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NHL Opening Weekend Odds

The first weekend of NHL betting offers a full slate of interesting hockey odds to choose from, with five of those games being played on neutral ice in Europe.

Friday night has six games scheduled, and Saturday sees the bulk of the action with a dozen games lined up. The weekend action wraps up on Sunday with three more games, including one from Scandinavia.

Carolina and Minnesota will play their second game in Helsinki, Finland on Friday. They played to a 4-3 Carolina win on Thursday afternoon, mainly due to a stellar two-goal performance from Carolina’s Brandon Sutter. The win in their first meeting was enough for oddsmakers to make Carolina a -115 favorite in this one.

Another interesting line for Friday has Ottawa as a -130 favorite over the Buffalo Sabers (+110) at home. Other action has San Jose paying -190 over the Columbus Blue Jackets (+165) in Stockholm, the Detroit Red Wings (-190) favored over Anaheim (+170), New Jersey (-200) favored over Dallas (+170), and Washington a -165 favorite over an Atlanta Thrashers team that should pay more than +145 for the upset.

Saturday night Boston will play Phoenix in Prague, while San Jose and Columbus wrap up their two-game series in Stockholm. Buffalo, the Islanders, Washington, Tampa Bay, St. Louis, Nashville, Chicago, and Vancouver all have their 2010-11 season home openers on Saturday night.

Pittsburgh will be looking to their first win when Montreal visits their new building, and Toronto will look to get a 2-0 start to the season when they host Ottawa.

The defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks will be put to the test against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night following their 4-3 OT loss to Colorado on Thursday. Detroit will likely come in as the underdog in this one, making them the best upset bet on the night.

Sunday has three more games; the Bruins and Coyotes will play their last game in Prague, while L.A. will be in Calgary. With the Flames suffering a 4-0 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night the Kings should be favored against Iginla and crew, who look like their scoring woes have not been improved.

The Edmonton Oilers could get off to a 2-0 start to the season if they can beat the Florida Panthers on Sunday night. The new-look Oilers had lots of jump in their shutout victory in the first edition of the 2010-11 Battle of Alberta, and Florida won’t be bringing any heavy threats with them on their Western road trip.

Edmonton might be the team to take advantage of early in the season until the bookmakers adjust the lines to reflect their improved play.