We only have two games on the NHL schedule for Sunday, but we could see plenty of goals. The Pittsburgh Penguins play their home opener against the Washington Capitals as they look for their first win of the season. The Florida Panthers will be looking for their first win as well, but they had their first two games postponed due to COVID-19. They welcome the winless Chicago Blackhawks to Sunrise.
Below you’ll find a few of my favorite bets for Sunday. For more bets this season, check out the FTN Bet Tracker at FTNBets.com.
Washington Capitals +100 (William Hill) at Pittsburgh Penguins -109 (FanDuel) — 6 goals
Anytime Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin face off, it’s must-watch TV. Ovechkin has yet to score, but he has two assists. Crosby has found the back of the net in each of his two games to start 2021. The Penguins return home after two tough losses to the Philadelphia Flyers by a combined score of 11-5. Tristan Jarry allowed six goals on 25 shots in the opener and he only lasted 11:30 in the second game after he let three past him on Philadelphia’s first six shots. Jarry shouldn’t take all the blame as the Penguins lost a couple of pieces on the blue line and they didn’t have the strongest defensive unit before the departures.
Meanwhile, the Capitals won both of their meetings against the Sabres in Buffalo by a combined score of 8-5. Both the Capitals and Penguins ranked inside the top 10 in scoring chances and high-danger chances allowed at 5v5 last season, and it seems like that trend may continue. I think we’ll see more of a complete game from Pittsburgh, so I’ll lean with it to get the win, but the over is the play. You can get over six goals at -115 at William Hill.
Pick: Pittsburgh 5-4
Chicago Blackhawks +130 (William Hill) at Florida Panthers -145 (FanDuel) — 6.5 goals
Chicago lost its first two games against the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning by a combined score of 10-3. It was in a tough spot to start the season, but it’s likely a sign of things to come as it is without captain Jonathan Toews indefinitely and failed to replace Corey Crawford in goal. No team allowed more shots, goals, scoring chances, or high-danger scoring chances at 5v5 last season than Chicago. Florida ranked sixth in goals per game last season and it surrendered the third-most goals per game. Taking the over on six goals is also the best bet for this game.
Pick: 5-3, Florida Panthers