Back Devils As Home Dogs Vs. Inconsistent Canadiens

Dana Lane

Monday, February 27, 2017 8:54 PM UTC

Monday, Feb. 27, 2017 8:54 PM UTC

The Montreal Canadikens are desparately trying to hold on to the division lead, but championship handicapper Dana Lane explains why they're going to continue losing their Atlantic grip -- and why they won't win in New Jersey on Monday.

2016-2017 NHL Pick Record:  67-56  (+13.92 Units)

We squeaked another win out of our season last night in NHL betting as the Arizona Coyotes beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-2, giving us the 'under' win. We now have just two days to ensure that February is another winning month, so let's go the Garden State where the Montreal Canadiens and the New Jersey Devils clash at the Prudential Center on Monday.   

Taking a look at how early betting has shaped the number, which opened with Montreal as a -115 favorite, it appears as if the "pros" and the "Joes" are both on the Canadiens as 89% of all tickets written have come in on Montreal, pushing this line to -125 in some spots, even with Al Montoya getting the start in net. You can understand why, as Montreal is losing its grip on the Atlantic Division lead against a team that has lost its grip on the playoffs awhile ago.  Let's look a little closer at this game to see if we want to join the public or go our own way.

When I handicap games I try to envision what type of game the underdog will have to play in order to beat a team that clearly has more talent and motivation.  The Canadiens are not a team that will win a lot of 2-1 games; in fact, since Jan. 4, Montreal hasn't lost a game in which it has scored three goals or more. Coincidentally, the Habs haven't won a game when they've scored less than three.  If I'm the New Jersey Devils, I would try to play a dump-and-chase game to ensure that I keep the puck in the Montreal end.

I won't go through this again, but it's a couple days away from the trade deadline, and when you're a seller. as the Devils are, you get a little pep in your step, especially against a team that trying to hand you a season sweep.  The Devils might want to start playing better at home as the month presented an opportunity for the Devils to get back in the playoff discussion --  instead they are just 3-4-1 to start their 11 games at home stretch.

I also examined the way the Devils lost to the Rangers on Saturday, a playoff team. They clawed themselves out of a 2-0 deficit to take a 3-2 lead, only to drop the game 4-3, in overtime. The best part is I didn't see a team that quit.  The Devils are still playing for head coach John Hynes and we're going to back them tonight at plus money against an inconsistent Canadiens team.

NHL Free Pick: Devils +110Best Line Offered: Bovada

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