Check out the Betway Insider’s NHL picks and predictions page for best bets throughout the 2020-21 NHL season.
Toronto Maple Leafs to beat Ottawa Senators
The Maple Leafs are the class of the newly-created North Division, and the Senators are not.
In an up-and-down season last year, the Maple Leafs controlled play enough to rank within the top-10 teams in goal differential, while the Senators were second-bottom in the NHL. The Battle of Ontario isn’t what it once was.
In the second half of a back-to-back between the two teams, you can’t lean as heavily on your top players, and Toronto simply have far more depth than Ottawa.
Boston Bruins to beat New Jersey Devils
A great performance by McKenzie Blackwood helped the Devils take the first game between these teams to a shootout, but when you look closely, the Bruins dominated from puck-drop on.
At 5-vs-5 the Bruins controlled 55 per cent of the shot attempts, 62 per cent of the shots on goal, and 57 per cent of the scoring chances, but were outscored 2-0.
The Devils should be better than last year, but they’re still not great, and Boston aren’t often beaten at even strength.
Vegas Golden Knights to beat Anaheim Ducks
By almost every analytical model, the Vegas Golden Knights were the most dominant team in the NHL last season. Poor goaltending and some bad luck shooting robbed them of dominating the standings, but don’t bet on that happening again.
The Ducks are in the middle of a rebuild, and the Golden Knights already took it to them in a 5-2 win on Thursday in which they controlled an absurd 70 per cent of the high danger scoring chances at even strength.
Carolina Hurricanes to beat Detroit Red Wings
The Detroit Red Wings were historically bad last season, and they haven’t done much to improve themselves in the short term.
The Carolina Hurricanes, meanwhile, are a relentless group that pounds teams into submission with piles of shots.
The two opened their respective seasons against each other on Wednesday – Carolina won 3-0 while outshooting Detroit 43-14.
Even a brilliant performance from Thomas Greiss in goal couldn’t save the Red Wings, and there’s no reason to believe the same thing won’t happen again.
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