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Saturday NHL Odds & Picks for Canadiens vs. Senators: Bet Montreal To Exact Revenge (Feb. 6)

Saturday NHL Odds & Picks for Canadiens vs. Senators: Bet Montreal To Exact Revenge (Feb. 6) article feature image

Vincent Ethier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price.

  • Montreal was dealt a reality check in Thursday's 3-2 loss to Ottawa in NHL action. Matt Russell doesn't see that happening again in Saturday's game.
  • Russell explains why he's backing the Canadiens to grab the road victory below.

Canadiens vs. Senators Odds

Canadiens Odds -250
Senators Odds +210
Over/Under 6.5 (-107 / -114)
Time 1 p.m. ET
Odds updated Saturday at 11 a.m. ET and via DraftKings.

The title of this preview for Saturday’s matinee between the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens should just be “Public Service Announcement.”

At least, that’s what the first matchup between the two should have been. Unfortunately, since we don’t have a crystal ball or Biff Tannen’s sports almanac, we couldn’t take advantage of the pending PSA on Thursday. 

The Canadiens have been the most impressive team this season, and the Senators goaltending has been subject of derision in this space. So, of course, Ottawa won in Montreal in their first meeting of the season.

Let the record show, though, that there is no such thing as “no chance.” Especially not in the NHL. When you’re betting hockey, don’t just expect the unexpected. Expect the logically impossible. That’s as good advice as any.

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Montreal Canadiens

Ottawa’s long road home shouldn’t have ended in a win. Neither, according to betting-market expectation that had it nearing a +300 underdog in Montreal, nor by the way it played.

The Senators took advantage of one really good minute at the end of the first period, scoring twice just 18 seconds apart on their way to a 3-2 victory.

For the second time in a week, the Canadiens dominated their opponents at even-strength and lost the game. On Saturday, Montreal created 17 even-strength High-Danger Chances against Calgary, only to suffer a 2-0 defeat.

On Thursday, they were all over the Senators to the tune of 16 HDCs, but again weren’t able to convert enough to make the opponent pay. This will happen from time to time. It’s hockey.

Mix in the pair of games with Vancouver this past week, where the Canadiens created 14 and 10 HDCs, and there is certainly nothing to worry about with Montreal’s offense. Not converting just happens to be an outlier.

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Ottawa Senators

The word “outlier” should really be in bold when describing this game, and the bold comes straight from the crease of goaltender Matt Murray.

By far the worst at this position in the league, Murray ranks dead last in GSAA (Goals Saved Above Average)  and had similarly terrible numbers that got him ran out of Pittsburgh. Murray continues to get the net only because Ottawa lacks another option. 

Montreal used to be renowned for their pregame ceremony, veritable “turn-back-the-clock” nights were must-see even for the many in Canada that loathe the vaunted Canadiens franchise. Murray had his own “turn-back-the-clock” game last time out, stopping 36 of 38 shots  in what had to have felt like an out-of-body experience given how he’s looked this season. 

The Senators return home for this game, and you’d have to think the likelihood of pulling another rabbit out of their hat would be quite unlikely, as much as my “Let’s Do That Hockey” model, as heard on THE WINDOW: Sports Betting Podcast, respects the work the 18 skaters have done this season.

The market, which doesn’t think as highly of Ottawa, gave it a 27 percent chance to win. While each outcome of the season is an independent result, odds of back-to-back victories seems microscopic.

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Canadiens vs. Senators Best Bet

With the venue shift to Ottawa, you’re not getting the juicy moneyline price that the brave and stubborn few who backed the Senators on Thursday were able to land.

The line looks to be around Montreal -240/Ottawa +200 from what I can tell. This isn’t far off from my true moneyline of -175/+175, as the Canadiens’ rating actually improved after the loss. 

Betting on the Senators is a bet akin to betting on lightning striking twice. Not because the Senators skaters aren’t capable, but the idea that Ottawa will see the same level of goaltending again.

I don’t think the venue shift should change the play, and I expect the Habs to get vengeance on a day where the Senators have returned home after a long trip, with a sigh of relief after snapping their losing streak.

Not one to lay the big price, I’d be more apt to take my chances with Montreal in regulation at -150 or on the puckline at a plus-money number.

Picks: Canadiens — To Win in Regulation (-150 or better) | Canadiens -1.5 (+100 or better)

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