ATSSkinner | Sat 03/02/2018 - 17:21 EST

Montreal vs Ottawa NHL Point Spread Odds And Prediction

Montreal vs Ottawa NHL Point Spread Odds And Prediction

Has Ottawa Found A Groove?

The 2017-18 season has been one to forget in large part for the Senators, but they are now 2-1 SU since coming out of the All-Star break, as a pair of OT/shootout wins have them gunning for three straight in this game. The Senators are still a team to fade long-term in my estimation as an asset sell-off should still be in the cards over the next month, but as it is with many non-playoff contenders in this league, when you see them getting hot in the 2nd half of the year, riding them for a few contests at sizeable odds isn't necessarily a bad choice.

Montreal looked quite impressive themselves on Saturday in a 5-2 win over Anaheim, as the Habs jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first period and cruised the rest of the way. Montreal rode a solid performance from backup goalie Antti Niemi as well (43 saves) and knowing that Niemi got the nod there, you can basically assure yourself that starter Carey Price will get the nod between the pipes on Sunday. That's always a positive piece of information to know as early as possible, and it's important to see what Ottawa does in that regard as starter Craig Anderson did play on Saturday.

My Team's Next MatchOttawa Senators

Ottawa Senators Vs Montreal Canadiens Odds

Ottawa (+140) vs Montreal (-165): Total: 5.5

As I touched on in the opening, Montreal does deserve to be laying a price as chalky as this, especially after how good they looked on Saturday. With oddsmakers assuming (like I am) that Carey Price will be in net and more than likely against the backup for Ottawa, they had no choice but to had a few more cents to that Montreal line, knowing that the majority of seasoned bettors would assume those starting netminders as well. If that is indeed what we get (starter vs backup), this line should only rise in favour of the Montreal side.

Ottawa Vs Montreal Selection: Under 5.5 Goals

Betting on the winner of this game is not something I really want to do though, as I said earlier that Ottawa looks to me like a team that's gaining confidence and I'm not in the business of laying -165 to go against them in that kind of spot. However, with the situation being the latter half of a back-to-back for both teams in the oddity of consecutive afternoon matinees, I do believe backing the total has much more value.

Whether or not Craig Anderson gets the nod in net or not for Ottawa, taking an 'under' knowing Carey Price is between the pipes on the other side is never a horrible idea. Price is one of the best goalies in the world these days and he held the Senators to just a single goal in his only other home start against them this season. That was a 2-1 win for Montreal and I can easily see this game ending up with a similar score.

Montreal is on a 18-44-14 O/U run when playing without a day off inbetween games, and four of the last five meetings between these two rivals have finished with 5 or fewer goals. The Habs are also 3-13-1 O/U when playing their third game in four days, and with Ottawa 1-6 O/U the last seven times they've been in that same scenario, I've got a tough time believeing there will be plenty of goals scored in this contest.

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