Upcoming Match-ups

Atlantic Division Favorites (+255) to Win First NHL All-Star Game Tournament

Nathan MacKinnon tapping gloves with bench players after scoring
Nathan MacKinnon is a captain for the Central Division at the 2020 NHL All-Star Game. Photo from @NHL (Twitter).
  • Average of 10.33 goals per game scored in last four All-Star Game tournaments
  • Metropolitan, Pacific only divisions to win three-on-three tournament
  • 20 players making first All-Star game appearance – read below to find our best betting pick

Going into tomorrow night’s NHL All-Star Game, the Atlantic Division is listed at +255 and favorited to win the two-round, three-on-three tournament. With three of their eight teams currently brandishing the NHL’s 10-best records, along with four of their roster’s players among the league’s top-10 scoring leaders, the Atlantic Division has a lot going for them in this year’s NHL All-Star game.

If the projections hold true, it would mark the first win for the Atlantic Division since the NHL adopted its current divisional three-on-three tournament. The only previous winners are the Pacific (2016, 2018) and Metropolitan (2017, 2019) Divisions.

Atlantic vs Metropolitan Odds

Team Total at Bookmaker.eu Money Line
Atlantic Over 12 (-115) -120
Metropolitan Under 12 (-105) +100

*Odds from January 24

Goaltending Will Help or Hurt Eastern Divisions

With the three-on-three lineups, the NHL All-Star Game is currently designed to promote a lot of goal scoring (an average of 10.33 goals per game have been scored since 2016). However, having quality goaltending is just as important when considering each team’s likeliness of winning. A closer look at the Atlantic and Metropolitan Division netminders reveal some notable disparity among their numbers.

The favorited Atlantic Division features a duo of Andrei Vasilevsky and Freddie Andersen. Vasilevsky has the superior stats with a 2.54 goals against average (GAA), .917 save percentage (SV%), and .68 win percentage. The latter has a 2.89 GAA, .917 SV%, and .56 win percentage.

The Metropolitan Division is going with Tristan Jarry (2.16 GAA, .929 SV%, .64 win percentage) and Braden Holtby (3.09 GAA, .897 SV%, .54 win percentage). When these two teams face each other in the opening round, their head coaches must decide if they want a greater chance at advancing or risk saving their better goalie for the final game.

Pacific vs Central Odds

Team Total at Bookmaker.eu Money Line
Pacific Over 12.5 (-115) -110
Central Under 12.5 (-105) -110

Pacific Division Has Upper-Hand in Possession

Only one player participating in the NHL All-Star Game has a Corsi-For percentage (percentage of total shots the team of a player takes when they’re on the ice) lower than 50 at all strengths. The best way to gauge which team has an edge in possession is by determining how many players each team has with a CF% greater than 56 (widely considered an elite level).

Using those metrics, the most possession-savvy team is the Pacific Division, with six players with a CF% greater than 56 at all strengths. Out of those six players, three have a CF% greater than 60. All other teams have an aggregated total of nine players with a CF% greater than 56, and four higher than 60. If these numbers are any indication, expect the Pacific Division to generate the most offensive shot attempts, which could provide them with an under-the-radar advantage.

All-Star Game Winning Team Odds

Team Odds at Bookmaker.eu
Atlantic +255
Metropolitan +270
Central +300
Pacific +300

Central Division Has Big Edge in Scoring, Experience

Although there are 20 players making their first All-Star appearance, that doesn’t mean the number of experienced players on each team is proportionate. Out of the Central Division roster’s 11 players, only two are making their first All-Star Game appearance. The majority of players on all three other teams (six each) are playing in their first All-Star Game.

The Central Division has another significant advantage in scoring. They have the most players that have averaged at least a point-per-game this season (five), along with six players averaging at least a point-per-game in their last 10 contests leading up to the NHL All-Star Game. For comparison, all three other teams have a collective total of nine players both averaging at least one point-per-game this season, and in each of their last 10 contests.

Best Bets

Based on the numbers and factors featured, I think you’re going to see the two divisions that have never won the three-on-three tournament (Atlantic, Central) duke it out for this year’s title. Should they advance, goaltending will be the Atlantic’s make-or-break factor, depending on who they start. Having said that, I’m predicting the Central Division uses its roster experience, high scoring, and balanced goaltending to win outright.

Pick: Central Division (+300)

Author Image
Discussion

Let's have fun and keep it civil.