Bet the 'Total' for Senators vs. Canucks

David Lawrence

Sunday, March 2, 2014 2:00 PM GMT

Sunday, Mar. 2, 2014 2:00 PM GMT

We’ve got another outdoors game on tap as the Ottawa Senators and Vancouver Canucks will engage in the 2014 Heritage Classic. The two sides will gather at B.C. Place in an important meeting as both teams fight for their playoff lives.

The Ottawa Senators Can Win Because…

The Canucks are simple pathetic. Although Vancouver somehow managed to finagle a 1-0 win over the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday and end their seven-game losing streak, they promptly followed that up with a home loss to Minnesota on Friday. This is a team that’s now lost 17 of their last 22 games and simply can’t get it together.

One of the reasons why the Canucks are such a sinking ship – and why they’re a bad nightly choice for your sports picks – is because they don’t score enough goals. They have just six goals in their last six games – all in February – and that comes after averaging just 2.00 goals per game in January (second-fewest in the NHL). It’s tough to win in the NHL when you don’t put the puck in the net.

The Sens are simply more competent, which is why you should take them with your NHL picks.

The Vancouver Canucks Can Win Because….

Ottawa is in the midst of their own funk. The Sens have lost four of six and are coming apart at the seams. They are now five points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and they are in a tough spot, trying to figure out whether to be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline.

The Sens will be the perfect antidote to the Canucks feeble offense as they give up goals aplenty. Ottawa has allowed 41 goals in their last 10 games. That’ll make the Canucks task so much more manageable on Sunday.

Outlook & Pick

Both teams are slumping right now, so picking the side is challenging. The trade deadline is weighing heavily on both teams as the Canucks are already expected to be sellers with names like Ryan Kesler being thrown around, while the Sens are still trying to figure out what to do themselves. They’ve had a miserable season and are more likely to be downsizing come deadline day too. That means we’ve got a matchup of two teams that aren’t playing well that now their makeup will be changed in the coming days. Throw in the fact that this game is outdoors and we’ve got a ton of unusual variables in the mix.

Instead of betting the side, I’ll go with the under. These teams don’t meet very often but 14 of their last 24 meetings – and two of the last three in Vancouver – have gone under the number. Also, the Canucks are expected to start Eddie Lack between the pipes and he’s been quite stingy of late. He’s given up one goal or less in six of his last eight outings, so that factor combined with the Canucks tooth-less offense, I see this game as being low scoring.

Pick: Under 5.5 at Bovada

[gameodds]7/257038/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

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