It’s All-Star Weekend in the NHL as the Pacific Division faces off with the Central Division in the semifinal of the all-star tournament. Come with us as we share our All-Star Game odds series and make a Pacific-Central prediction and pick while showing you how to watch.
The Pacific Division is looking to make its mark after falling in the opener a year ago. Significantly, they have two of the best players in the world, yet neither made an impact in the previous game. A few of the players that made impacts are not even in this year’s contest. Ultimately, Jonathan Marchessault, Mark Stone, Timo Meier, and John Gibson all made an impact, but none will play in this year’s contest. The Pacific will instead bring back Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, along with a few new pieces.
The Central Division had a good All-Star weekend in 2021. Now, they look to replicate the process despite losing some star power. Last year’s lineup included Alex DeBrincat, Nazem Kadri, Jordan Kyrou, Joe Pavelski, Clayton Keller, and Roman Josi. Yet, not all will return, and some will even play for other divisions.
The Pacific and the Central have split their previous four matchups. Ultimately, the All-Star tournament serves as a free-skating skills tournament where the teams display very little defense. The reward ends up turning into an offensive masterpiece, where the players generally put up video-game numbers.
Here are the Pacific-Central NHL odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NHL Odds: Pacific-Central Odds
Pacific: +102 ML
Central: -124 ML
Over: 13.5 (-106)
Under: 13.5 (-116)
How To Watch Pacific vs. Central
TV: ABC and ESPN+
Time: 3 PM ET/12 PM PT
*Watch NHL games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why The Pacific Could Cover The Spread
If you have watched hockey for a while, you know the best player in the game. Ultimately, no one can deny how good McDavid is. It will be his sixth appearance in the All-Star Game. Amazingly, he already has 41 goals and 51 assists through 50 games this season. McDavid is the greatest player of this generation and the closest thing to Wayne Gretzky in our era. Likewise, he has an amazing partner in crime. Draisaitl is not just “second fiddle” to McDavid. Instead, he makes his own mark and will make his fourth appearance in the All-Star Game. Draisaitl has 29 goals and 47 assists this season. However, the greatest addition to the Pacific division roster is Kadri, who the Calgary Flames acquired this offseason. Kadri will make his second All-Star Game appearance and will look to continue to make a mark in this special tournament.
Kevin Fiala and Chandler Stephenson are both making their first appearance in the tournament. Significantly, they have had good seasons for their respective teams. Fiala has 18 goals and 35 assists while Stephenson has 11 goals and 33 assists.
The Pacific could cover the spread if McDavid and Draisaitl put on a show for the Florida crowd. Likewise, Kadri must replicate last year’s performance. Fiala must make a difference in his first appearance.
Why The Central Could Cover The Spread
While McDavid and Draisaitl garner all the attention, the Central have some stars to watch. Moreover, you cannot forget about Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators. Josi is probably one of the best defensmen in the game. Substantially, he has put the puck in the back of the net numerous times over the years and will now make his fourth appearance in the All-Star Game. Nathan MacKinnon returns to the tournament for the fourth time and looks to prove why he is one of the best playmakers in the game. Also, Keller returns for the third time and hopes to add on to the two assists he provided in 2022. Meanwhile, Mikko Rantanen will return for his second appearance, and Kirill Kaprizov will also make his second outing. Cale Makar makes his second appearance.
Jason Robertson has been an amazing story this season. Therefore, he will make his All-Star Game debut this weekend and looks to show everyone just who he is. Robertson has 32 goals and 33 assists and could hit the 100-point mark if he keeps up the production. Likewise, Winnipeg Jets defenseman Josh Morrisey makes his debut in the All-Star Game. Morrisey has 10 goals and 43 assists this season.
The Central could cover the spread if MacKinnon leads by example. Then, they need Robertson to make an impact in his debut. But Makar and Jones could truly give the Central the edge with some scoring touch.
Final Pacific-Central Prediction & Pick
There will be plenty of goals. However, you cannot bet against the two best scorers in a shootout. The Pacific take this.
Final Pacific-Central Prediction & Pick: Pacific: +102 ML