NHL Picks: Betting Advice & Analysis for Global Series
The 2022-23 NHL season opens on Friday afternoon with the first of a two-game series between the Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks.
The action starts at 2 p.m. ET from the O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic. The Predators and Sharks will be televised on NHL Network, Bally Sports South, and NBC Sports Bay Area And California.
Welcome Back, NHL Bettors!
The 3½ month layoff probably felt like it was much longer. Yes, it has been that long since the Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup. After that, there was the NHL Draft, free agency, and the summer wilderness.
It is nice to get back to writing, talking, and watching hockey. NHL wagering takes the most patience out of four major sports. Gambling.com is going to jump right in with you.
Though the preseason has featured some exciting twists, the games that count are the focus. Sports bettors, especially the hockey brethren, should be at the ready. Game 1 for Nashville and San Jose comes upon us in about 72 hours.
Keys For The Nashville Predators This Season
The Nashville Predators have a healthy Juuse Saros for the start of the season. Saros might not win a Vezina Trophy this year, but he is one of the best goaltenders in the NHL. He played a league-high 67 games and more than 3,900 minutes last season. He won 38 games but had 43 quality starts and an NHL-best 14.0 goalie point share.
Saros might very well play 65-70 games again. Nashville does not have a viable backup in goal they can trust. Kevin Lankinen was brought in but may only start around 15 games if he is lucky.
Also, Nashville will have to find a way to allow less than 225 goals (Predators gave up 252). That has been the goal for Nashville this season. Roman Josi said as much yesterday when the club was in Bern, Switzerland. Oh, Josi not only had 96 points last year but played solid defense for the most part. The best defense is an excellent offense.
Josi not only had 96 points last year but played solid defense for the most part. The best defense is an excellent offense.
Nashville had 10 players score 10 or more goals, scoring 266 times in 2021-22 (12th in the NHL). They must grow and complement the top point producers via younger players like Eeli Toivanen and Tanner Jeannot.
Matt Duchene and Filip Forsberg could be paired with Ryan Johansen again. More than likely, Nino Niederreiter was brought in to sure up the top-six scoring. Niederreiter plays a pretty solid two-way game too.
One can make a case for Nashville to improve by keeping its top players healthy. Filip Forsberg cannot miss 15 games for the Predators. Saros cannot suffer a late-season injury in an almost meaningless game.
Nashville might be able to take that next step as teams like Minnesota, St. Louis, and Dallas could take a step back. The opportunity may just be there to avoid the wild card.
For the NHL Global Series, it is easy to stick with the moneyline for Nashville. At -175, it is not optimal, but the spread might not be trustworthy for an opener. Risking the under of 6 at +100 is another wager.
Keys For The San Jose Sharks This Season
The San Jose Sharks came off a 32-37-13 season in 2021-22. They gutted their management. A new general manager in Mike Grier, Bob Boughner, was replaced by former New York Rangers coach David Quinn. The Sharks moved Brent Burns and acquired Luke Kunin.
Tomas Hertl and Timo Meier are the young duo that needs to keep things together. Erik Karlsson and Marc-Edouard Vlasic are shells of their former selves. Oskar Lindblom and William Eklund come to mind.
San Jose scored just 214 goals last season (30th in the NHL). They gave up 264. Both numbers will likely go up this year as the Sharks try to play with a little more tempo. Topping 70 points might be a tough sell for the Sharks even in the Pacific Division, especially if they unload assets before the trade deadline.
As for the Friday and Saturday games, if Saros starts against Kaapo Kakkonen on Friday, that is a significant advantage for Nashville. After that, it will be interesting to see if Kevin Lankinen plays for the Predators in game No. 2.
James Reimer would be the ideal Game 2 start but keep an eye either way before game time. San Jose, either way, will need that goaltending to play above their means for the Sharks to have a chance in most games.
Best Bets to Make for Nashville vs. San Jose
NHL bettors have the following lean options for Friday:
- The plus money spread at 1.5 is +135 for Nashville.
- See the shots prop for the San Jose goalie and lean the Over.
- Nashville under 3.5 goals (-125) or San Jose under 2.5 goals (-115) via DraftKings.
Good luck, ladies and gentlemen. Let’s get back to that hockey!
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