NHL All-Star weekend is February 3 and 4 in the Florida Panther’s home, FLA Live Area. Unlike other sports leagues, the hockey All-Star game has more at stake — and that includes for bettors themselves. Keep reading to get our preview of the festivities, plus two free bets to make for the 2023 NHL All-Star game!
What If The Format Of 2023 NHL All-Star Game?
As we said, NHL does its All-Star game differently than, say, the NFL and NBA. The NHL All-Star format is completely unique to a regular regular-season game — and we’d argue for the better.
Perhaps most importantly, the game is played in a 3 vs. 3 format, like an overtime matchup would be contested. Games are also only 20 minutes long, not 60. What that usually creates is a back-and-forth game with scoring happening in bunches.
Not only that, but there’s also not just one All-Star game. There are actually three hockey games since it’s a mini-tournament. There are four different All-Star teams, one for each division in the league — Atlantic, Central, Metropolitan, and Pacific. The two conferences are pitted against each other to start, Atlantic vs. Metropolitan and Central vs. Pacific. Winners advance to play in the final. This has been the NHL All-Star format since 2016 to great entertainment and success.
Teams consist of nine skaters and two goalies. Just about all the big names are playing, not skipping out like we’re seeing with the NFL Pro Bowl. Expect to see today’s greats (Nikita Kucherov, Cale Makar, Connor McDavid) to yesterday’s greats (Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin) duking it out against one another. Not only that, but the players are competing for a share of the $1-million prize given to the winning All-Star side. If you want in on some money yourself, you’ll like our free betting choices listed below!
2023 NHL All-Star Game Betting Picks
We REALLY wish top-used NHL betting sites offered betting lines for the All-Star skills competitions. We think we could make an absolute killing off famed mini-games like accuracy shooting, hardest shot, and fastest skater. Alas, they’re not currently up for betting as we write this. Therefore, we’ll just stick to making picks on the 2023 All-Star games themselves. Here are the two bets we like MOST:
Over/Under Goals Scored
As you’d probably expect with an All-Star game, the oddsmakers are forecasting a high-scoring game — for both opening matchups. We’ve listed the over/under below, first for the Eastern Conference tilt, then the Western Conference one.
When making this betting choice, we have to circle back to the 3-on-3 format. It’s tailor-made for scoring. We mean, what makes scoring difficult in regular hockey is all the bodies on the ice at one time — five skaters and a goaltender. This gives offensive players less space to make moves and ultimately, take a shot on goal.
However, that’s a non-issue when it’s 3 skaters against 3 skaters. Plus, with deep benches and only 20-minute games, there are almost always fresh bodies on the ice. That’s why we’re inclined to bet the over in both games.
If recent history is any indication, high-score tallies are the norm in the opening All-Star games. Let’s take a look at the 14 games (excluding the final) under this format since NHL switched to it in 2016. Nine of those games (64 percent) combined for at least 13 goals, which would put it in line with the over/unders you see above.
So yes, we’re betting each of the overs here. If you’re feeling extra risky, then consider parlaying them together. If not, separate bets make sense too.
While you can bet on the single games themselves, we’re instead opting to wager on which division ultimately wins the All-Star tournament AND the $1-million payout. Here are the betting odds for all four division All-Star squads:
The odds are correct in that the Atlantic and Central are most superior — at least if you’re purely comparing the talent levels of the rosters. However, to break the tie with each, we’re going to go with the All-Star team with the better forwards, a position that’s at a premium in the 3-on-3 format. For that reason, we’re betting on the Atlantic to win it all. Between Kucherov and David Pastrnak, that’s going to be a high-powered attack. Plus, Andrei Vasilevskiy isn’t a bad goaltender to have back there either.
How To Watch On 2023 NHL All-Star Game?
There are two options to watch the 2023 NHL All-Star festivities if you’re in the United States. The first is via traditional TV and/or cable. Coverage is being split between the Disney-owned networks, ABC and ESPN. The former gets the games themselves, while the latter is getting the skills competition.
If you’re one of the many that’ve “cut the cord”, then you can also stream via the ESPN+ app. Both days will be fully streamed on the service. Here’s the full NHL All-Star broadcast schedule so you can prepare now:
How To Bet On 2023 NHL All-Star Game?
Alright, last thing before we let you go: one of the betting sites listed underneath will be your “best bet” for locking in your 2023 All-Star game wagers. Each site you see listed is because they earned blowout marks in our newest sportsbook reviews. We’d give those reviews a close read so you can smartly pick the best sportsbook for you.