlisted the help of professional gambling writers, who know what they’re doing. We’re providing the information for entertainment and do not ever recommend betting more than you’re comfortable spending.
In other words, don’t go nuts but if you gamble, enjoy it. And here are 31 prop bets, one for each team, including those aforementioned Pittsburgh Penguins.
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Slap Shots: 31 Futures Bets to Look at for the 2021 NHL Season
by Alex B. Smith (@axsmithsports)
The NHL Regular Season gets underway on Wednesday evening, and I’m going to guide you through the NHL betting with a Futures Wager to back on each team. We’ve shopped the better bet from the different sites. Make sure to create an account with the links above!
Anaheim Ducks – Season Total UNDER 54.5 Points (-110 BetMGM)
Despite having a top-notch goaltender in John Gibson, the Ducks are very thin up front on offense and still have some question marks on the blue-line. Scoring will be tough to come by in this new Western Division, and Anaheim will suffer as a result.
Arizona Coyotes – To Make The Playoffs (YES +175 BetMGM)
Things have been a bit rocky in the Desert this off-season, but the ‘Yotes have a solid mix of gritty veterans and young scorers in their line-up, along with a top goalie in Darcy Kuemper, who’s improved greatly over his last 2 1/2 seasons in Glendale. With teams like Minnesota and San Jose trending downward in the West, look for Arizona to grab that 4th & Final Playoff berth this Spring.
Boston Bruins – Season Total UNDER 71.5 Points (-112 BetRivers)
2 years removed from playing in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, this B’s club looked worn out in their playoff exit last season against Tampa Bay. Thanks to realignment for this shortened campaign, they have to battle the likes of Philadelphia, Washington & the New York Rangers. I expect a steep decline in Beantown, especially with the void left on the blue-line and in Special Teams with no Torry Krug or Zdeno Chara around.
Buffalo Sabres – Season Total UNDER 56.5 Points (-112 BetRivers)
One of the long-struggling franchises of this past decade will most likely end this shortened season near the bottom of the Eastern Division despite having such young talented stars like forward Jack Eichel and defensemen Rasmus Dahlin & Rasmus. The club signed veterans Taylor Hall & Eric Staal as a means to add some much-needed offensive punch. Still, stable defense and goaltending have really been the anchors keeping the Blue & Gold in the bottom of the league, with Carter Hutton & Linus Ullmark struggling for key periods of the last 2 seasons. Do not expect to see a surge of victories in Hot Wing Country this winter.
Calgary Flames – Johnny Gaudreau Most Team Goals (+350 BetMGM)
After coming off a Career-Low 18 goals last season, the 27-year old New Jersey native looks primed for a bounceback year with the Flames competing for a playoff berth in the All-Canadian North Division. Gaudreau should get a ton of scoring looks once again now that he’s paired with newly acquired winger Dominik Simon from Pittsburgh on the top forward line.
Carolina Hurricanes – Sebastian Aho to Win Rocket Richard Trophy (Most Goals – +2200 BetMGM)
The man they call “C-Bass” in Raleigh, 23-year old Finnish native Sebastian Aho, is one of the NHL’s premier scorers, with 121 tallies in his first 4 seasons. The Hurricanes will take on some weak goaltending for the bulk of the year, facing clubs like Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, Florida & Nashville. I expect Aho to light the lamp all winter and lead the league in Goals come May.
It’s a bit of a long shot, but this is NHL betting at its best!
Chicago Blackhawks – Dylan Strome Most Team Goals (+1300 BetRivers)
The Hawks are loaded offensively, with Patrick Kane, Alex DeBrincat & Dominik Kubalik as their top forwards. But due to injuries to captain Jonathan Toews and young center Kirby Dach, the former 2015 3rd Overall Draft pick has now been elevated to the top line alongside Kane & DeBrincat. He will have a good shot to get past his career-high mark of 20 goals, offering some good betting value to lead what will be a struggling Chicago club this season.
Colorado Avalanche – Nathan MacKinnon to Win Art Ross Trophy (Most Points – +550 BetMGM)
I’m looking to back the 25-year old Nova Scotia native to lead all of Hockey in scoring. Last year, he scored 35 goals & 58 assists, ranking 5th in Points (93). With Colorado as a strong favorite in the redesigned Western Division this year, MacKinnon should be able to continue his hot run as one of the best scoring threats in the league.
Columbus Blue Jackets – Seth Jones to Win Norris Trophy (Best Defenseman – +2000 BetMGM)
The 4-time All-Star has been one of the best blueliners in all of hockey. With Columbus playing in an offensive-heavy Central Division this season, he should definitely get a strong look at finally winning a Norris if he can lead this Blue Jackets defense toward another solid season & playoff run.
Dallas Stars – Season Total UNDER 67.5 Points (-110 BetMGM)
The reigning Western Conference Champions start off the season a bit later than everyone thanks to some positive COVID cases in their locker room, which won’t make things any easier for a club that is making a quick turnaround after falling short of the Stanley Cup in a grueling postseason. Early season absences include veteran goalie Ben Bishop & forward Tyler Seguin. I feel a slow start is in order down in Big D, which could have them on the outside track for a playoff spot if they aren’t careful.
Detroit Red Wings – Dylan Larkin Most Team Goals (+200 BetRivers)
The Red Wings will face some old familiar foes this season as they get placed in the Central Division with Chicago, Nashville & Columbus. This team is going to struggle once again, but when you look at the weak goaltending they will face for most of this campaign, you have to take a shot with young sniper Dylan Larkin, who has been in the Top 3 lead in Goals with this club in each of the last 3 seasons.
Edmonton Oilers – To Make The Playoffs (NO +130 BetMGM)
Edmonton is a club that just always seems to stumble over themselves once they get on the big stage. We saw them lose in a Qualifying Round upset to Chicago, where once again, all of the heavy lifting on offense fell on the shoulders of Connor McDavid & Leon Draisaitl. They have some big question marks between the pipes with an aging Mike Smith and unstable Mikko Kostkinen sharing duties once again.
Florida Panthers – Alexander Barkov Most Team Goals (+185 BetMGM)
The Panthers might have a rough season in the Central Division with rivals Tampa Bay and Carolina, along with competitive squads like Columbus and Dallas in the mix. Still, one consistent bright spot in this line-up is Alexander Barkov, who has been near the top of the team lead in Goals in the last 2 seasons. With Mike Hoffman now property of St. Louis, look for the 25-year old center to flourish in Ft. Lauderdale once again.
Los Angeles Kings – Season Total OVER 49.5 Points (-115 BetMGM)
There is a youth movement in Hollywood this season. The LA Kings are for production from the second-overall pick, forward Quentin Byfield, and hero for Team USA in the World Juniors Tournament in winger Alex Turcotte. Jonathan Quick, Drew Doughty & Anze Kopitar still run the top position spots for this squad, but I expect Los Angeles to be competitive and force a lot of games into Overtime, which will earn then at least one point in the standings for each time that occurs, which should help them clear the 50-point mark.
Minnesota Wild – Kirill Kaprizov to Win Calder Trophy (Best Rookie – +400 BetMGM)
Things are changing in the Twin Cities, with some of the veteran stalwarts of previous campaigns leaving town. One new addition to the squad is Russian rookie Kirill Kaprizov, who posted back-to-back 30-goal seasons in the KHL and, at age 23, is already surprising scouts and coaches with his advanced speed & scoring ability. He will have to do most of the scoring for this club, making him a solid pick to get a ton of votes, if not outright win the Rookie of The Year award this Summer.
Montreal Canadiens – To Win the North Division (+475 BetMGM)
Expect a lot of tight battles in the All-Canadian quadrant of the league this season, with the Habs right in the thick of things. They have 2 quality goaltenders in Carey Price & Jake Allen, the latter of which arrived after many years with the Blues. Offensively, Tomas Tatar & Brendan Gallagher’s play will carry the way along with Tyler Toffoli and Shea Weber, looking to restore their previous glory runs of yesteryear. This team is deep and should easily be in the Top 4 mix by season’s end.
Nashville Predators – Season Total UNDER 63.5 Points (-112 BetRivers)
The window is closing up in Music City for this Predators team to make a run towards a Stanley Cup title. With an old, injury-prone Pekka Rinne still starting at age 38, and down seasons from Filip Forsberg, Ryan Ellis, Viktor Arvidsson, I don’t see where the spark comes from this year, even with clubs like Chicago and Florida trending downward as well. We shopped the NHL betting sites for the highest point total — take the UNDER.
New Jersey Devils – Jack Hughes Most Team Goals (+1000 BetRivers)
Last season’s #1 Overall Draft pick had a slow rookie campaign, scoring just 7 goals and 21 points in 61 games. Now that he’s elevated to the top scoring line with Nico Hischier on the IR, we could see Hughes start hot and get into a good rhythm in this shortened year.
New York Islanders – Mathew Barzal Most Team Goals (+700 BetRivers)
Now that he has a new contract that keeps him on Long Island for the next 3 years, look for a surge of scoring from this speedy 23-year old who will get plenty of time on the top line as well as on the Power-Play.
New York Rangers – Season Total OVER 60.5 Points (-110 BetMGM)
The New York Rangers were one of the hottest clubs in the NHL during the last 2 months of the NHL Regular Season before the COVID pandemic forced the shutdown of operations in March, going on an 18-10-1 run thanks to the offensive firepower provided by Hart Trophy finalist Artemi Panarin, along with forwards Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider plus the stellar goaltending of rookieIgor Shesterkin (10-2, 2.52 G.A.A; .932 Sv%), and winning the Draft Lottery, acquiring the #1 Overall Pick, which they used to pick speedy winger Alexis Lafreniere from Rimouski in the QMJHL. This team is loaded with scorers and good goaltending, making them a force in the Eastern Division.
Ottawa Senators – Drake Batherson Most Team Goals (+2500 BetMGM)
This is an awfully high price, even for the 22-year old Indiana native, who, despite only having 6 goals in his short 43-game career, will get a chance to at least triple, if not quadruple, that total while playing on the first line with Brady Tkachuk and Josh Norris.
Pittsburgh Penguins – Season Total UNDER 67.5 (-112 BetRivers)
BONUS: (To Make The Playoffs NO +155 BetRivers)
Another powerhouse club that seems to be getting a bit long in the tooth is the Penguins, who suffered a big upset at the Montreal Canadiens’ hands last summer in the Qualifying Series. Sidney Crosby & Evgeni Malkin’s tandem will have to do most of the heavy lifting once again offensively. Meanwhile, unproven Tristan Jarry will have to show if he has the goods to be a true #1 starter with no Matt Murray around to lean on anymore. This division is a bit too tough this year for an older Pens club to be at the top of the hill.
Philadelphia Flyers – Carter Hart to win the Vezina Trophy (Best Goaltender – +1000 BetRivers)
One of the emerging stars in this league, Philly finally has a goalie that they can rely on for the first time since Ron Hextall in the late ’90s. Hart was sensational last season, going 24-13-3 with a 2.42 goals-against average and a .914% Save Percentage over 40 regular season starts. He’s the main key for the Flyers to make a run into the postseason once again and should be one of the 3 finalists for the Vezina this Summer.
San Jose Sharks – Season Total Under 52.5 Points (-110 BetMGM)
It’s going to be a tough season for the San Jose Sharks, who are holding their training camp in Scottsdale, Arizona, because of the COVID pandemic issues in their home county back in California. They will open up with games on the road versus Arizona and throughout the Western Division. This is a very
young & unproven squad outside of the usual suspects like Logan Couture, Brent Burns, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, and the goaltending tandem of Martin Jones and newly acquired Devan Dubnyk, who spent his last several years with Minnesota. This will be an evaluation type of year for this franchise, which is undergoing a slow rebuild after over a decade of disappointing finishes in the postseason with their aging veteran core fading out over time.
St. Louis Blues – To Win the Western Division (+550 BetRivers)
The Blues are still going to be a dangerous club to battle within this West Division. While everyone is worried about Colorado & Vegas, the Blues added some solid pieces with Torey Krug & Mike Hoffman. Both will add some needed scoring punch to their Power Play, and if Jordan Binnington can return to his rookie form that helped STL hoist their first-ever Stanley Cup 2 seasons ago, this will be a squad to watch near the top.
Tampa Bay Lightning – To Win the Central Division (+135 BetMGM)
Barring a rash of crazy injuries or that darned Coronavirus, the Bolts should be back in the playoffs as a Division title winner. The rest of the field is hardly competitive on their level, save for Carolina, a good team but has some back-end issues. This solid offensive core and their strong goaltending from Andrei Vasileviskiy will keep them on top throughout the Winter.
Toronto Maple Leafs – Season Total UNDER 71.5 Points (-110 BetMGM)
The Maple Leafs seem to be stuck in their own version of “Groundhog Day” every season. They dominate in the Regular Season, often finishing 1st or 2nd in the Atlantic and then suffering a disappointing playoff exit. This season, they won’t even have to leave the Great North, with the all-Canadian Division formed for this short year. The Top 4 stars of Auston Matthews, John Tavares, MitchMarner & William Nylander, will continue their offensive success. We could see a solid year from goalie Fredrik Andersen, who has posted stellar numbers in his career versus each opponent in their temporary division. However, question marks remain for this shaky blue-line corps. Toronto will be a playoff team, but with surging talented teams like Vancouver and Calgary, I could see them falling just short of this high number.
Vancouver Canucks – Season Total OVER 61.5 Points (-112 BetRivers)
BONUS: (To Win the North Division +700 BetMGM)
The Vancouver Canucks will continue their forward progress as a franchise after what many consider to be a very respectable run in the Playoffs last Summer. Vancouver dispatched the Minnesota Wild 3-1 in the Qualification Round, then eliminated the reigning Champs St. Louis in 6 games before being bounced by Vegas in a tightly contested series that went the full 7 games. The youth movement, led by rising superstars Elias Petterson, forward Brock Boeser, and defenseman Quinn Hughes, carried the way along with big contributions from veteran forward J.T. Miller and Captain Bo Horvat. Newly acquired goaltender Braden moves from Washington, where he spent 10 seasons and won a Stanley Cup. He will back-up & mentor Thatcher Demko, who emerged as the #1 option between the pipes when Jacob Markstrom suffered an injury in the playoffs. Add into the mix gritty D-man Nate Schmidt, and this squad’s rise reminds me of the Chicago Blackhawks a decade earlier, which we eventually saw that young corps of talent capture 3 Stanley Cups in their dynasty run. I don’t expect that same amount of production right away from Vancouver, but I definitely feel they can finish 1st or 2nd in this new North Division.
Vegas Golden Knights – William Karlsson Most Team Points (+550 BetMGM)
“Wild Bill,” as he’s lovingly known in Sin City, will look to have a bounceback season for the Knights after only netting 15 goals last year. He should get more time now on the Power-Play unit, which would greatly improve his chances of scoring and picking up his teammates with assists.
Washington Capitals – Alex Ovechkin to Win the Rocket Richard Trophy (Most Goals +600 BetMGM)
It’s a matter of time and health before “The Great 8” finally reaches Wayne Gretzky’s All-Time Goals mark of 894. At just 188 away, he will still be able to put a dent in that mark once again and is in line to win this award for the 10th time in his illustrious career.
Winnipeg Jets – Mark Scheifele Most Team Goals (+350 BetMGM)
The 27-year old Canadian forward has scored 23 or more goals in each of the last 5 seasons for the Jets. With questions about Patrik Laine possibly being traded at some point, more of the offensive responsibility will fall on this man’s shoulders.