Just because the NHL regular season is off this weekend doesn’t mean hockey bettors can’t get in on the action.
The NHL All-Star Game is going on at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Fla., this weekend, and hockey bettors can take their shot at wagering on the skills competition and games themselves.
Here’s a look at the odds and format for the NHL All-Star Game.
All NHL odds used for the All-Star weekend come from DraftKings Sportsbook and are current as of 2 p.m. ET on Feb. 3, 2023.
NHL All-Star Game Odds
- Moneyline: Central Division (-125) vs Pacific Division (+105); Atlantic Division (-120) vs Metropolitan Division (+100)
- Total Goals Over/Under: Over 13.5 (-115)/Under (-105); Over 11.5 (-115)/Under (-105)
- Champion: Central: (+250), Atlantic (+250), Pacific (+300), Metropolitan (+300)
The Central Division has a loaded roster led by reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner and co-Norris Trophy favorite Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche. The Metropolitan has arguably the best goaltending tandem in reigning Vezina Trophy winner Igor Shesterkin of the New York Rangers and Ilya Sorokin of the rival Islanders.
The Pacific has the league’s top-two scorers, Edmonton Oilers teammates Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. The Atlantic features Vezina Trophy favorite Linus Ullmark, as well as Bruins teammate David Pastrňák and Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who is fourth in the league in points.
NHL All-Star Game Best Bet
Pacific Division Wins All-Star Game (+300) at DraftKings Sportsbook
The Central Division may feature a better assembly of talent, and I love the goaltending from the Metro, but the Pacific boasts the NHL’s top-two scorers, McDavid and Draisaitl, which is a heck of an advantage in a 3-on-3 tournament.
The Pacific roster features the favorite for Hart Trophy (McDavid) and co-favorite for Norris Trophy (Erik Karlsson). Look for McDavid to win game MVP honors and for the Pacific to take the crown and cash our NHL pick of the day.
NHL All-Star Skills Competition Best Bets
Elias Pettersson Wins Hardest Shot (+330) at DraftKings
This would be a slight upset since Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin is the favorite (+300) and is a previous winner, but Pettersson has the hardest previous shot of any of the competitors (102.4) and only lost in 2020 to the legendary shot of Shea Weber.
Ovechkin snapped a streak of 10 straight wins by a defenseman when he claimed the competition in 2018, and a blue liner has won the competition in three consecutive All-Star weekends. If you think a blueliner will do so again, Josh Morrissey would be a good pick at +400).
Dylan Larkin Wins Fastest Skater (+250) at DraftKings Sportsbook
Larkin, like Ovechkin, is a previous winner. But unlike Ovechkin, there isn’t really any upstart competitor to take down the Red Wings forward.
Minnesota Wild forward Kirill Kaprizov is perhaps the best player at working the edges of his skates, which makes him faster on corners and makes him an intriguing option at +500, but Larkin is the pick in this field.
Leon Draisaitl Wins Accuracy Shooting (+650) at DraftKings Sportsbook
McDavid is the favorite at +250, but he and Draisaitl have the same shooting percentage (19.6) this season. That makes Draisaitl a fascinating option.
I love the idea of Kucherov getting lustily booed by the Panthers-heavy crowd in Sunrise then going full heel and winning the award. I also think Jack Hughes, the Devils’ fledgling star center, makes an intriguing option at +500.
But Draisaitl is my pick.
How the NHL All-Star Game Works
The NHL updated its All-Star format in 2016 to feature three 20-minute games, two semifinals, and one championship game, between all-stars of each division. The Central will meet the Pacific in the first game then the Metropolitan will square off against the Atlantic.
The winners of each game will play in the championship, where the winning team will share $1 million.
The skills competition is annually held on the eve of the All-Star Game, and each player selected for the game participates in at least one event. Traditional events include the hardest shot, fastest skater, and accuracy shooting, and the NHL introduces site-specific skills contests that are fun.
In 2023, the NHL unveiled Florida-specific events called Pitch ‘n Puck and Splash Shot. Splash Shot will show whether competitors can hit a target with a puck to dunk an opponent in a dunk tank on Fort Lauderdale Beach, and Pitch ‘n Puck will combine hockey and golf at a par-4 hole at an area golf course.