NHL Best Bets (10/10/23): Expert Predictions For Kraken Vs. Golden Knights & Blackhawks Vs. Penguins
The start of the 2023-24 NHL season starts tonight with a triple-header. Connor Bedard takes on the Penguins, while Vegas will raise their banner. Get two NHL best bets for tonight’s slate and why we like the Kraken to spoil Vegas’ big night and the Penguins to humble the Blackhawks.
Seattle Kraken Vs. Vegas Golden Knights Best Bet
There was a night and day difference between Seattle in their first NHL season compared to last year. The build continues as they look to extend past the second round of the NHL playoffs, where they fell to the Stars in 7 games. The Kraken played an up-tempo game and ranked 5th in CF% last season. Defensively, they were one of the best teams in the league, ranking 2nd in xGA and 4th in scoring chances against.
After a late summer and festivities tonight, Seattle is in a great spot to start the season strong and catch Vegas early. The one doubt here is the goaltending in Seattle, Phillipp Grubauer, who was very on and off throughout the regular and postseason. He ended up with a 2.83 GAA on the year but had some blowup spots that are concerning.
Getting +150 odds over at Bet365 is great value for this spot, as these two teams are closer in talent than what is being perceived by the lines. Vegas winning the Cup capitalized on some unsustainable play at times and their regular season numbers were average to slightly above average. The Golden Knights will also be without Alec Martinez and Zach Whitecloud.
Kraken Vs. Golden Knights Best Bet: Kraken ML
Chicago Blackhawks Vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Best Bet
All eyes will be on rookie Connor Bedard in his NHL debut, and the generational talent should have an electric career with his new team. The only drawback? He plays for the Chicago Blackhawks, who were outscored by 97 goals last season. Bedard will have some offensive help from new additions like Taylor Hall and Ryan Donato on the first line. While that could develop into a strong line eventually, it’s hard to imagine instant chemistry on the first game of the season. Plus, I really don’t trust the Blackhawks in the crease tonight, where Petr Mrazek (.894 SV%, 3.66 GAA) will suit up, according to Daily Faceoff. And, outside of All-Star Seth Jones, the defensive lineup for Chicago is pretty uninspiring.
The Blackhawks are facing a team that built plenty of momentum in the offseason with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Coming off a year in which they missed the postseason, Pittsburgh added Erik Karlsson (101 points last year), who is fresh off winning the Norris Trophy. Sidney Crosby isn’t getting any younger, but he’s coming off a 93-point season and has serious firepower around him with players like Evgeni Malkin, Bryan Rust, and Rickard Rakell. Crosby will also be joined on the top line by Jake Guentzel (36 goals last year), who was expected to miss time with an ankle injury. With Chicago’s sub-par defense and goaltending, the Penguins have the opportunity to rack up significant goals tonight. I’m completely confident going with the Pens on the puck line.
Blackhawks Vs. Penguins Best Bet: Pittsburgh Penguins -1.5
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