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NHL Preview: Ducks Welcome Wild, Look for Another Win as Underdogs

Minnesota Wild vs Anaheim Ducks Betting picks and Odds

Mighty once more! The Anaheim Ducks (1-0-0) channeled their “Mighty Ducks” versions on their home opener and beat the Winnipeg Jets as +125 underdogs. But the win did not convince oddsmakers of the Ducks as they return to Honda Center as underdogs on the NHL betting lines against the Minnesota Wild (0-0-0).

Both Anaheim and Minnesota are looking to prove something here. But only one team can win. With renewed offense on each side, this game may have more scoring than the total indicates.

Mats Zuccarello of the Minnesota Wild looks to pass under pressure from Dominik Kubalik of the Chicago Blackhawks
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images/AFP
Team Puck Line Moneyline Total Team Total
Minnesota -1½ +160 -170 5½ -105o 3½ +105o/-155u
Anaheim +1½  -180 +150 5½ -115u 2½ -120o/-120u

Team Previews

Wild: Not A Fluke

Minnesota emerged as a surprise team last season, finishing third in the West Division behind only heavyweights Colorado and Las Vegas. The Wild took the Golden Knights to seven games and had a 5-1-2 record against them.

But surprising seasons can be followed up by disappointing ones. Minnesota still has to prove it isn’t a “one-season wonder”. It reshuffled its deck and replaced longtime faces in Zach Parise and Ryan Suter for lesser known but more effective players like Frederick Gaudreau and Dmitry Kulikov.

Minnesota was uncanny in outscoring its opposition despite getting outshot and losing the possession battle. Whether that is luck or a team skill will be proven this season. In the meantime, it needs to get past a familiar foe.

Ducks: Not A Fluke Part 2

While the Wild still need to prove last season was no fluke, the Ducks are looking to prove their last game was not a fluke. Anaheim was outplayed and outshot by the Jets for most of the game but they were the ones who came out on top. This was thanks to goaltender John Gibson’s stellar performance.

The Ducks’ franchise player called out his team and they delivered for him. Anaheim is projected to be a bottom-five team in the NHL this season thanks to finishing last in goals, power play, and many other offensive categories last season.

As the Ducks’ best player, Gibson should continue to play at an elite level. If the Ducks can keep finding the back of the net, like they did in the last game, this team will be worth betting online as underdogs.

Betting Pick

Minnesota and Anaheim played each other in the West Division last season. It was a one-sided series as Minnesota beat Anaheim in seven of their eight games and outscored them by ten goals. In fact, the Wild are 8-1-1 against the Ducks in their last ten meetings and are 4-1 in their last five visits to Anaheim.

The Ducks still have the better netminder here in Gibson and if their newfound offense is legitimate, they may just turn the tables on Minnesota. If taking the Ducks on the sportsbook, may as well bet the moneyline at +150 as opposed to the puckline at -180.

But a better value is the over 5.5 goals. The under has hit in 12 of Minnesota’s last 18 games against Anaheim. But two of their last three games have averaged 6.34 goals and the over has hit on two straight. These teams have plenty of young and prolific scorers. Bet the over.

Pick: Over 5½ Goals (-105)

Bonus Pick

Get this: the last four meetings between Anaheim and Minnesota have resulted in odd totals, hence why it is juiced to -215. The odd or even goal total is usually arbitrary even if this seems to be more of the case when these teams meet. We’re not advocating the gambler’s fallacy here, but a 4-2 or 3-1 final score sounds plausible here.

Pick: Game Total – Even (+175)

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