Canadian NHL Betting: Five Tips Ahead of New Season
Summer doesn’t last very long in Canada, but it seems like forever when you’re waiting for hockey to start up again. The wait is finally over; Canadian NHL betting on preseason games is happening right now at Bodog Sportsbook, and the 2022-23 regular season begins this Friday with the NHL Global Series in Prague, where the San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators will play twice before returning to North America.
This is a very important year for the seven Canadian-based teams. At press time, the Toronto Maple Leafs are +700 second favourites to break the curse and win their first Stanley Cup since 1967. The Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames are both viable contenders at +1500, and fans of the Vancouver Canucks (+3500), Ottawa Senators (+5000), Winnipeg Jets (+6000) and Montreal Canadiens (+15000) are looking for positive signs that their rebuilding clubs are trending in the right direction.
One thing we’re all looking forward to is the chance to bet on big-time hockey again. Here are five important things to keep in mind before you put down your money, things that casual bettors might not be aware of heading into the new season.
1. Major Changes in Montreal
The Habs went from Cup finalists two years ago to the bottom of the standings, mostly because goaltender Carey Price and defenseman Shea Weber weren’t around. But their collapse could be a blessing in disguise.
Most importantly, Martin St. Louis was promoted from interim to full head coach in June, after receiving praise for the way he helped develop Montreal’s very promising winger, Cole Caufield. St. Louis will have even more young talent to work with this year, including the No. 1 overall pick, winger Juraj Slafkovsky.
It might take a while to develop those players, but Montreal have hope for immediate improvement in net now that Jake Allen is healthy and on a new two-year contract extension. Allen was limited to 35 games last year, forcing the Habs to use four unproven goalies in Price’s absence. The depth chart is still very shaky behind Allen, but Montreal should have betting value anytime he’s between the pipes.
2. McDavid for MVP?
As the consensus best player in the world, Edmonton centre Connor McDavid has a head start on the rest of the Hart Trophy field. McDavid is the +250 favourite on Bodog’s NHL MVP odds board, ahead of the reigning Hart winner, Leafs centre Auston Matthews (+425).
The problem is with the voters. The Hart Trophy winner is decided by members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association, and they tend to overvalue pure goal scoring – which may be the reason why Matthews (60 goals) won last year’s award ahead of McDavid (44 goals) and New York Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin.
This doesn’t mean McDavid won’t win the Hart; his all-around game was good enough to take home the silverware in 2016-17 and 2020-21. But Matthews is a strong candidate to score 60 goals again this year, his Leafs are in better shape to win the Cup, and Matthews doesn’t face the same vote-splitting concerns that McDavid does with his teammate, 2019-20 Hart winner Leon Draisaitl (+600).
3. Penalties Under Review
There was only one change to the rulebook this offseason, but it could have a significant effect on scoring and Canadian NHL betting. With the revised Rule 20.6, referees will now have the discretion to wipe out a major penalty under video review.
Previously, the refs only had two options with majors under review: Confirm them, or reduce them to minor penalties. Now that the third option is on the table, there will almost certainly be fewer five-minute man advantages this year, which means fewer power-play goals.
Will this change be enough to give the Under more betting value? Perhaps. It will almost certainly lead to more coaches challenges, so at the very least, there will be more opportunities on the NHL props market and with Bodog live betting to wager on the outcome of those challenges.
4. Lame-Duck Coyotes
The situation with the Arizona Coyotes is about as bizarre as it gets, and it might lead to some tasty betting opportunities this year. The Coyotes will be playing at the Mullett Arena in Tempe, the new home rink of the Arizona State Sun Devils; the official seating capacity is just 5,025, and the Coyotes are very much the minor tenant in this arrangement.
As you might expect with such a sad franchise, Arizona find themselves dead-last on Bodog’s Stanley Cup odds list at +30000. But their move to Tempe could actually give them a boost – or more accurately, drag their opponents down with them. The visitor’s dressing rooms will be cramped compared to NHL standards, and other amenities that players are used to will be harder to come by in general.
The Coyotes also have the jump on their opponents in getting used to whatever Mullett Arena has to throw at them, like the ice conditions, how the puck caroms off the boards – everything right down to the TV lights. It’s going to be a tough road trip for the visitors, even if the ‘Yotes themselves aren’t much of a challenge.
5. Crypto Betting is the Smart Choice
Cryptocurrency’s profile has taken a hit in recent months, as has the price of Bitcoin and other digital coins on the market. But crypto is still the best way to get your money down at Bodog Sportsbook – and that is no different for Canadian NHL betting. It’s easier to use than you might think, and you don’t have to worry about price fluctuations, since your deposits are automatically converted to Canadian dollars and back again when you withdraw.
Check out our Bitcoin tutorials and see how easy – and rewarding – it is to use crypto to bet at Bodog. Then hit up our NHL odds board, and get ready for what should be an amazing 2022-23 campaign.