The Arizona Coyotes travel to Ohio for the NHL season opener against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The venue is Nationwide Arena where the Coyotes have won the previous two games against the Blue Jackets.
However, the most recent of those games were played almost two years ago. A lot has changed since, which explains why the home team is seen as the favorite in bookmakers’ eyes.
The big question is whether Arizona can upset the odds? In this betting preview, we’ll try to answer that question.
Arizona Fans Feel Excited Following Impressive Pre-Season
Last season, Arizona went 24-26-6, which wasn’t enough for a place in the playoffs. This season, however, their ambitions are much higher.
Ahead of Week 1, it seems that their expectations are justified. There are several reasons for that, starting with the fact that the Western Division doesn’t look too harsh, especially knowing that eight of the 16 teams will book a ticket to the postseason.
Another reason why the Arizona Coyotes should feel excited about the 2021-22 NHL season is that their roster looks really good right now. Their best players from the previous season are still on the team, including their skipper Phil Kassel, who will lead the team in the upcoming season as well.
There were some notable departures, though. For example, assist expert Conor Garland moved to Vancouver. Still, Arizona does have some young guns who are more than eager to show their worth.
Actually, some of them have already shown how good they are in the pre-season. Speaking of which, the Coyotes did really well, beating such heavyweights as the Vegas Golden Knights and Los Angeles Kings.
Sure, it’s just the pre-season, but their fans probably feel very excited about what’s going to follow next.
Why do Bookies Favor Columbus?
All popular bookmakers in Arizona favor Columbus. Why? One explanation is that the game is played in Columbus, where the Blue Jackets will have their fans to support them throughout the game.
Further, this team has always been tough to beat at home. Last season, for instance, we saw them going 11-9-8 at home. The Coyotes weren’t exactly great on the road, with a 12-14-2 record.
On top of everything, the Blue Jackets are probably extremely motivated to do well in the 2021-22 season, following a disappointing record last season. As a reminder, they finished at the very bottom of the Central Division.
So, should you back them to kick off the new season with a win? The answer is no. Arizona just looks too strong for Columbus at this point.
Sure, it’s not going to be an easy game, but the Coyotes are coming to Ohio to claim a victory.
Pick: Arizona Coyotes to win (+170) at Unibet.