NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Canadiens vs. Golden Knights (Jan. 20)
Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: William Karlsson
- The Golden Knights are massive favorites over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.
- Instead of backing either side, Jonny Lazarus provides analysis on the over/under for Vegas vs. Montreal.
Canadiens vs. Golden Knights Odds
|Golden Knights Odds||-350|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Dallas Stars, 5-3, as huge underdogs on Tuesday night, but that result was nothing more than a blip in a disastrous season for the Habs.
The Golden Knights have lost three in a row, and it’s hard to come up with a better opponent for a team looking to get off the schneid than the Montreal Canadiens.
The Habs Have No Identity
This will be a rematch of last years Stanley Cup Semi-Finals, but don’t expect a very close game. The Montreal Canadiens have not been able to find an identity for their team all season long and injuries have decimated this team from Opening Night.
Montreal is last in the NHL in goals per game (2.16), but their underlying metrics do suggest the offense is creating more opportunities than that. What that tells us is that this team lacks the finishing talent to put away the modest amount of opportunities they are creating.
The Habs don’t grade out well defensively, either, as they rank 29th in expected goals allowed, 25th in high-danger scoring chances allowed and 25th in goals allowed at 5-on-5.
Sam Montembeault stood on his head in the victory against Dallas, stopping 48 of 51 shots, but he’s struggled to a .902 save percentage and a -2.3 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx) in 11 games this season.
Montreal will be without Carey Price, Jake Allen, Shea Weber, Joel Edmundson, Brendan Gallagher, Cole Caufield, Joel Armia and Cedric Paquette in this matchup.
A Get-Right Spot for the Knights
The Golden Knights are usually one of the best teams on home ice in the NHL, but a three-game losing streak in Vegas has pushed their record at The Fortress to 12-10-2.
Despite their recent struggles, this remains one of the league’s best teams when it is at full strength. The Knights rank sixth in goals per game (3.45), sixth in expected goals per 60 minutes (2.7) and eighth in high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes (12.04) on the season.
The Knights do allow a high-volume of chances the other way — they’re 20th in expected goals against and 25th in high-danger scoring chances conceded — but Vegas seems happy to play a high-event style and bet on itself to come out ahead.
Robin Lehner has lost his last three starts, but he has been reliable all season long for the Golden Knights. Lehner has a +3.1 Goals Saved Above Expected and a .904 save percentage.
Canadiens vs. Golden Knights Pick
Vegas is in need of a strong bounce back win on home ice after dropping their last three. Montreal has been horrendous all season long and will be completely outmatched in this game. It’s hard to work up the moxie needed for a bet on the Habs and the price is just way too high on the Knights here.
Instead, I think there’s value on the Over/Under as I have a hard time seeing Montreal creating scoring chances in a matchup where they’ll be overmatched. There’s always the danger of Vegas putting up a crooked number, but they’ll need to do the heavy lifting if this game is to get over the total.
Pick: Under 6
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