Ottawa Senators at Montreal Canadiens Free Pick - Betting Lines
The Ottawa Senators will be looking to avenge last weekend’s home-and-home sweep at the hands of the rival Montreal Canadiens when these two Atlantic Division foes meet again this Saturday night. Game time from the Bell Centre is set for 7 p.m.
Ottawa at Montreal Game Overview
The Senators had a golden opportunity to take the lead in a very tight Atlantic Division title race heading into last weekend’s two-game series against their rivals, but they came up short in both games as underdogs while getting doubled up by a combined score of 8-4. Since those two losses, they have posted a pair of victories against Boston on the road and Pittsburgh at home as underdogs to get back on track. With those two wins, Ottawa (90 points) is only one point out of first place as it heads back on the road with a 21-13 record this season.
The total has stayed UNDER or ended as a PUSH in six of the Senators’ last eight games behind an offense that has averaged just 2.3 goals per game. The defense has been able to cover this scoring void with a goals-allowed average of 2.4. In Thursday’s 2-1 shootout victory against the Penguins, Ottawa goalie Mike Condon turned away 34 of the 34 shots he faced. Defenseman Erik Karlsson added an assist to raise his team-high point total to 67 (14 goals, 53 assists).
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Montreal followed up last weekend’s home-and-home sweep with a pair of losses to Detroit and Carolina as a heavy favorite at home while getting outscored a combined 6-2. The total has stayed UNDER or ended as a PUSH in 14 of its last 17 games. After dropping three of their last four games at the Bell Centre, the Canadiens are now 21-11-5 on their home ice as part of an overall record of 41-24-9.
The Canadiens took the early 1-0 lead on Thursday night against the Hurricanes before allowing four unanswered goals in the 4-1 loss as -177 favorites. Goalie Carey Price posted a save percentage of just .864 after allowing three goals on 22 of the shots he faced. On the year, Price has a .922 save percentage in 56 games with a solid goals-against average of 2.27. Max Pacioretty continues to lead Montreal with 33 goals and 27 assists, but he has been shutout in his last five games in what has become his longest scoring drought of the season.
Ottawa at Montreal Betting Trends
- The Senators are 6-1 in their last seven games following a win and they are 4-1 in their last five road games. The total has stayed UNDER or ended as a PUSH in 12 of their last 16 games on Saturday.
- The Canadiens have gone 3-8 in their last 11 home games, but they improve to 6-2 in their last eight games against a team with a winning record. The total has stayed UNDER or ended as a PUSH in seven of their last eight games at home.
- Head-to-head in this division tilt, Ottawa has a slight 4-3 edge in the last seven games with the season series tied at two games apiece. The total has gone OVER or ended as a PUSH in the last four meetings.
Ottawa Senators at Montreal Canadiens Prediction
I went with Ottawa last Saturday as a slight home underdog and came up just short in Montreal’s tight 4-3 shootout victory. I still like the Senators’ chances to avenge last weekend’s sweep with a victory this Saturday night, but I am more focused on the total line in this game as my ‘best bet’ pick.
The betting and scoring trends favor the OVER in this matchup, but given what is on the line as far as the regular season series tiebreaker in a very tight division title race, I think both team’s goalies bring their A game to keep the total UNDER the five-goal line.
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