NHL Betting Odds & Picks: Canadiens vs. Bruins, Blackhawks vs. Canucks (Wednesday, Feb. 12)

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Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Patrice Bergeron

Feb 12, 2020, 12:33 PM EST

There are only three games on the NHL card for Wednesday night, but there’s drama everywhere you turn.

Not only will the Bruins (-215) and Canadiens (+180) renew their century-old rivalry on national TV, but the Vancouver Canucks (-145) will honor two of the franchise’s most iconic heroes — Daniel and Henrik Sedin — before a showdown with the Chicago Blackhawks (+125).

Let’s jump in.

Wednesday NHL Odds & Picks


Odds as of Wednesday morning and via DraftKings, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.


Montreal Canadiens vs. Boston Bruins

  • Canadiens odds: +180
  • Bruins odds: -215
  • Over/Under: 5.5
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
  • TV: NBCSN

The Montreal Canadiens are the type of team I love to bet on. The Habs are almost certainly going to miss the playoffs, but they’ve had strong 5-on-5 metrics the entire season. Some better injury luck and a stronger season from their goalies and the Canadiens would be right in the hunt in the Eastern Conference.

Only two teams this season — Vegas and Tampa Bay — have a better expected goals rate than Montreal’s 53.6% xG share. The Habs have been in good form lately, too.

Montreal has won seven of its last 10 games and boasts a 57.5% expected goals rate in that timeframe. It’s probably too little too late, but don’t be surprised if the Habs at least keep things interesting with a run at an improbable playoff berth.

The loss of No. 1 defenseman Shea Weber hurts, but Montreal still has a serviceable defense, plus the strength of this team is its ability to create offense. The Canadiens average 2.66 expected goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5, the third-best mark in the circuit.

Additionally, the Bruins don’t really create a ton of offense at even strength. The powerplay is a different story — the B’s are probably the best team on the man advantage in the league — but if the Habs can keep this game at 5-on-5, they should be able to keep this thing close.

Heatmap via HockeyViz.com

This game scripts out as a strength vs. strength matchup, as no team in the NHL allows fewer expected goals against per 60 minutes than the Bruins.

Boston also comes into this game in terrific shape, despite a loss to the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon. The Bruins are 7-3-0 in their last 10 games and own a 61.1% expected goals rate in that span. Boston is a well-oiled machine and one of the best teams in the NHL, but I think there is some value on Montreal at +180.

At that price, you’d need Montreal to win this game roughly 35% of the time to see value and this team is good enough to meet that criteria.

Around the League

It should be a fun night at Rogers Arena, but I think there’s value in fading the Canucks in this matchup.

Vancouver has plenty of talent to beat its underlying metrics, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that the Canucks’ 5-on-5 stats have tanked. In their last 10 games, Vancouver has a 43.9% expected goals rate and is allowing 2.7 xGA/60. That spells trouble against a team as gifted offensively as the Blackhawks, especially since Chicago has improved its 5-on-5 play of late.

I wouldn’t dip further than +125 and I wonder if some Sedin Steam comes in on Vancouver as we approach puck drop or during the retirement ceremony, but I’ll be on the party-spoilers tonight.

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Follow Michael J. Leboff on Twitter
@TheBigLeebowski

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