Canucks vs. Canadiens NHL Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Can Montreal Repeat Monday’s Dominance? (Feb. 2)
Vincent Ethier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: The Canadiens celebrate on Monday night.
- The Montreal Canadiens host the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night in Montreal.
- The two teams met on Monday night with the Canadiens pulling out an easy victory.
- Will history repeat itself? Or will the underdogs get a rare win over a rival?
Canucks vs. Canadiens Odds
|Time | TV||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Monday night and via DraftKings.|
Every once in a while, a game goes exactly how you’d expect it.
You’re not going to have a parade thrown for you for cashing a ticket on a -160 favorite, nor should you. When it’s as sweat-free as the first game between the Vancouver Canucks and Montreal Canadiens, it does give you a little hop in your step. The obvious question for the rematch on Tuesday: Can this be replicated?
It was clear prior to Monday’s game between these two teams that a parade of mediocre opponents had bumped the Canucks’ rating up in both my ‘Let’s Do That Hockey’ model and in the market. There was plenty to question about that rating after three wins against the Senators and their suspect goaltending, as well as a win over the Jets that didn’t qualify as one that would have you buying in to Vancouver’s prospects.
Monday’s game was a rude awakening for the Canucks as they made the step back up in weight class, and it looked like the previous three games the teams played, only much worse for the Canucks. Whether it was the goal one minute into the game, or the short-handed goal shortly thereafter, the Canucks were skating upstream all night.
By the time the buzzer sounded on the second period, the Habs had a commanding 6-1 lead. It was yet another impressive performance for Montreal, which has looked good even in rare defeat.
Right now, my model has the Canadiens as the clear-cut best team in the North Division, something that we could see brewing for some time. Whether it was sneaky good underlying metrics last season, the upset win over Pittsburgh in the playoff qualifier last summer, or the general concept of a young, talented and fast team getting more experience, it has been clear that the Habs were on the precipice.
The Canadiens’ top two lines are among the top-10 in the league in expected goal share (XG%) which means at home against the other team’s non-checking lines, is going to give them even more of an advantage than when they’re on the road. A place where they started the season 4-0-2.
Betting Analysis & Pick
There’s no reason not to like Montreal right now, so I would fully expect them to continue to click, and maybe the worst thing you can say about the Canucks is that they had the misfortune of having to face the Habs in almost half of their first 13 games.
The Canucks will turn back to Thatcher Demko, who is their better option both in the long and short terms. That should finally be clear to the decision-makers in Vancouver who came into the season with a surprising amount of confidence in the veteran. The Canadiens will likely flip back to Jake Allen on the back-half of this visit, and early on this season he hasn’t been a downgrade from Carey Price. Allen has a +2.15 GSAA (goals saved above average), which coincidentally is the same as that of Demko.
The Canucks’ one win over the Habs came in a shootout. I don’t want to be laying a -180 or bigger price with Montreal given that I think the Habs are at a disadvantage 3-on-3 or in the shootout. I think the play in this one is to limit risk, by betting just a unit (or slightly more) on the Habs to win in regulation, and hope the game goes as smoothly as Monday’s meeting did for Montreal.
Pick: Canadiens in regulation (-110 or better)