Free NHL Picks: Sabres at Canadiens Odds
by George Monroy - 12/6/2013
The Montreal Canadiens are on a monster winning streak that has propelled the team into the top of the Atlantic Division and second in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. Montreal has won four straight games but is in the middle of a nine-wins-in-11-tries stretch that has established the team as one of the best in the NHL. The Canadiens have not allowed opponents to score more than three goals in a single game since early November and have not been beaten in regulation during their last nine outings.
The Buffalo Sabres have not had a win in regulation in nine tries and are sitting at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings with the fewest points in the entire NHL. The team’s biggest success was a two-game winning streak back in mid-November that sadly was the best stretch of hockey Buffalo has played all year. The only bright spot for the Sabres is that they are on pace to fall below the 56-point mark set by the Philadelphia Flyers in 2006 for the lowest point total in the last 10 years.
Sabres at Canadiens Betting Story Lines
Montreal has won 10 of its last 13 games dating back to early November and began its impressive winning streak after losing four straight games to start the month. The team is coming off a huge win over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night, which proved, to Montreal at least, that the team is ready to compete with the best squads on the conference.
The Canadiens withstood 33 shot attempts from the Bruins on Thursday, and goaltender Carey Price continued his excellent play over the last month of the season. Price has saved 147 of the last 155 shots he has seen, and he was a big part of the team’s dominant play during the month of November. Montreal has been excellent against the puckline this season and has earned bettors $724 dollars on the year.
Buffalo has lost eight of its last nine games and is on a two-game losing streak. The team’s offense has been nonexistent during that span, as it has scored only 10 goals during the last nine games. The Sabres leading scorer, Cody Hodgson, has eight goals on the season, and only one person on the rest of the squad has scored more than four goals.
Buffalo’s goaltender, Ryan Miller, has done a decent job over his last few games and has given up only 13 goals in his last five starts, which for the Sabres is a decent number. Miller has been bombarded with shots this season as the team gives up an average of 35 attempts per game. All things considered, Miller is probably the only thing keeping the Sabres from being even worse off than they already are.
Sabres at Canadiens NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
Montreal opened as a -242 moneyline favorite over the +219 underdog Sabres, according to BetOnline. The total was set at five goals, with the “under” being favored at -116. Buffalo is 3-8 during its last 11 games against the Atlantic Division and 4-14 against teams with winning records. The team has lost five straight road games and carries a 3-13 record over its last 16 games played on one day of rest.
Montreal is 5-0 during its last five home games and 4-0 during its last four against the Eastern Conference. The team has a 6-1 record during its last seven games following a win but has lost seven of its last 10 games against the Atlantic Division. Head-to-head, Montreal is 7-1 over the last eight meetings in Montreal, while the road team has won the last four games. The Sabres have won 11 of the last 15 overall meetings between the two teams.
Free NHL Picks: Sabres at Canadiens Picks
The Canadiens are a huge favorite heading into Saturday’s matchup against the Sabres. Montreal will probably win this matchup, but I hate wagering on such a huge moneyline in the NHL where an 82-game season produces more off-nights for good teams than it should. Montreal has been an excellent puckline team, and this is the perfect instance to wager on the team minus the 1.5 goals in order to get a better price. Sure, the Canadiens could only win this game by one goal and lose for bettors on a puckline wager, but this is one of those situations where NHL bettors should take a shot and risk a little to get the improved payout. Take Montreal on the puckline.
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