Contrary to Public Opinion, Go 'Under' in Canadiens-Jackets Game

Dana Lane

Monday, March 12, 2018 12:34 PM UTC

Monday, Mar. 12, 2018 12:34 PM UTC

Early numbers show the early amount of tickets written for tonights' Montreal-Columbus matchup is on the "over," but that's the wrong play with your NHL picks.

Monday NHL: Canadiens vs. Blue JacketsFree NHL Pick: Under 5.5 (-115)Best Line Offered: Heritage

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The Montreal Canadiens (25-31-12, 62 points, -41 goal differential) try to play spoilers as they travel to Columbus, Ohio, to take on the Blue Jackets (36-28-5, 77, -5) tonight at 7 ET.

On the NHL odds board the Blue Jackets opened as huge -200 favorites but were quickly bet down to -195 at Pinnacle. However, at Bookmaker and JustBet the number went up to -210. Another example of why it’s important to shop for a number. I’m not sure why anyone would get involved in the side, though. The "total" has held steady at 5.5 -115/under.

The Canadiens beat the Jackets 3-1 in November, getting the win as +105 home dogs. Carey Price made 37 saves for the victory. Columbus defensemen Seth Jones played 23 minutes, registering just one shot and finished with a -1.

Montreal moneyline bettors have lost 2,014 units and another 2,718 units if you bet them on the puck line. Forty-one of their 68 games have gone "under" the total, 19-14-1 on the road.

People who have wagered on the Blue Jackets on the moneyline have lost 261 units, while Jackets puck-line bets have lost 1,179 units. The "under" is 38-31 for the season, 22-13 at home.

The probable starting goaltenders tonight are Montreal's Antti Niemi (4-6-4, .906, 3.29) against Sergei Bobrovsky (29-21-5, .920, 2.43).

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#CBJ head coach John Tortorella talks about the chemistry among the lines and his mindset in the final stretch:

— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) March 11, 2018

Top 10 Power Rankings: Montreal NR; Columbus NR

Key Statistics: Montreal 2.51 goals per game (29th); Columbus 14.5 percent power-play conversions (31st)

All-Time Series Record: 12-12-1; 5-5-1 at Columbus

Series This Decade: Montreal 9-8-0; 3-4 on road

Part of the reason a team misses the playoffs is inconsistency. A team with a good offense is based on talent, while defense is based on desire. I think you’ll get another quality defensive effort from the Canadiens tonight as they try and play spoiler. In Saturday's loss to Tampa Bay, Montreal got to most of the loose pucks and won most of the battles in the corners. This is telling me that Claude Julien’s team is still giving it their all.

Columbus is playing its third game in four nights, with the "under" cashing nicely in these situations (18-6-2). Montreal is also playing their third game in four days which plays nicely into our play because the "under" is 15-5-1 in that spot for the Habs.

All trends point to an "under," which I think it easily hits for your NHL picks.

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