2021-22 NHL Opening Night Game Lines and Picks

  • BetOnline has games lines for opening night of the 2021-22 NHL season
  • The league released its 1,312-game schedule, 82 for each team, last Thursday
  • The National Hockey League will have a new broadcast home when the puck drops on October 12

Welcoming hockey back to the network for the first time since 2004, ESPN’s opening-night doubleheader will feature a matchup between the Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins followed by a game between the Vegas Golden Knights and the league’s newest expansion team, the Seattle Kraken.

TNT will air its inaugural NHL coverage the next night, with a doubleheader of the New York Rangers at the Washington Capitals followed by the Chicago Blackhawks at the Colorado Avalanche.

While we’re still over two months away, let’s look at the opening odds for the NHL’s opening slate of games. And check out our NHL betting tips page for advice on how to wager on hockey.

2021-22 NHL Hockey Games

BetOnlineMoney LineTotal Points
Pittsburgh Penguins+125Ov 6 (-115)
Tampa Bay Lightning-138Un 6 (+104)
Seattle Kraken+240Ov 5½ (+115)
Vegas Golden Knights-271Un 5½ (-127)
New York Rangers+118Ov 6 (-115)
Washington Capitals-130Un 6 (+104)
Montreal Canadiens+165Ov 5½ (-120)
Toronto Maple Leafs-183Un 5½ (+109)
Vancouver Canucks+153Ov 6½ (+107)
Edmonton Oilers-170Un 6½ (-118)
Chicago Blackhawks+260Ov 6 (-105)
Colorado Avalanche-295Un 6 (-105)

Tampa and Vegas favored on opening night

Tampa Bay will raise their third championship banner and second in as many seasons before they host the Penguins on opening night. With Blake Coleman widely expected to leave in free agency this week, the Lightning will have to completely rebuild their third-line after already losing Yanni Gourde in the NHL Expansion Draft and trading Barclay Goodrow to the Rangers.

Pittsburgh lost gritty winger Brandon Tanev to Seattle, but it has been an otherwise quiet offseason for the club’s new general manager Ron Hextall and president of hockey operations Brian Burke. That could change as soon as free agency opens on Wednesday, however. The Pick: Lightning (-138 at BetOnline)  

With a baffling lack of trades and side deals, Kraken GM Ron Francis came away from last week’s expansion draft with little other than cap space.

Unless they can weaponize it this week and land a star UFA such as Gabriel Landeskog or Dougie Hamilton, Seattle will not come close to replicating Vegas’ first season in the league when they went all the way to the Stanley Cup Final. The Pick: Golden Knights (-271 at BetOnline)  

Vegas Golden KnightsTo Win
star iconstar iconstar iconstar iconstar icon
-271
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Tampa Bay LightningTo Win
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-138
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Wednesday night’s slate

The New York Rangers should be a much tougher team to play against under the tutelage of new coach Gerard Gallant, making them a strong bet at +118 to get a road win against the Washington Capitals in the season opener. North of the border, Toronto (-183) will be out for revenge against a Canadiens (+165) team that came back from a 3-1 series deficit to defeat them in the first round of the playoffs. 

The Maple Leafs will be missing Zach Hyman, with the 29-year-old headed to join Connor McDavid in Edmonton after striking it rich in free agency. The Oilers (-170) are favored to take down the Canucks (+153), who made a big trade on draft day, acquiring Swedish defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson and top-six winger Conor Garland.

Finally, the Avalanche are massive -295 favorites against the Blackhawks. Chicago GM Stan Bowman has had a busy offseason so far, waving goodbye to three-time Cup champ Duncan Keith on the blueline and replacing him with Seth Jones in a blockbuster trade that most believe the Blue Jackets got the better of.

New York RangersTo Win
star iconstar iconstar iconstar iconstar icon
+118
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Steve Dominey

Steve has almost 15 years of experience in marketing, PR and sports television. After acquiring a Journalism degree from Carleton University, he assembled highlight packs for Canada's most-watched sports network (TSN) before transitioning to a career in communications. He describes himself as a good father, great dog owner, and mediocre gambler and husband.