NHL All-Star Game Betting Guide, Tips & Advice to Consider
The NHL All-Star Game used to be a very competitive game in which real checking occurred and teams really wanted to win. The 1971 All-Star Game, for instance, was won by the West, 2-1, over the East.
By the early 1980s through the early 2000s, the ASG became a no-defense, no-hitting, not-real-hockey affair, full of double-digit scores. It wasn’t very exciting and it wasn’t real hockey.
After many different format changes (remember when the “World” played “North America”), the league seems to have found success with a format that has been in since 2016.
Since going to a three-on-three, round-robin “tournament” featuring three games among the four divisions, the game has been more fun to watch. The new format went into effect in 2016 in Nashville, and has generally been much better received than the previous football-type scores.
How should fans of NHL betting approach the NHL ASG, though? We’ve got some pointers.
How to Bet the NHL All-Star Game
Think Low Scoring In Final Game
In the first three championship games of the three-on-three format, none of the combined scoring exceeded seven goals. In the first year of the three-on-three (2016), in fact, the Pacific beat the Atlantic by just a 1-0 score.
The other two games, one won by the Metropolitan and one by the Pacific, had seven combined goals each. So for those betting the NHL goals market, be advised.
The first games of the round-robin tourney have had higher scores, including a 10-3 Pacific win over the Central in 2017. The earlier games seem to be more casual affairs. But the championship has been genuinely hard-played.
There is a $1 million prize that gets split up by the players on the winning team. Hey, that may be chump change to many of them, but money’s money.
Shy Away From Superstars In Mvp Betting
While it may seem foolish not to bet on the top stars for the MVP award, recent history has shown that smaller name-guys often walk away with it.
In 2018, for example, Vancouver youngster Brock Boeser won it. Wayne Simmonds won it the year before, and John Scott the year before that (and, legitimately so, despite being a vaudevillian choice to play).
The superstars seem like they want to be nicer guys, passing the puck a lot more than they shoot, giving the glory to other guys. Despite being voted in as a team captain in 2019, Ovechkin skipped the game to rest. Superstar players, especially those who have been at many of these, just don’t take it as seriously as, say, the first-time selection who wants to prove he belongs.
In New Format, Youth and Mobile D-Men Matter
It’s not easy trying to forecast a champion among the four divisional teams. Each team is stacked. But in general, teams with younger legs and better offensive defenseman have done the best so far. In a three-on-three, with all that open ice, you want youth and speed.
It’s tiring playing three-on-three -- a lot more skating than at five-on-five. Young legs handle that better. And, teams that have defensemen who can naturally skate in open ice are extra valuable, because they’re better at stripping pucks away in the defensive zone than forwards.
When they do that, then they can zoom up the ice, usually in odd-man-rush situations.
More Players From Same Team Matter
If you’ve got a division team that has two or three players from their real teams, that’s probably an edge to strongly consider when wagering. In 2019, for instance, the Colorado Avalanche’s entire first line -- Nathan MacKinnon, Gabe Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen -- played for the Central Division team.
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