Free NHL Picks: Canucks at Senators Odds
by George Monroy - 11/27/2013
The Vancouver Canucks and Ottawa Senators have a lot to be thankful for heading into Thursday night’s Thanksgiving Day matchup—mainly that neither team is in last place after a horrendous two weeks of hockey. Both squads have a combined three wins over their last 14 games, and each continues to creep down to the bottom of their respective divisions. The Canucks recently wasted a golden opportunity to move up in the standings during a six-game homestand by losing five of those matchups. The team was only able to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets and will now face the rigors of a four-game road trip beginning on Thanksgiving night against the Senators.
Ottawa has the unfortunate distinction of entering Thursday’s matchup on the second night of a back-to-back. The team played the Washington Capital on Wednesday night and will start a two-game homestand against Vancouver and the Detroit Red Wings. The Senators have fallen to the bottom of the Atlantic Division and are six points away from the rest of the pack. Both the Canucks and Senators will be in desperate need of a win heading into Thursday’s matchup, so let’s take a closer look at the game and figure out which side of the wager has the most value to bet on.
Canucks at Senators Betting Story Lines
Vancouver may be in a huge slump during the month of November—they have gone 3-11 so far—but that is partially because the team plays in tougher-than-usual Western Conference. The Canucks are coming off of losses to the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks, but they have also lost to the San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks and Phoenix Coyotes—all teams that would be in the top two of the Eastern Conference.
The Canucks held a 2-1 lead over the Kings late in the third period on Monday and gave up two straight goals within five minutes of each other to lose the game in overtime. The team took a whopping 39 shots and had eight power-play opportunities, but was unable to capitalize on those situations and scored only two goals during the game. Vancouver is currently ranked 27th in power-play attempts and went 1-for-8 during Monday’s game.
Ottawa split the first two games of a three-game road trip by beating the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday and then by losing in a blowout to the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday during their last matchup. Head coach Paul MacLean believes that his team lacks aggression over three periods of play, and he told the media that the Senators simply do not play hard enough to “consistently win”. Ottawa has received solid offensive production from the team and has four players with 20 or more points on the season. Overall the Senators are ranked ninth in the league in goals scored with 2.8 per game, but they allow their opponents to score 3.1 goals per game, which is ranked 25th in the NHL.
Canucks at Senators NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
Vancouver opened as a slight -116 road favorite over the +105 underdog Senators. The total was set at 5.5 goals, with the “under” being favored at -126. The Canucks are 5-2 during their last seven against the Eastern Conference but are just 1-7 during their last eight overall games. The team is also just 2-6 over its last eight road matchups against teams with a winning percentage of below .400.
The Senators have just a 1-4 record over their last five overall games, and they are 0-5 on the second night of back-to-backs. The team has won only three of its last 11 home games but performs well on Thursday games with a 38-17 record over the last couple of seasons. Head-to-head, the Canucks are 5-0 over the last five matchups between the two teams, and they are 5-1 over the last six games in Ottawa. The “under” has gone 7-2 over the last nine games in Ottawa and has come in 13 times over the last 20 overall meetings.
Free NHL Predictions: Canucks at Senators Picks
The Senators have been solid on the offensive end—especially when they are playing at home— but the trouble for the team has been its defense and inability to stop opponents from scoring goals. Ottawa should receive a boost from returning home on Thursday night. Both squads have not played well over the last two weeks of the season, and even though the Canucks might be a slight favorite and the slightly more talented team, they are playing on the road during a holiday. Vancouver has not played well enough to earn the benefit of being a road favorite. Take the Senators on the moneyline.
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