NHL betting may focus on bit name high priced teams that are loaded with talent such as Washington and Pittsburgh but potential surprises are always possible.
The Ultimate Team Sport
More than any other sport, with the possible exception of football, hockey is a game that relies far more on the team than on individual big name stars as evidenced last year when Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals were upset in the first round of the playoffs by the Montreal Canadiens. And that is what makes the St. Louis Blues a potentially attractive bargain at Sbg global. The Blues opened as a +3500 choice to win the Stanley Cup and a +2000 choice to take the Western Conference championship.
The Blues took a step back last year after making the playoffs in 2009 as they finished 40-32-5-5 after a slow start that cost Coach Andy Murray his job. David Payne provided a much needed spark in the season’s second half and now faces the challenge as the permanent head coach of making sure the Blues do not stumble out of the gate as they have the past two seasons.
A Promising Proven Prospect in Goal
The Blues are excited about the acquisition of Jaroslav Halak from Montreal as their number one goaltender. Halak was locked up with a 4 year deal worth $15 million this past summer in a trade for two prospects. Halak was the star in Montreal’s upset over Washington, a near one man team, as he saved 53 shots in the Canadiens game 6 win over Washington. The Habs and gamblers rode Halak to a series of NHL bet wins that took Montreal all the way to the Final Four. Halak is 25 years old and gives the Blues plenty of upside.
Veterans in Front
Halak will have a couple of veteran NHL betting assets in front of his net with center Andy McDonald and defenseman Eric Brewer. McDonald was the Blues leading scorer last year and provides much needed leadership to St. Louis’ increasing amount of young talent that has been stockpiled in past drafts. The Blues combination of seasoned veterans and promising prospects make them a potentially big NHL bet bargain that could surprise opponents on the ice and handicappers betting on the NHL this winter.