ATSSkinner | Wed 14/02/2018 - 18:47 EST

Canadian NHL Teams Have A Busy Thursday Ahead

Canadian NHL Teams Have A Busy Thursday Ahead

Ottawa's A Favourite For The First Time In Nearly Two Months

The Ottawa Senators are -140 home favourites against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night, as the Sabres just upset Tampa Bay on Tuesday while the Sens got beat down by the defending champions. It's definitely a battle between two of the worst teams in the league and someone's got to be lined as the favourite and it better be the home team. But when you look back at Ottawa's odds history, you'll see that this is the first time since December 19th that they have laid any sort of juice (that wasn't -105 or less) when they closed -123 at home against Minnesota.

Ottawa lost 6-4 that day as we all know now the Wild are clearly the better squad, but Ottawa as a favourite has not produced great results for the team. Prior to that defeat, the Sens lost three other times laying chalk, with their last outright win as favourites coming in the two-game sweep of Colorado over in Sweden. Everyone knows how Ottawa's season went off the rails since that overseas trip and with recent play and recent history as favourites suggesting Ottawa isn't in good form, it's got to be Buffalo ML or nothing here.

Calgary Finishes Up Long Road Trip In Nashville

All things considered, the Calgary Flames avoided a major scare earlier this week when G Mike Smith avoided serious injury when it looked for sure he'd be done for awhile. Whether Smith goes on Thursday night remains to be seen (I'd lean no), as Calgary wraps up a six-game road trip in Nashville. The Flames are 3-2 SU so far on this trip, and come in as +165 underdogs in this game against the Predators.

For as solid as the Flames have been in recent months, this is an absolute brutal spot to back them, even with the tempting underdog odds. Nashville is one of the best teams in the league, and after Nashville dealt with their own troubles on the road north of the border last week, this homestand started out with a 4-3 OT win over St Louis on Tuesday and could see many more wins pile up. After this contest the Preds host the Red Wings and Senators - two games they'll be heavily favoured in - and they don't want to slip up now. With Calgary being road weary and just looking to get home soon, I wouldn't hesitate to lay the price with Nashville.

Edmonton Needs To Stop This Slide Now

The Oilers have lost four in a row as this is starting to look more and more like a lost season for this team from Edmonton. Brutal defensive play has been their downfall all year, and with 5+ goals allowed in three of these recent four losses - including 6 and 7 respectively in their last two games - it doesn't really matter how much help Connor McDavid has offensively, if the Oilers can't keep the puck out of their own net they are doomed. Thursday night finds them in Vegas to take on one of the best teams in the league, and if the Oilers are going to begin one final push this year, it's got to start immediately.

For as badly as Edmonton has been playing, I do believe there is some value in them on the ML at the +190 range. The Oilers prefer to play that uptempo style Vegas loves to employ, and it's not like they haven't been scoring plenty of goals themselves. Continuing to light up the lamp and getting a key save or two puts Edmonton in a real 'live' dog spot here, especially with Vegas lacking some consistency of late with a 3-3 SU record over their last six games. The Golden Knights have alternated wins with losses during that stretch and with them coming off a victory, taking a shot with the Oilers at this price and hoping someone can play defense may pay off handsomely.

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