NHL Odds Season Opening Battles

NHL betting resumes today with an early match (played in Finland) and late games featuring some of the league's best rivalries.

Playing their home openers will be Toronto, Pittsburgh, Colorado, and Edmonton, but not all of them will be favorites tonight.

The Penguins will be looking to continue the dominance they displayed last season over the Philadelphia Flyers where they went five-for-six against their bitter rivals. The Pens will be in their new building for the first time, which should get the emotions up early on.

The only key Penguin player out of the lineup will be forward Jordan Staal, who still has a bad foot.

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Philly still has major issue between the pipes, and defenseman Chris Pronger may not play tonight. Pronger's nursing a sore knee and the coaching staff may opt to sit him until he’s completely ready to go. If Pronger’s not in the lineup tonight, Crosby and company look like safe money. [ {URL=http://www.oddsshark.com/Stats/Matchup/Hockey/NHL/23932}Flyers vs Penguins matchup stats {/URL}]

The Leafs will host their biggest rivals in their home opener when the Montreal Canadiens come to town for the first of six meetings they will have this season. The Canadiens look to be an improved team this year with the addition of P.K. Subban and Lars Eller, but despite playing against one of the worst teams in the league last year, the Habs will be a +115 underdog tonight.

They look like the {URL=http://www.oddsshark.com/Stats/Matchup/Hockey/NHL/23931}best upset bet on the schedule;{/URL} even without Mike Cammalleri (suspension) and possibly Carey Price (flu).

Toronto also added some talent when they acquired Kris Versteeg to go with the scoring punch of Phil Kessel. Their defense is very tough, and if Giguere can play to his potential, and their penalty kill is much improved over last season, the Leafs could have a chance to make the playoffs. They will be a -135 favorite at home against the Canadiens, and the line on the goal total is 5.5.

The Battle of Alberta hasn’t been what it once was the last couple of years. The Edmonton Oilers have fallen from grace and last season they finished last in the league. That got them the first overall draft pick, and they hope that Taylor Hall will lead the youth movement to a better place than they were in last year.

Calgary was almost as big of a disappointment last year, but they have brought back Olli Jokinen and Alex Tanguay in hopes of getting Jarome Iginla going again. Despite beating the Oilers in all six meetings last year, oddsmakers are offering -110 on both teams with a total of 5.5 goals.

Other games have the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks as a -130 favorite over Colorado at +130, and from Helsinki, Finland the Wild will be a -120 favorite against Carolina at +100. That game goes off at noon EDT, so get your money down early on that game.

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