Betting Guide for the 2023 NHL All-Star Skills Competition
The NHL All-Star Game is this Saturday, and you can find my thoughts on betting that here. Before we get to the game, we have the Skills Competition taking place on Friday night, offering us a few betting markets to take a look at.
Note: Lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. All NHL betting odds and totals come from FanDuel Sportsbook.
Elias Pettersson To Win Hardest Shot (+380)
NHL All-Star Weekend kicks off on Friday night with several skills competitions, which are fun and exciting betting markets to handicap.
One of the many events is the Hardest Shot Competition, which is simple -- have the fastest shot based on MPH. The field is comprised of five skaters, and I like Elias Pettersson, who has the second-longest odds (+380), to win the event.
In the Hardest Shot Competition in 2020, Pettersson finished third overall with a speed of 102.4 mph. That speed was also the second-fastest ever by a forward, trailing Steven Stamkos at 103.9 mph. Traditionally, this competition has been won by big-bodied defensemen, but the field is somewhat lacking that this year.
Seth Jones (+480), a defender from the Chicago Blackhawks, is in the field this year, but he has failed to record big numbers in previous Hardest Shot Competitions. In 2019, Jones had his best showing of 99.4 mph.
The toughest task will be getting past the great Alex Ovechkin, who is the favorite to win the event at +300. Ovechkin won this event in 2018 with a speed of 101.3 mph. He hasn't competed since then, and while I will never doubt the Great 8, the odds aren't long enough for me.
Pettersson has a good combination of a proven track record in the event along with long-enough odds to make it worth a bet.
Leon Draisaitl To Win Accuracy Shooting (+500)
Next up, is the Accuracy Shooting Competition, and I like Leon Draisaitl (+500) to win.
Draisaitl has the second-shortest odds to win this event behind his teammate, Connor McDavid (+440). I'm taking a slightly different approach to this event compared to the Hard Shot, which is a bit more variable. Accuracy is a very trackable and consistent skill for players. They have long-term success that is consistent from year to year, and that is what we want to be relying on.
When it comes to shooting percentage, both Draisaitl and McDavid are sitting at 19.6% this season. Among players who have 50 points or more this year, they are tied for the third-highest.
While it's fair to say McDavid is better than Draisaitl overall, we want to take a peek at their long-term shooting percentage. Among all active NHL players, Draisaitl has the highest career shooting percentage at 17.79%, with McDavid as the 10th-highest at 15.51%.
Draisaitl has the long-term consistency we want along with a high probability of winning the event. If +500 isn't long enough for you, consider Jack Hughes at +700 to win this event.