NHL October Preview

NHL October Preview

Reigning Stanley Cup champions Tampa Bay Lightning will get the new NHL season underway when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena on Tuesday.

The Lightning are bidding to become the first team to win three consecutive Cups since the New York Islanders back in the early 1980s. However, they face stern competition from the Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and various other talented teams.

It promises to be another thrilling season. We have picked out some of the key games to look out for in October, and provided a futures betting update.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Tuesday, October 12, at Amalie Arena

Tampa Bay is the -154 favorite with FanDuel to make a winning start to the season when it welcomes the Penguins to Florida. The Lightning have won their last four games against the Penguins, but the teams have not met since February 2020.

Pittsburgh racked up the fifth highest points tally in the league last season, so you can never write this team off. However, Sidney Crosby is out injured and Evgeni Malkin could also spend considerable time on the sidelines, leaving the Penguins reliant on Jeff Carter, Teddy Blueger, Brian Boyle, Evan Rodrigues and Sam Lafferty in terms of center depth. Pittsburgh has an ageing core and goaltender issues, and the Lightning should capitalize.

Seattle Kraken vs. Vegas Golden Knights

Tuesday, October 12, at T-Mobile Arena

The NHL’s latest expansion franchise will make its debut on the opening night of the season. Seattle Kraken will be hoping to emulate the Golden Knights’ inaugural season, which saw them go all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2018.

Experienced GM Ron Francis did well to assemble a core featuring Philipp Grubauer, Chris Driedger, Mark Giordano, Adam Larsson, Vince Dunn, Alex Wennberg and Jordan Eberle ahead of the new season, so Seattle should be competitive.

However, the Golden Knights are third in the Stanley Cup futures betting odds, behind only the Avs and the Lightning, and they should open the season with a statement win against the Kraken. Unibet has a tempting -139 on the Golden Knights to win on the three-way moneyline.

Montreal Canadiens vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Wednesday, October 13, at Scotiabank Arena

One of the NHL’s fiercest rivalries will resume when the Habs head to the Scotiabank Arena to take on the Maple Leafs on Wednesday. The Leafs picked up back-to-back wins against the Canadiens towards the end of last season, but Montreal then secured a shock 4-3 series victory when they met in the playoffs.

The Habs ended up as conference champions, and they will be keen to defy expectations once again this season. However, they are huge underdogs in the Stanley Cup odds, whereas the Leafs are among the favorites. These teams recently met in a preseason game, which saw winger Nick Ritchie score his first two goals in blue and white to inspire the Leafs to a 6-2 win against. They are the -175 favorites with Unibet to win this game, while Bet365 has a market leading +165 on the Habs.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Colorado Avalanche

Wednesday, October 13, at Ball Arena

Stanley Cup favorites Colorado Avalanche will get their season underway when they host the Blackhawks at Ball Arena. The Avs look ready for a breakthrough season after re-signing captain Gabriel Landeskog and bringing in Darcy Kuemper to replace Grubauer. The devastating Nathan MacKinnon will lead the charge, but the Avs also boast impressive depth.

The Blackhawks were a bottom-10 team last season, but Chicago is expected to be a lot more competitive this time around. Jonathan Toews is returning, and fans are excited after Seth Jones, Marc-Andre Fleury and Tyler Johnson moved to the Windy City, so it will be interesting to see how this team performs. The Avs are the heavy favorites to win this game, and you can find enticing odds on them covering the puckline.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Ottawa Senators

Thursday, October 14, at Canadian Tire Arena

The Leafs will have just 24 hours to regroup before heading back into battle against another fierce rival. The Senators will be the fresher team, as this is their first game of the season, and they could capitalize upon fatigue within the Toronto ranks.

The Battle of Ontario is always a highlight within any NHL season, and there will be a great deal of interest in this game. The Senators have a talented top six in Brady Tkachuk, Josh Norris, Tim Stutzle, Drake Batherson and Shane Pinto, and they will need to outscore their opponents this season, as Ottawa’s defense looks weak. This could prove to be a high-scoring game, so a win for the Senators and over on the total goals line both look attractive.

Calgary Flames vs. Edmonton Oilers

Saturday, October 16, at Rogers Place

The Oilers are one of the most entertaining teams in the league. Edmonton lacks depth, but the sheer quality of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisatl is a joy to behold. They have the firepower to beat any team, and they should blaze a trail of destruction across the league again this season.

It will be exciting to see the Oilers begin the season against their great rivals, the Calgary Flames. The latest iteration of the Battle of Alberta should be an enthralling affair. Calgary looked rejuvenated at times last season under returning coach Darryl Sutter, and it will be interesting to see the likes of Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk, Elias Lindholm and Andrew Mangiapane go up against McDavid and Draisaitl in a slug-fest.

Florida Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Tuesday, October 19, at Amalie Arena

The Panthers are still licking their wounds after losing to the Lightning in six games in the Stanley Cup First Round back in May. However, many fans expect them to bounce back this season. The Panthers have been backed into +2200 with Caesars Sportsbook and FanDuel to win the Stanley Cup, with a lot of action going on this team.

An early season clash with the Lightning could provide a perfect gauge of this team’s playoff credentials this season. The Panthers got the better of the Lightning in regular season Governor’s Cup games last year, taking 11 points to 6, so Tampa Bay will be keen to reassert its supremacy in the Sunshine State.

Boston Bruins vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Wednesday, October 20, at Wells Fargo Center

Yet another ferocious rivalry will resume when the Bruins head to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers. The enmity between these teams dates back to the 1970s era clashes between the Big Bad Bruins and the Broad Street Bullies, and tensions still run high when they clash on the ice.

The Flyers looked like legitimate contenders for glory in 2019/20, but they disappointed last season with goalie Carter Hart struggling. GM Chuck Fletcher made several changes in the offseason, but the Flyers look like they could struggle to deal with elite teams like the Bruins. Boston looks like an

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

Saturday, October 23, at Nationwide Arena

The Hurricanes clinched their first division title since 2006 after securing the third highest points tally in the league last season. They will bid to put the heartbreak of their playoff defeat to Tampa Bay behind them by mounting a bid for the Cup this time around.

The Canes lost Dougie Hamilton and Alex Nedeljkovic in the offseason, but they made a few shrewd additions, so they should enjoy another strong season. The Blue Jackets are firmly in rebuilding mode, so it will be interesting to see what sort of shape they are in by the time they face the Canes at Nationwide Arena.

New York Islanders vs. Vegas Golden Knights

Sunday, October 24, at T-Mobile Arena

The Islanders look perfectly capable of another deep playoff run this season. They have been eliminated in round 3 by the Lightning in the past two seasons, but they took the Stanley Cup champions to Game 7 this past summer. Veteran Zdeno Chara should beef up the defense, and the Islanders will be difficult to play against.

A trip to the T-Mobile Arena is never easy, particularly now that fans are back, and it will be intriguing to see how the Islanders get on in Sin City. Vegas scraped a 1-0 victory in their last meeting, but the Islanders have won four of the six games between these teams, so we should be in for a tight clash.

Futures Betting Update

BeMGM has a market leading +600 on the Colorado Avalanche to win the Stanley Cup. DraftKings and a few others are offering +700 on the Lightning, while BetMGM once again leads the way with +850 on the Golden Knights. You can find +1200 on the Maple Leafs, +1400 on the Bruins and +2000 on the Islanders.

Unibet is offering a market best price of +225 on the Lightning winning the Atlantic Division and +250 on the Leafs. The Avs are overwhelming favorites for the Central Division. Caesars Sportsbook leads the way with +350 on the Islanders to win the Metropolitan Division, and the Golden Knights are expected to cruise to victory in the Pacific Division.


 

  • William Hill Casino

    $500 Risk Free Bet

    To be eligible for this Promotion, all eligible Patrons must place their first real money sports wager via the William Hill mobile app or desktop site, within 7 days of opening a William Hill NJ Account. If their Qualifying Wager is graded as a Loss the Participant will earn a one-time Free Bet token equal to the lessor of: 1) The full value of the Qualifying Wager or 2) $500 (“Free Bet(s).
  • 888 Sport

    $500 Welcome Bonus

    Player must be at least 21 years old, located in New Jersey, has completed the full registration process with us.888sport.com, makes a first deposit equal to or greater than $10 and may be entitled to a Welcome Bonus of 100% up to $500 on the players first deposit at us.888sport.com.
  • Unibet Sportsbook

    Play Now

    Join Unibet Sportsbook today and once you add funds, we'll insure your first cash bet - get up to $500 back if you don't hit a winner. Make your first cash bet on any event. If your first settled cash bet loses, you will receive a refund to your account equal to the amount of your losing wager (up to $500). Your first cash bet ($10 or over) will qualify. You will receive the refund within 72 hours.
  • Draft Kings Sportsbook

    Get a deposit bonus up to $500!

    Join Draft Kings today and with your first deposit of $5 or more, you will receive a free $3 ticket to play in any $3 paid contest. A user’s first deposit (min. $5) made between 5/13/20 – 8/17/20 qualifies the user to receive up to $500 in bonus funds in the form of site credits that can only be used on DraftKings. Bonus amount is equal to 20% of that deposit amount, not to exceed $500 (the user must deposit $2,500 to be eligible to receive the maximum possible bonus amount of $500).
  • FanDuel Sportsbook Review

    $500 Risk Free Bet

    New Sportsbook Customers Only NJ. Join FanDuel Sportsbook today and make your first bet. If you lose, we'll give you a refund of up to $500 in site credit (within 72h). Your first bet will qualify (If you have multiple selections on one betslip, it will be the first selection you made)
  • Bet America

    Bet $50 Get $50 [code: BET50]

    Join BetAmerica today for an exclusive Bet $50 and Get $50 using code [BET50] on your next sports bet. Register today and enjoy our Freeplay contests where you can use your sports and casino knowledge to win $1000's in prizes every week.
  • SugarHouse

    100% Up To $250 Deposit Match Bonus

    Player must create a new account, make a first deposit up to $250 to get a Deposit Match Bonus. Use code 250MATCH.
  • Caesars

    $300 Free Bet

    Make your first deposit using SPORTS300 and we will match your first sports bet up to $300! Cash bet must have minimum odds of -200. On Parlay wagers, each legs must have odds of -200 or greater.

Latest news