Penguins vs. Canadiens Odds & Picks: Habs Underpriced On Wednesday


Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Matt Murray

  • Michael Leboff previews Game 3 of the qualifying series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens.
  • Should the Habs really be priced the same as they were the first two games? Find analysis of the betting odds below.

Canadiens vs. Penguins Odds

Canadiens Odds +143 [BET NOW]
Penguins Odds -167 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 5.5 [BET NOW]
Time 8 p.m. ET

Odds as of Tuesday night and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.

It wasn’t easy, but the Pittsburgh Penguins knotted up their best-of-5 series with the Montreal Canadiens with a 3-1 win on Monday night. There were a lot of similarities in the first two games.

Pittsburgh has controlled play at 5-on-5 for the most part in this series but an in-form Carey Price has kept Montreal in both games and now we’re talking about a best-of-3 in a sport where variance runs wild. Anything can happen.

Price has been Montreal’s best player, but the Canadiens haven’t really been blown out at 5-on-5. The Habs aren’t nearly as deep as the Pens, so they’re going to have to weather several storms in each game, but Montreal has not looked out of place in this series.

Montreal Canadiens Pittsburgh Penguins
5-on-5 Goals For 4 3
5-on-5 Expected Goals For 3.42 4.29
5-on-5 Shot Attempts 97 108
5-on-5 High-Danger Scoring Chances 18 22

Expected goals (also known as xG) is a predictive statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as shooting luck or outstanding goaltending.

Simply put, an expected goals rate (xGF%) above 50% is considered good because it means a team is creating the majority of the scoring chances. Anything below 50% is usually a sign that a team is struggling to control play.

Stats cited from Natural Stat Trick.

It goes without saying but the Habs will need to keep this game at 5-on-5 to give themselves a chance. The expected goals in all situations for Game 2 was 3.82 to 1.68 in favor of Pittsburgh but at 5-on-5 it was much tighter at 1.48 to 1.22. With Price on song, the Habs have a chance to pull off another upset or two.

There was a 15-cent gap at some sportsbooks between Montreal’s price in Games 1 and 2 and I’d expect them to close somewhere in the middle for Game 3.

Montreal Canadiens Pittsburgh Penguins
Game 1 +140 -165
Game 2 +155 -175
Game 3 +143 -167

You lose this bet more often than you win it, but the Habs are sticking around the same price every game despite making it clear through two games that they can compete.

The Pens should take plenty of money, so be sure to shop around and try to find +150. The best out there in the U.S. on Tuesday night is +145, but I expect better on Wednesday.

[Bet now at FanDuel. NJ, PA, CO, IN and WV only.]

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