NHL All-Star Game Betting
- There are lots of options when it comes to betting on NHL All-Star Weekend
- Each division sends a team of 11 players (6 forwards, 3 defense, 2 goalies) to compete in the round robin style tournament
- Learn how to bet on the All-Star Game with these tips
Betting on the NHL All-Star Game is a great way to mix things up in the middle of the hockey season. And with NHL players’ participation in the Olympics a thing of the past, the All-Star Game is now the one time you can see all of the best players in the world come together.
If you’re going to enjoy watching an event, why not enjoy wagering on it as well? All-Star Game weekend offers several different ways to get your money in on one of the most exciting events in sports. Here’s an overview of all the weekend has to offer, breaking down the various competitions included in the festivities and how you can make smart and potentially very profitable wagers on each of them.
Betting on the NHL Skills Contest
Many fans think the Skills Contest the day before the All-Star Game is actually the most important part of the weekend. While fans critique the effort level of players in the all-star game in pretty much every sport (have you ever watched the Pro Bowl?) the Skills Contest tends to bring out top performances because everyone wants the bragging rights that come with winning one of the events. Many online sportsbooks are available for those of you in Canada, with Ontario online sportsbooks the first to launch in the Great White North!
There are several different events to bet on within the Skills Contest and with six to eight skaters competing in each, the odds can be pretty inviting. The events include Fastest Skater, Premier Passer, Save Streak, Pass Control, Hardest Shot and Accuracy Shooting.
If you’re a fan of the old-school, fastest skater and hardest shot have been around forever and always draw a stacked lineup. The other events offer some new-school fun, like saucer passing pucks into mini nets. These newer events are really entertaining to take in, and you’re likely to get plus money (more money back than you wagered) on almost any winning player (except betting on Connor McDavid to win fastest skater).
Betting on the All-Star Game
The All-Star Game itself has evolved over the years and the competition is now more complicated than ever. This is actually good news for bettors, as the new format opens up way more opportunity to get some money in.
Each of the four divisions in the NHL (Atlantic, Pacific, Central and Metropolitan) are represented by 11 player teams made up of 6 forwards, 3 defenseman, and 2 goalies. When comparing the relative strength of each divisional team, note that a player from each NHL team must be represented. It makes sense to bet against any division you think was forced to include a handful of all-stars that were less deserving as a result of this rule.
The four divisional teams play a round robin tournament consisting of 20-minute games that are 3 v 3. The result is a frenetic pace full of offense with little in the way of defense. In contrast to every other hockey game on the planet, stay at home defenseman and goalies play very little role in these high scoring affairs. You’ve seen overtime in a regular season game. Now imagine that picture with more skilled players for a game four times as long. All you’re trying to identify is which scoring superstars will have the best chemistry and capture the title.
While the effort can’t be compared to a playoff game, there is a pretty good prize for the winner. Players from the winning team split a $1 million cash prize, so they are definitely out there trying. With only 6 skaters on the ice, the game comes down to skating, puck movement, and finishing ability.
There are two ways to bet on wins and losses. You can pick an individual game and take the division you think will come out on top, which is essentially like betting the money line in any other sporting event. Pick the winning team and you’re good to go.
The alternative to that is picking a winner for the tournament. At the 2019 All-Star Game in San Jose the Atlantic Division was favored to win and were still offering +240. The Metropolitan Division actually had the longest odds at +330 and ended up winning the tournament.
Betting on a team to win the tournament is the best way to connect with the stars from your favorite team. Often times the best teams in the league have 3 or 4 players on a team and you can try and hope their chemistry and skill nets you a healthy pay day.
Picking the MVP Can Be Tough But Profitable
As was mentioned earlier, All-Star Weekend is the only time all of the best players in the world share the same ice. With that saturation of talent comes a laundry list of MVP candidates all worthy of your attention. The good news with all that talent in single competition is that every option comes with incredible odds.
Sidney Crosby won the MVP in 2019 after the Metropolitan Division captured the tournament crown. His payout? A whopping +1000. When you can get that price on one of the game’s top talents, you can only imagine the payouts available if you want to be a little more risky and take a so-called “underdog.”
One important thing to consider when wagering on the All-Star MVP is that it’s a separate award from that of the regular season. Due to the nature of the All-Star tournament, a goalie isn’t going to capture this award. Defensemen also face long odds unless they’re contributing serious points. When it comes to picking All-Star Weekend MVPs, don’t worry about size or how a player performs without the puck – always weight skill and scoring potential over everything else.
Final Advice for NHL All-Star Game Betting
Here’s something you won’t hear us say very often: just have fun when it comes to handicapping the Skills Competition. Bet the superstars representing your favorite team or the ones you think have the best shot at coming home with a victory. There’s no other way to put it – these competitions are a total toss up. It’s one of the only times when gambling with your heart actually makes the most sense. If you’re sole motivation to bet on hockey is making money, sticking to regular season hockey betting or learning to bet on the NHL Playoffs are safer bets.
When it comes to the game itself, try to pair bets together in a parlay to maximize your pay outs. In 2019, betting on the Metropolitan Division to win individual games and the tournament as whole paid handsomely. Anyone courageous enough to add a Sidney Crosby MVP wager to their sheet would have made out with even more.
Chemistry and skill count more than anything in these games. Picking rosters with multiple pairs and trios is important, as is finding the shifty scorers who can take advantage of the 3 v 3 format. The All-Star Weekend may be quirky in comparison to years past, but it certainly isn’t short on ways for you to get your money in the middle.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.