NHL Betting Odds, Preview, Picks: Stars vs. Canadiens (October 22)
David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Montreal Canadiens right wing Cole Caufield (22).
Stars vs. Canadiens Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Montreal looks to remain unbeaten on home ice this season as the Canadiens host the Dallas Stars, who have also had an excellent start to the season and enter this one with a record of 3-0-1.
The Canadiens were priced by oddsmakers to be one of the three worst teams in the league this season, yet have continued to look scrappy in the early going.
Is Montreal a live underdog at home on Saturday night?
The Stars have started the season well under new head coach Pete Deboer, who has lead the team to an early 3-1-0 record with a quality xGF% of 54.50 and a goal differential of +8.
I would argue Dallas has had an easier schedule than others may believe with home games versus Winnipeg and Nashville, as well as a road contest versus the Predators, who had just returned from Prague.
Regardless, the early play from Dallas has been solid and the fact that Tyler Seguin and Mason Marchment have both produced is excellent for the Stars.
Dallas' greatest flaw last season was a lack of secondary scoring behind a ridiculously strong top line of Roope Hintz, Jason Robertson and Joe Pavelski. Progress in that area might go a long way.
Jake Oettinger figures to be one of the better starting options in the league this season.
Oettinger's full-fledged breakout came versus Calgary in the playoffs last year, but the indicators that Oettinger was highly underrated were certainly there, especially if you were to step back and review all of his NHL splits prior to that series.
It was clear at the end of last season that Martin St. Louis had greatly changed the atmosphere and that his developing young team was buying into what the NHL legend was preaching.
Offensively, the Canadiens have scored at a high rate this season and the duo of Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki has been spectacular.
Montreal's defensive core was widely considered to be a flaw that would be hard to overcome this season and although the team's defensive play has been far from dominant, it has been better than many expected.
A massive part of that has been the play of Kaiden Guhle, who has been dominant in the early going, skating top minutes alongside David Savard.
That leaves a notably thin back end as the Canadiens are skating four rookies on a night-in and night-out basis. However, it seems possible Montreal could end up with a better six-man unit than expected.
Montreal may not be controlling much of the overall play, but I believe a 39.91 xGF% is completely harsh to what I have seen. My belief is that the Canadiens have done well to avoid defensive breakdowns, staying structured while controlling less of the play.
I believe that has been a big part of both of Montreal's supposedly poor goaltending and although the Canadiens might not play to an above .500 record all season long, the team is doing the right things to hang around in contests.
Jake Allen has been solid to start the campaign with a +3.0 GSAx and a .938 save %. I expect him to get another start Saturday.
Stars vs. Canadiens Pick
Along with a number of teams in the Central division, I believe it's possible the Dallas Stars could be somewhat overvalued entering this season and it would not surprise me to see Montreal control more of the play Saturday than most would expect.
Dallas does not project to be a team that will consistently blow the doors off of anybody, and although the Stars are playing under a new coach, we have consistently seen this roster play in a ton of tightly contested matchups over the past two seasons.
I like backing the Canadiens to pull off another upset on home ice with Martin St. Louis behind the bench, something we have seen consistently since the legendary winger's arrival in Montreal.
It's never fun to bet against Jake Oettinger, but I don't believe there is enough disparity between these two lineups that Montreal should be this heavy of an underdog.
I like Montreal to build on it's solid start and would play the Canadiens down to +135.
With regards to a total, I certainly lean toward the under.
Pick: Montreal Canadiens +140 (Play to +135)