NHL All-Star Game Predictions and Expert Betting Picks
This year, the NHL All-Star game will take place on Saturday January 25, 2020, at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis. This will be the NHL's 65th edition of the showcase but just the fifth under the newest format, which pits the Atlantic Division against the Metropolitan and the Central against the Pacific, for the right to battle in the finals for a payout of a cool $1 million. Need I remind you, this format also features three-on-three play instead of the more traditional five-aside games. In case you missed last year's edition, the Metropolitan Division emerged victorious with a 10-5 win over the Central team in the finale. Sidney Crosby was named MVP after registering four goals and four assists.
Without further ado, let me introduce you to this year's NHL All-Stars. (All-Star appearance).
Atlantic Division (+200):
Jonathan Huberdeau, FLA (1st), Jack Eichel, BUF (3rd), TBL (2nd), David
Pastrnak, BOS (2nd), Auston Matthews, TOR (4th), Mitch Marner, TBL* (1st),
Tyler Bertuzzi, DET (1st), Brayden Point, TB (1st), Anthony
Duclair, OTT (1st), Victor Hedman, TB (3rd), Shea Weber, MTL (7 th), Andrei Vasilevskiy, MTL (2nd), Frederik Andersen, TOR (1st)
Head Coach: Bruce Cassidy, BOS (1st)
Metropolitan Division (+290):
Nico Hischier, NJ (1st), Artemi Panarin, NYR (1st), T.J Oshie, WSH (3rd),
Travis Konecny, PHI (1st), Mathew Barzal, NYI (2nd), Chris Kreider, NYR
(1st), Seth Jones, CLB (3rd), John Carlson WSH (2nd), Kris Letang*, PIT
(5th), Braden Holtby, WSH (5th), Tristan Jarry, PIT (1ST)
Head Coach: Todd Reirden, WSH (1st)
Central Division (+240):
Patrick Kane, CHI (9th), Nathan MacKinnon, COL* (4th), Ryan O'Reilly, STL
(3rd), David Perron, STL (1st) Tyler Seguin, DAL (6th), Eric
Staal, MIN (6th), Mark Scheifele, WPG (2nd), Roman Josi, NSH (3rd), Alex
Pietrangelo, STL (2nd), P.K. Subban, NSH* (3rd), Connor Hellebuyck, WPG
(2nd), Jordan Binnington, STL (1st)
Head Coach: Paul Maurice, WIN (1st)
Pacific Division (+210):
Elias Pettersson, VAN (2nd), Matthew Tkachuk, CGY (1st), Anze
Kopitar, LAK (5th), Connor McDavid, EDM* (4th), Leon Draisaitl, EDM (2nd),
Tomas Hertl, SJ (1st), Max Pacioretty, VGK (2nd), Mark Giordano, CGY (3rd),
Quinn Hughes, VAN (1ST), Jacob Markstrom, VAN (1st), David Rittich, CAL
Head Coach: Rick Tocchet, ARI (1st)
*denotes fan-elected captain.
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Semi Final No.1
Atlantic (-120) vs. Metropolitan (+105)
I'm not going to lie, one look at both of these teams and I'd rather watching something else than spending 20 minutes watching guys like Hischier, Konecny, Bertuzzi and Duclair try and show off their skilled game in a 3-on-3 style format. However, because we are in the industry of picking winners, I have to give you a side and I'll take the Atlantic Division based on the talent they do have. Guys like Huberdeau, Marner and Point, who are all making their first All-Star appearance will be eager to prove to the world why they were, in fact, voted in. They also feature two of the best goalies in the game in Vasilevskiy and Andersen, while Victor Hedman and Shea Weber add somewhat of a defense element to the team. Team Metropolitan feels void of any real high-end talent. Sure, Panarin and Barzal are good players, but think about what this team could have potentially been - Crosby, Malkin, Giroux, Ovechkin. The list goes on and on. I know the Metro won this tournament last year, but this year I believe it's the Atlantic's time to shine.
Give me the Atlantic at -120 to make the finals.
Semi-Final No. 2
Central (-110) vs. Pacific (-110)
This semi-final is the game you want to watch as it features such high-end talent on both teams. The Central is buoyed by guys with silky smooth mitts like Kane, Seguin, Mackinnon, Scheifele. They are backstopped by a solid duo of goaltenders in Binnington and Hellebuyck, both of whom are having outstanding seasons. The Pacific, on the other hand, is littered with guys making their first or second appearance at the All-Star game, and while it's just "for fun" the atmosphere surrounding the event is enough to make any young player nervous. They do have the best forward duo in the game dawning their jersey in McDavid and Draisaitl, but it'll be up to them to lead their team to victory. I'm not sure how much you believe in the drama that surrounds certain players, but with all that happened between Edmonton and Calgary before the break, it's hard to imagine Tkachuk receiving a warm welcome from the Oilers guys, or any of his teammates that play for a Canadian team.
I'd be inclined to take the Pacific since they have McDavid, but I believe the Central will be the team to win the title this year and score that cool $1-million payout.
Pick: Central Division -110 over Pacific
Tournament Winner: Central Division +240
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