And we're back! The 2021-22 NHL season is in full swing, and I'll be sharing my betting picks every Sunday — chase (or fade?) at your own risk!
Season record: 0-0
Dallas Stars (-140) @ Ottawa Senators (+115) — Total: 5.5
The NHL schedule-makers pulled no punches when they were working up Dallas' first week. After defeating the New York Rangers on the road (in overtime, no less), Dallas then traveled to Boston and fell, 3-1 on Saturday. There will be no respite after two road games, as they'll now take on Ottawa in Canada.
In fact, Dallas won't play on their home ice until next Friday against the Los Angeles Kings. That's not a fun way to start the season.
On the other side of things, the Senators stand at 1-1 on the season after two home-and-home games against their Canadian rivals, the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Senators were one of the feistiest teams in hockey last season, and one of the most profitable on the money line when the juice was right. We all know Ottawa is in the middle of a rebuild, but they showed last season — and through two games this season — that they'll fight to the last second.
There are few trends to mine this early in the season, but it's hard to ignore the fact that both these teams are on back-to-backs. This game screams UNDER to me as a result.
Dallas will probably look to hide further in their defensive-minded, conservative style to combat what has to be some tired legs. And while Ottawa's defensive struggles are well-known at this point, the team has looked respectable (especially in goal) early on while holding Toronto's high-flying offense to just four scores in two games.
We've already seen back-to-backs lean towards UNDER the total this first week, even with some early-season high-scoring games throughout the league, and I'm going that route with this matinee game between two tired teams.
BONUS: I'm also going small with Ottawa on the ML. While the Sens are also on a back-to-back, their traveling schedule has been much less grueling than Dallas' has, and they'll be playing on home ice. I'll take a stab at them at plus money for this game, which could go either way in what should be a low-scoring affair.