Free NHL Picks: Canadiens at Islanders Odds
by George Monroy - 12/13/2013
The Montreal Canadiens are right in the Atlantic Division race despite losing back-to-back games against the Los Angeles Kings and Philadelphia Flyers. The Canadiens went on a stretch where they won eight of nine games and rocketed up the Eastern Conference Playoff standings and still firmly sit in the third spot. The team has thrived off the excellent goaltending of Carey Price who, outside of giving up four goals to the Kings, has been brilliant in front of the net.
The New York Islanders are stuck in a brutal rut and have not won a game in regulation since Nov. 12. Yes, it has been over a month since the team has won a game without the help of overtime or shootouts. But, the even more unfortunate stat is that New York has lost 10 of its last 11 games and just came off a nasty 10-game losing streak. The team has the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference, and at this point in the season New York is just a stepping stone for its opponents. Let’s take a look at Saturday’s matchup between the Canadiens and Islanders and figure out which side of the wager has the most value.
Canadiens at Islanders Betting Story Lines
Montreal has surprisingly lost two games in a row for the first time since early November after being outscored 8-1 by both the Kings and Flyers. On Thursday the Canadiens lost a close road game to Philadelphia where they took only 21 shots and had one power-play opportunity for the entire night. The team did rebound, in a sense, from its previous six-goal loss to the Kings on Tuesday night, by playing solid defense and limiting Philadelphia’s shot attempts for the game.
The Canadiens allow only 2.1 goals per game, which is ranked third in the entire NHL. Goaltender Carey Price has a .933 save percentage for the season, and despite a poor performance against the Kings, has allowed only 11 goals over his last five starts. Montreal will play two more home games after Saturday’s matchup against New York and will then hit the road for six-consecutive games to end the year.
New York will play three of its next four matchups at home. The only problem is that most of them will be against potential playoff teams, and the Islanders may be into an even deeper losing streak by the time the New Year rolls around. The team is coming off a three-goal loss to the Phoenix Coyotes where it gave up four goals in the second period alone. The Islanders were outshot by 13 attempts in that matchup and were unable to score on any of their three power-play opportunities. The team is ranked last in the NHL in goals allowed with a whopping 3.5 and ranked 22nd in goals scored with only 2.4 per game.
Canadiens at Islanders NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
Montreal opened as a -131 road moneyline favorite over the +119 underdog Islanders, according to BetOnline. The total was set at 5.5 goals, with the “under” being favored at -116. Montreal is 5-1 over its last six games versus the Eastern Conference and 9-3 against the Metropolitan over its last 12 matchups. The team is also only 1-4 over its last five games after allowing opponents to score five goals or more in the previous game.
New York is on the down trend in just about every area. The team is 2-9 over its last 11 Saturday games, 1-8 against teams with a winning record, and 0-4 during its last four home games. Head-to-head, the “over” is 4-0-1 during the last five meetings in New York and 4-0 during the last four overall matchups.
Free NHL Picks: Canadiens at Islanders Odds
The New York Islanders may be at home, but the team is on a ridiculous losing streak that does seem to be coming to an end. At this point the Islanders’ confidence may have been beaten out of them. The Canadiens, on the other hand, are finally near the top of the Eastern Conference and can probably sniff the Atlantic Division lead. The team is confident, motivated and has the results to back it up. Both teams are on losing streaks, but expect Montreal to end theirs with a win over New York on Saturday. Take the Canadiens on the moneyline.
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