Boston vs. Ottawa NHL Picks: Take Bruins -105 To Beat Anemic Senators

Bruce Webster

Sunday, December 27, 2015 2:02 PM GMT

Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015 2:02 PM GMT

The Boston Bruins and the Ottawa Senators collide on Sunday afternoon at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario. Don't miss out NHL odds breakdown and the best picks available.

Boston Bruins (19-10-3-1 SU, 16-17 PL, 16-15-2 OU) vs Ottawa Senators (17-12-2-4 SU, 16-19 PL, 17-18 OU)
Lines: -115
Total: 5.5
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Free NHL Pick: Boston
Best Line Offered:

 

The NHL odds are out for the showdown between the Bruins and the Senators. The Boston Bruins have a home game vs Buffalo on Saturday and they may very well have the top record in the Atlantic Division after that game, while the Ottawa Senators come in off a tough 2-1 road loss to the Florida Panthers, which was their 5th loss in their last seven games. This is the first of a home and home between these teams.

 

Tuukka Rask Has Turned His Season Around
The Boston Bruins really got off to a rather mediocre start this year and most of that was due to the inconsistent play of Tuukka Rask. The Boston goalie is coming off a 2-0 loss to St Louis, but still he is now 8-3 in his last 11 starts after starting the year at 5-8. During his first 13 starts, he allowed an average of 3.15 goals per start and had just one shutout in those games, but in his last 11 starts, he has allowed just 1.45 goals per start and has three shutouts in those games. He is on fire but won’t get the start as he is slated to start on Saturday vs the Sabres. 

Getting the start in this one will be Jonas Gustavsson, who is 6-3 with a 2.43 GAA on the year, while vs the Senators he has gone 4-3 with a 2.05 GAA in his career. The one constant for Boston this year has been their offense, which comes in ranked 3rd in the league in scoring, putting 3.1 gpg, while converting on 28.9% of their power play chances, which is tops in the league. Their defense was one of the worst in the league to start the year, but thanks to the recent play of Rask, they are now 17th in goals allowed, allowing 2.5 gpg, while allowing teams to convert on just 18.6% of their power play chances, which is 14th in the league. A hot Rask plus a high powered offense makes Boston a dangerous team. 

Must Read: Conferences Futures Odds Update

Offense Sputters in Loss to Florida
The Ottawa Offense hasn’t sputtered much this year, but they have been lately, including in their 2-1 loss to Florida on Tuesday night. The Sens have now scored just 15 total goals in their last seven games, which is way off their seasonal average of 2.9 gpg, which is 4th in the league. Scoring the lone goal in the game vs the Panthers was Mark Stone, which was his 8th of the year. His goal tied the game at 1-1 in the third period and then the Panthers went on to win the game in a shootout. The game shouldn’t have been that close as the Senes were outshot 40-16 in the game.

Craig Anderson was the one who kept them in the game as he stopped 39 of the 40 shots thrown his way. Still he was saddled with the loss and is now 15-13 with a 2.73 GAA on the year. He should get the start in this game and is 8-6 with a 2.44 GAA at home, while vs Boston in his career he has gone 6-10 with a 3.37 GAA. This is not a team that plays great defense as they come in ranked 24th in goals allowed (2.9 gpg), while also ranking 30th in shots allowed (33.9 spg) and 23rd when on the penalty kill (78%).   

Trends for Boston:
14-2 in their last 16 vs. the Eastern Conference
16-5 in the last 21 meetings in Ottawa

Trend for Ottawa:
5-11 in their last 16 games playing on three or more days rest
0-5 in their last five vs. Eastern Conference

 

Betting Analysis
Take a hot Boston club in this one. Yes, they are playing on no rest, but they are also 4-1 their last five games playing with no rest and the Sens have not been good when playing on extended rest. The Bruins are 29-11 the last 40 in this series and Craig Anderson does not have good numbers vs them in his career. Boston may well be leading the Atlantic Division when this game is played and that should give them the extra motivation to keep on winning vs a team that they have dominated lately. Add them to your NHL picks.

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