Free NHL Picks: Canadiens at Blue Jackets Odds
by George Monroy - 11/14/2013
The Montreal Canadiens may be playing on the road during their next matchup on Friday night, but the team is probably relieved to see the Columbus Blue Jackets on their schedule. Montreal was given a difficult schedule to start the month and had games against the Minnesota Wild, Colorado Avalanche, St. Louis Blues and Tampa Bay Lightning—essentially the best teams in both conferences. The Canadiens were able to walk away from that stretch of games with four points even though they lost five of their first six matchups to start the month.
The Blue Jackets are in the middle of an extended road trip that began on Tuesday with a loss to the Washington Capitals and will not end until the end of November when they play the Nashville Predators on the 27th. The Blue Jackets will play one home game during that eight-game stretch, and if they team does not figure out how to improve their record outside of Nationwide Arena, the next couple of weeks will be extremely difficult. Columbus, however, will host the Canadiens Friday night in a game they will desperately need to win. Let’s take a closer look at the Canadiens versus Blue Jackets matchup with predictions and analysis.
Canadiens at Blue Jackets Betting Story Lines
Montreal is coming off of a shootout loss to the Lightning on Tuesday. The team held Tampa Bay to one goal during regulation, but was never really competitive in the matchup. The Canadiens took 29 shots and failed to score a goal during three power-play opportunities. The team is in the middle of a six-game slump where they have been outscored 19-12, and they allowed four goals in a single game three times. The team’s last win was against the below-.500 New York Islanders on Sunday. Montreal’s poor play as of late is probably just a result of their tougher-than-usual schedule where they played four of the top eight teams in the league.
Overall, the Canadiens have a solid defense and rank fourth in the NHL in goals allowed and second in power play percentage at 23.3. The team scores only 2.6 goals per game and ranks 17th in that category. Montreal will be looking to take better shots and create more opportunities on offense, but I do not believe that the team needs to make any major changes in order to compete for a playoff spot this season.
The Blue Jackets are the third worst team in the NHL with only 13 points earned on the season. The team has been struggling in every area imaginable and is on the second night of a back-to-back. Columbus averages 30 shots attempts per game but scores only 2.5 goals during their opportunities, and they are ranked 19th in the league. The Blue Jackets simply do not take quality shots when they are on the ice. After Friday’s game against the Canadiens, Columbus will play five straight games on the road and will not see a home game until the end of the month.
Betting wise, the Montreal has been a solid wager against the puckline and has made $100 NHL bettors $300 so far this season. The Blue Jackets, on the other hand, have lost bettors $170 on the puckline. The team has lost by multiple goals five times during their last seven games, and they have not been a team that bettors should wager on through the first two months of the season.
Canadiens at Blue Jackets NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
Montreal opened as -120 road favorites over the slumping Blue Jackets, who are receiving +109 odds, according to BetOnline. The total was set at 5.5 goals, with the “under’ being favored at -131. The Canadiens are 4-0 during their last four matchups against the Metropolitan Division but are 1-5 during their last six overall games. The team is also a very bad 2-5 during their last seven games played on two day’s rest. The under is 7-2-1 during Montreal’s last 10 games and is 7-1-1 during their last nine road games.
The Blue Jackets are 1-4 during their last five games against the Atlantic Division, and they have the same record over their last five home games. The team is 1-5 during their last six games against the Eastern Conference and are 1-6 during their last seven overall matchups. Head-to-head, the home team is 4-1 during the last five meetings between the two teams, while the under is 8-3-1 over the last 12 matchups.
Free NHL Picks: Canadiens at Blue Jackets Predictions
Both squads have not been playing well as of late. The Canadiens can blame their slump on a tough schedule against top contenders, while the Blue Jackets can only blame their poor play on their lack of offensive production and team chemistry. Montreal is still in the playoff hunt and will enter Friday’s matchup knowing that the team desperately needs a win if they plan on staying competitive in the Atlantic Division. Columbus might be resigned to their situation at the bottom of the East and will probably come into this game with little motivation to win. Take the Canadiens on the moneyline.
Record: 19-10; Profit: +966
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