NHL Odds & Pick for Canucks vs. Canadiens: Monday’s Betting Value on Montreal
Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images. Pictured: Alexander Romanov.
- Two North Division foes go to battle on Monday as the Vancouver Canucks take on the Montreal Canadiens.
- Both teams enter the game with 12 points, but only one side has an advantage, according to Matt Russell.
- Check out Russell's full betting breakdown complete with a pick based on his analysis below.
Canucks vs. Canadiens
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The border is closed ahead of the Canucks’ battle against the Canadiens on Monday.
At least that’s what the government of Canada would have us believe.
In reality, the border is only kind of closed. It’s limited to essential travel, by car, across the land border. Plane travel to the United States is allowed, but the Canadian airlines have canceled direct flights to the U.S, and a 14-day quarantine would be mandatory upon return.
In the North Division this season, with the widest geographical gap possible between certain pairs of teams, the NHL is handing out layovers to any team with a cross-country flight on their schedule, which could have an impact on final results.
The Canucks had a stopover in Winnipeg on their way to Montreal on Saturday night.
They landed in Manitoba, took a bathroom break, picked up two points in the standings and hopped back on the plane.
The win wasn’t pretty, but neither was their victory the last time they played Montreal. Vancouver stole a win to start its 3-game series despite getting dominated 5-on-5. The Canucks will look to accomplish the same feat as they open another set of games in Montreal.
The Canucks have won four straight since losing the last two versus Montreal, but that was against the division-dweller Senators and a Jets team that’s struggling to gain momentum this season as their star goaltender hasn’t been stellar.
The Canucks fired home three goals on seven high-danger chances (HDC) and gave up just three HDCs to Winnipeg in getting their first win at MTS Centre after 17 tries.
While calls for heads to roll in Vancouver have quieted down, as they’ve raised their rating back closer to average in my “Let’s Do That Hockey” model, it doesn’t change the fact that this week is a step back up in weight class for the Canucks.
If Vancouver was hoping for some thievery at the Bell Centre Monday, its chances might have taken a hit on Saturday as the Flames beat it to the punch.
The Canadiens came into a rematch with Calgary having yet to lose in regulation this season. Some may have said the Habs were “due” for a loss, especially against a quality team, but they actually played their best game of the season at even-strength even though they got shut out.
The Canadiens created a season-high 17 HDCs 5-on-5 and gave up one shy of a season-low, surrendering just four HDCs to the Flames.
The Flames scored a power-play goal early in the first and used that lead and stellar goaltending from Jacob Markstrom to hand the Habs a loss they definitely deserved.
In fact, the underlying metrics bumped the Canadiens’ rating even higher than it already was in my model, at 25% above-average. While that’s not sustainable, it still provides us with a little value on the favorite.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The Habs opened at -160 on the moneyline on Sunday — not far from where they were from a price standpoint when the teams last met a week ago in Vancouver.
From a home-ice perspective, I’m less interested in the home team’s winning record to start the season as I am in just more time and data points piling up to legitimize the Habs as the best team in the North Division.
The Habs will start Carey Price, while the Canucks will likely turn to Braden Holtby in the opener despite their recent leaning to youngster Thatcher Demko as their goalie of choice.
Holtby got two starts against the Habs in Vancouver, and neither was inspiring as he gave up five goals in a shootout win and then four goals in a decisive loss.
My true moneyline has this game at Montreal -140/Vancouver +140, and that’s before factoring in the situation and the goaltending matchup.
If you can grab the Habs at -160, that’s definitely a bet worth making, even if it takes a roundabout way to get there.
Pick: Canadiens (-160 or better)