NHL Betting: Saturday Picks

David Lawrence

Saturday, December 7, 2013 12:52 PM GMT

Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013 12:52 PM GMT

We’ll get a couple of really good rivalry games on Saturday night as two provincial battles will highlight the card. CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada will feature the Battle of Ontario and the Battle of Alberta in their double-header. We’ve got picks on those two games as well as a preview and prediction on the Buffalo-Montreal game.

Buffalo Sabres @ Montreal Canadiens

The Canadiens are one of the hottest teams in the NHL these days as they’ve gone 8-1-1 in their last 10 games. If you look at the standings on Saturday morning, the Habs are atop the Atlantic Division and are two points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the top spot in the East.

On Saturday night, they’re a huge favorite on the NHL odds as they host the hapless Buffalo Sabres. Buffalo has just three road wins on the year (in 13 games) and has lost seven of their last eight. More importantly, six of those seven losses came by more than one goal.

I’m not going to lay all of the juice with the Habs because the price is too much, so instead I’ll add the puckline to my NHL picks. I don’t expect Buffalo to score much against Carey Price and company.

Pick: Canadiens -1.5 +126 at Pinnacle

[gameodds]7/249414/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Toronto Maple Leafs @ Ottawa Senators

The Maple Leafs ran straight into a brick wall in the month of November and a lot of that early-season optimism has dissipated. Remember when everyone was talking about them potentially winning the Eastern Conference? That’s when they were 10-4-0 at the end of October. They’ve since lost 10 of 15 and would only be the eight seed in the playoffs if the postseason started today.

However, I think Toronto is worth a shot as they face their Ontario rivals on Saturday. Ottawa has also struggled lately – even though it doesn’t get the same type of media attention – as they’ve lost seven of 10. Ottawa isn’t a good home team either as they’ve lost 10 of the 14 games they’ve hosted (compared to being 7-8 on the road).

That being the case, I see some value with the Maple Leafs getting +120. They’re the better team here and there’s no home-ice advantage for the Sens. I’ll add the Leafs to my NHL picks for Saturday.

Pick: Maple Leafs +120 at SportsInteraction

[gameodds]7/249415/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Calgary Flames @ Edmonton Oilers

The Battle of Alberta will feature two teams that are heading in opposite directions. Calgary has been a train wreck since starting the year 3-0-2 while the Oilers have managed to turn things around after a horrendous 4-15-2 start to the season. They’ve won six of nine.

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The Oilers offense has been cooking as they’ve averaged 3.78 goals per game over their last eight. Combined with Calgary’s shoddy defense/goaltending, which allows the most goals per game in the NHL and has allowed 3.4 goals per game over their last seven on the road, I think we’re going to see a high-scoring affair in this one.

Pick: Over 5.5 at Bet365

[gameodds]7/249421/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]
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