NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Canadiens vs. Senators

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Canadiens vs. Senators article feature image

David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Montreal Canadiens right wing Cole Caufield (22).

  • The Senators and Canadiens face off Saturday in Ottawa.
  • The Sens are favorites entering the matchup, but Grant White is targeting the total.
  • He breaks down the odds and gives his betting prediction below.

Canadiens vs. Senators Odds

Canadiens Odds+180
Senators Odds-225
Over/Under6.5 (+100 / -120)
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

In an uncommon turn of events, the Toronto Maple Leafs were given a Saturday night off, meaning the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators have the spotlight on Hockey Night in Canada.

The Sens are fresh off a monster 6-2 win against the Leafs last night, but goaltending issues could impact their competitiveness against the Habs. Still, Montreal's been one of the worst teams in the league this year, and their focus remains squarely on the first overall selection in the 2023 NHL Draft.

Let's focus on where to find value in the game based on the Canadiens vs Senators odds.

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Montreal Canadiens

No Eastern Conference team has been worse than the Canadiens in 2023. At 42.4%, the Habs have the worst expected goals-for rating while getting outplayed in nine of twelve games, including eight straight. Their defensive zone coverage continues to sink the team's analytics, as the Canadiens have allowed at least 11 high-danger chances in all but one of their last eight matchups.

Somehow, though, the Habs continue to win games. This calendar year, Montreal is a respectable 5-6-1, with three of those victories coming over the past six outings. As expected, their offense has been operating efficiently, offsetting their defensive shortcomings. The Habs' shooting percentage has increased to 10.9% over the last five, above their season-long average of 9.7%. Further, they've eclipsed 10.0% shooting at five-on-five in four of their previous five.

Altogether, the Canadiens' analytics suggest that more high-scoring affairs are on the horizon. The Habs have an entertaining combination of elite offensive output and sloppy defense, which should yield end-to-end action. Moreover, Montreal's goaltenders can't continue to weather the storm.

Throughout his four-year career, Sam Montembeault has -27.7 goals saved above average rating. Likewise, Jake Allen's set a -17.3 benchmark over his 10 years in the NHL. It's worth noting, Montembeault is the projected starter tonight.

Ottawa Senators

Competing on consecutive nights has disadvantages, but those drawbacks are even more pronounced when you start the same goalie in both outings. On Tuesday, Sens' goalie Cam Talbot appeared to suffer a lower-body injury against the New YorkIslanders. That leaves Anton Forsberg as the only NHL-caliber netminder available for this weekend's back-to-back, and he's confirmed to start tonight against the Habs.

Predictably, Forsberg has struggled in playing on consecutive nights. The Swedish tendy is 0-3-0 in four starts, posting a 3.49 goals against average and 89.3% save percentage. Although he was effective last night against the Maple Leafs, that has been the exception and not the rule over Forsberg's recent sample. The former seventh-round pick has posted a save percentage below 90.0% in four of his past six, with a cumulative 86.2% mark.

Ottawa's defensive metrics are pretty sound, but they continue to get outplayed over their recent schedule. The Sens have posted an expected goals-for rating below 50.0% in three of their previous four, with a cumulative 48.1% benchmark. That sub-optimal standard could be exacerbated by playing on a back-to-back, and for the third time in four nights.

Canadiens vs. Senators Pick

Circumstances suggest that there should be plenty of scoring in tonight's Atlantic Division battle between the Sens and Habs.

Montreal's been playing a river-style game recently, while the Senators' goaltending issues will be made worse by playing on back-to-back nights.

It's not worth passing up plus-money on the over.

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