The NHL All-Star Game takes place this Saturday on January 26. Unlike the NFL and NBA, the NHL All-Star Game isn’t really a game. It’s a 3-match tournament that allows All-Stars from every division to play for at least a few minutes. All teams must be represented in 2019 NHL All-Star betting, which is why the Atlantic Division squad isn’t full of Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leaf players.

The tournament works like one, complete, 60 minute, 3-period, regular season NHL battle. In the first 20 minute game, the Central takes on the Pacific. The winner moves on to battle the Metropolitan-Atlantic winner.

The new format’s in its fourth season. So far, only the Metropolitan Division and the Pacific Division have won the 2019 NHL All-Star Game. Will that trend hold this year? Or, will the Central or Atlantic take the All-Star Game hardware?

2019 NHL All-Star Betting
3-on-3 Single Elimination Tournament
Saturday, January 26th – SAP Center, San Jose – 5:15pm ET

Central vs Pacific

It’s always tough to handicap 3-on-3 in anything. In hockey, it’s close to impossible, but there’s some history here. The Pacific has a decided edge in goal with Golden Knight Marc-Andrew Fleury and Duck Josh Gibson. Fleury has 27 wins, leading the league, while Gibson has 17 wins.

The Pacific beat the Central 5-2 last season. Fleury should play exceptionally well while Gibson most definitely would have more wins if he didn’t suit up for Anaheim every game. In a 3-on-3 tournament, goalie play means slightly more than anything else. The Pacific players move on.

2019 NHL All-Star Betting: Pacific

Metropolitan vs Atlantic

The Atlantic pulled away to a 6-4 win in last season’s second game. The same thing could happen this season. Again, we can turn to the goalie position to come up with our pick.

Metropolitan goalies Henrik Lundqvist and Braden Holtby have won 15 and 17 games. That doesn’t compare to Tampa goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy who has taken 20 matches despite missing nearly two months due to injury. Sure, Vasilevskiy plays in the net for the best team in NHL, but he’s still be fantastic.

When Vasilevskiy’s not in the net, Detroit’s Jimmy Howard will be. Howard’s been excellent. He’s won 17 games behind a bad team. The Metropolitan fellas will keep it close again for a while. The Atlantic figures to prevail.

2019 NHL All-Star Betting Free Pick: Atlantic

Pacific vs Atlantic Analysis and Pick

The Pacific will have the edge in goal over the Atlantic, and Edmonton’s Conor McDavid is great, but the Atlantic might exact revenge in 2019. Last season, the Pacific beat the Atlantic 5-2. The star of that game, Canucks player Brock Boeser, didn’t make this year’s roster.

That alone makes it difficult to side with the Pacific in the finals. The Atlantic also changed at the forward position this season. In 2018, the forwards were led by Lightning players Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos, and Toronto player Auston Matthews. Brad Marchand represented Boston while the team also had Alexander Barkov.

This season, in addition to Kucherov and Stamkos, the Atlantic adds superstar John Tavares of the Maple Leafs and scoring machine David Pasternak of the Bruins. That should give hope to the Atlantic that they can get to Fleury and Howard. I like the Atlantic to turn the tables on the Pacific this Saturday. They are easily the most gifted squad.

2019 NHL All-Star Betting Free Pick: Atlantic