Senators-Canadiens Betting Odds, Preview: When Will Ottawa’s Luck Run Out?

Senators-Canadiens Betting Odds, Preview: When Will Ottawa’s Luck Run Out? article feature image
Credit:

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Matt Duchene

Betting odds: Ottawa Senators at Montreal Canadiens

  • Senators moneyline: +160
  • Canadiens moneyline: -185
  • Over/Under: 6.5
  • Puck drop:  7:30 p.m. ET

NHL value plays: 25-20, +12.88 units

Don’t look now but the Ottawa Senators are rolling.

The Sens, who came into the season with the lowest expectations in the NHL, have won three in a row and sit just two points out of the final Wild Card spot after 25 games. It likely won’t last, but Ottawa has quietly been a nice story after a tumultuous offseason.

On Tuesday night the Senators visit the team they are chasing for the final playoff spot, the Montreal Canadiens, as +160 underdogs.

Even though their 12-12-3 record suggests they are an average team, the Senators are quite bad. They have a league-worst 43.2% Corsi Rating (CF%) and their -8.3 expected goal differential is sixth-worst in the circuit. Ottawa is getting by thanks to a league-best 10.9 shooting % at 5v5 and that will not last.

The Canadiens have strong predictive numbers. The Habs rank in the top 10 in high-danger scoring chance %, expected goals % and CF%.

All of this sounds like a case for the Canadiens — and they are the better team — but the market is flattering Montreal. At -185 Montreal has a 62.8% chance of winning and Ottawa has a 37.2% implied probability after removing the vigorish. Is the gulf between these two teams that drastic right now?

There is good news for the Senators in this matchup. Both of these teams play at a high pace. Ottawa certainly allows a lot of shots and scoring chances, but suppressing shot attempts and scoring chances isn’t a strength of the Habs, either, as they rank in the middle of the pack in both shot attempts allowed and high-danger scoring chances allowed per 60.

In a game where you are expecting the team you bet on to be outshot, out-chanced and generally outplayed, it’s imperative that you get decent goaltending. While Craig Anderson has been a picture of mediocrity for much of this season, the veteran netminder has found some form over the past two games.

The 37-year-old has stopped 63 of the last 65 shots he’s faced and has a .933 save percentage over his last four games. Goaltending is incredibly fickle, but Anderson is in a better place than either Carey Price or Antti Niemi for Montreal.

This is a bet you lose more often than you win, but there’s value in Ottawa on the road in Montreal and I’d suggest playing them at +150 or above.

The Bet: Ottawa Senators +160

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