NHL Hockey Betting Previews

The previously sad-sack Toronto Maple Leafs are perfect through their first three games this season, but does that mean it's time to start laying down some of your cash on them when NHL betting comes to the fore?

Despite sitting at 3-0 the Maple Leafs will be a +120 underdog when they take to the ice against the Rangers in New York on Friday. The Rangers have been lighting the lamp so far this season with 10 goals in two games, and they will be the -140 favorite to end the Leafs' dream start.

Toronto has averaged four goals per game, and their tough-to-play-against defense looks like it may have evolved into Brian Burke’s vision. But be mindful - they are getting significant scoring help from Clarke MacArthur and others not known for a history of leading teams.

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The Vancouver Canucks will head south to Los Angeles to meet the Kings on Friday night as the even-money underdog. The Kings' home-ice advantage is enough to make them a -120 favorite despite their lack of scoring so far this season. Vancouver is off to a slow start and has also had a tough time scoring goals this year.

If the trend for both teams continues on Friday night the UNDER bet for the 5.5-goal total looks tempting, even at -130.

On Saturday night, divisional matchups Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia and Montreal vs. Ottawa should have some interesting lines on game day. The Pens are off to a slow start this year but are finally beginning to see some production from their big guns. If the total is 5.5 or less for this game the OVER bet looks right, especially if you consider the firepower and weak defenses on both of these teams.

Ottawa will be at the Bell Centre to face the Canadiens on Saturday night and will likely come in favored against a Habs team that will be coming off a game in Buffalo on Friday. That means Alex Auld could get his first start of the season on Saturday, and without Carey Price between the pipes the Habs' chances for victory go down.

Add in the fact that Ottawa has allowed an average of three goals per game, and even a 6-goal total OVER bet would be worth a shot.

The second outing of the Battle of Alberta will be played on Saturday night in Calgary. The Flames' scoring woes have reached a crucial point already, and without an impressive showing against the Oilers we could start to see some early changes in Calgary. The Flames can’t seem to score against anyone they play, so the goal total will be worth a look in that one.

On Sunday night Anaheim will be a rested team at home against a Phoenix Coyotes club that will play the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night. The Coyotes might be ripe for a loss if the Wings can take enough out of them on Saturday in Phoenix.

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