Canelo Alvarez puts his four super middleweight titles on the line for a shot at becoming the first-ever undisputed super middleweight champion in boxing history. In his way is Caleb Plant who holds the IBF title and is looking to shock the world as a 6-1 underdog. This will either be easy work for Canelo or we’re all in on for the upset of the year.
NHL 2021-22 Opening Week Picks: Canadian Teams Are Undefeated!
The NHL season starts this coming Tuesday, but the betting lines for the first seven games have been up for months now. We preview the five best games while updating the Stanley Cup odds for each Canadian team. Small spoiler: most teams remain long shots.
All Canadian teams are unbeaten! That’s the dad joke to start every NHL season, but a quick look at the betting odds here (courtesy of the top online sportsbooks) shows that some teams will do more losing than winning. If this is the year the Stanley Cup “comes home”, it remains a pipe dream.
|2021-22 Stanley Cup Odds|
Toronto Maple Leafs
We already examined each Canadian team and their betting odds a few weeks ago. The betting lines have not changed much since. The preseason is not an indicator of regular-season success unless an injury happens to a star player or two.
Now, we can look forward to this Tuesday for the official start of the 2021-22 NHL season. We look at the five best games of the first two nights featuring five of the seven Canadian teams.
Breaking Down The Best Opening Games
We have seven NHL games in the first two nights and three of them have Canadian teams in action. The NHL betting lines have been out on these games for a while so there has been some action on all the lines, via SportsInteraction (SIA).
Pittsburgh Penguins at Tampa Bay Lightning (Tue, Oct. 12)
- Moneyline: Pittsburgh 2.42, Tampa Bay 1.59
- Puckline: Pittsburgh +1.5 (1.51), Tampa Bay -1.5 (2.64)
- Over/Under: Over 6.0 (1.89), Under 6.0 (1.93)
Since this line opened, Tampa Bay has received most of the action. The Lightning have won four straight games against Pittsburgh and are 5-1 in their last six. Even if the back-to-back Stanley Cup champions have lost plenty of key players this offseason, they will still have the better offence and goaltending.
But even if Tampa is 7-3-0 in its last ten over Pittsburgh, the goal differential has been tight: 36 to 31. Tampa has also only beaten Pittsburgh by two or more goals twice in this span. It all depends on Pittsburgh’s goaltender: Tristan Jarry and if he can put on a solid performance.
Montreal Canadiens at Toronto Maple Leafs (Wed, Oct. 13)
- Moneyline: Montreal 2.65, Toronto 1.51
- Puckline: Montreal +1.5 (1.59), Toronto -1.5 (2.41)
- Over/Under: Over 5.5 (1.76), Under 5.5 (2.09)
The Leafs are receiving two-thirds of the action here despite what just happened to them in last season’s playoffs. Montreal has won three straight against Toronto, but this is the regular season where the Leafs went 7-2-1 against the Canadiens in the North Division.
Montreal has also lost some key players like shutdown center Philip Danault, who was instrumental in holding Toronto’s star players in check. Toronto may exact some vengeance here and blow out Montreal. The under 5.5 goals is a solid play at plus-money as four of these teams’ last five games have gone under.
Winnipeg Jets at Anaheim Ducks (Wed, Oct. 13)
- Moneyline: Winnipeg 1.64, Anaheim 2.30
- Puckline: Winnipeg -1.5 (2.55), Anaheim +1.5 (1.54)
- Over/Under: Over 5.5 (2.00), Under 5.5 (1.83)
Winnipeg is the biggest favourite of the Canadian teams, thanks to playing Anaheim, one of the worst teams on paper. The Jets were a cash cow on the puck line last season and could make money at plus-odds here. The team has beat up on Anaheim in recent history going 8-1-1 in their last ten against them.
Betting the under is also a given here. Anaheim will struggle to score goals and will make Winnipeg earn every one. The totals have gone under in five of their last seven games in Anaheim.
Chicago Blackhawks at Colorado Avalanche (Wed, Oct. 13)
- Moneyline: Chicago 3.33, Colorado 1.35
- Puckline: Chicago +1.5 (2.00), Colorado -1.5 (1.83)
- Over/Under: Over 6.0 (1.87), Under 6.0 (1.95)
The other team to make plenty of offseason moves, the Blackhawks, looks to be significantly improved. That said, they could just get blown out by the Avalanche here. Colorado won the Presidents’ Trophy last season and dominated until it ran into the Vegas Golden Knights in the playoffs.
If siding with Colorado, like nearly 80% of bettors are, it may be better to take a shot at the puck line. Colorado is 6-2-2 in their last ten against Chicago and all six wins were by two goals or more.
Vancouver Canucks at Edmonton Oilers (Wed, Oct. 13)
- Moneyline: Vancouver 2.55, Edmonton 1.54
- Puckline: Vancouver +1.5 (1.61), Edmonton -1.5 (2.37)
- Over/Under: Over 6.5 (2.00), Under 6.5 (1.83)
The Canucks and Oilers combine to average nearly 6.30 goals when they meet. Five of their last six games in Edmonton have gone over. With a healthier Canucks team and Oiler duo Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl pissed from another early playoff exit, we can see video game-like scoring here.
As for who will win, there is some value on the underdogs here. The Oilers are still not a great defensive team and did not improve this offseason despite their big-name acquisitions. Vancouver, however, did make upgrades up in front and can outscore the prolific Oilers.
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