There are just three games on the NHL betting menu on Monday night as the league rests up after a wild weekend. The entire focus will be on the Eastern Conference with six teams in action.
Ottawa Senators vs. Buffalo Sabres
NHL Odds: Senators -135
The Buffalo Sabres have been playing very well of late but they aren’t getting much respect on this NHL betting line in this spot. They’ve actually won nine of their last 12 games and have been playing better than the Ottawa Senators in that span (Sens just fired their head coach), so it seems a bit bizarre to see the Sabres as such a big dog. One of the main reasons for the Sabres recent success has been goaltender Jhonas Enroth, who is 8-2-0 with a 2.04 GAA in his last 10 starts.
The Sens have not been a good team lately as they’ve lost six of eight. They’ll put Robin Lehner back in net on Monday but he hasn’t won back-to-back starts this season and he’s 0-2 lifetime against the Sabres. This looks like a good value situation to take a shot with the Sabres.
Free NHL Pick: Sabres at The Greek
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
There’s still no Sidney Crosby in the lineup for the Pittsburgh Penguins, which is why we have no line in the NHL odds for is game. The Pens have kind of been stuck in neutral over the last week as they’ve alternated wins and losses over their last five. They’ve also been a bit of a dicey bet at home of late as they’ve gone 3-2 in their last five at home with losses to the Vancouver Canucks and Carolina Hurricanes.
Tampa Bay is a bit of a funk themselves as they’ve dropped four of their last six games overall. A number of those losses were at home to average teams (Columbus and Washington), so they might not fare so well in this spot on the road.
It’s not ideal to be betting the Pens without Crosby, but they’re worth a look here as the Lightning aren’t great on the road (7-7) and aren’t playing very well right now.
Free NHL Pick: Penguins
New Jersey Devils vs. New York Islanders
NHL Odds: Islanders -185
The Islanders hit a bit of a rough patch, enduring a three-game losing streak last week, but they appear to be through it with their 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday. They should be able to notch a second straight win as they host the New Jersey Devils, who are doing their best to get head coach Peter DeBoer fired. New Jersey enters the game having lost three straight and nine of 11.
The Devils have had a tough time scoring goals this month as they’ve averaged just 2.00 per game, which is 27th in the NHL. However, they are facing an Isles team that has allowed a whopping 3.67 in December, which is fourth worst. I do expect the Isles to win this game but with the juice being so high, I'll place my NHL pick on the total instead. We should see enough goals here to get north of the number.
Free NHL Pick: Over 5.5 at Bovada