With only one game on Sunday’s board, our NHL capper provides us with an opinion on both the money line & total. Join us in reading this insightful preview to get an ultimate wagering edge.
Eastern Canada Rivalry on Sunday
Atlantic Division rivals Montreal and Ottawa will meet for the first time this season on Sunday. Each team began the season with two road wins, and all of those games were versus Atlantic Division opponents. The opening faceoff at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa is slated for 7:05 PM ET. According to current NHL betting odds at Heritage, Ottawa is a -120 money line favorite. Depending on which offshore sportsbook you check, the total in this game is either 5.0 or 5.5.
Recent Head to Head History
These teams met last season in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, and Montreal won that best-of-7 series 4-2. After falling behind 3-0 in that series, Ottawa showed resiliency by winning the next two games before bowing out. However, Ottawa did win three of the four regular season meetings last season.
Starting Goaltending Question Marks
Montreal will be playing their third road game in the last five days, and are coming off a 4-2 win at Boston last night. Last season’s Vezina Trophy winner Carey Price has picked up right where he left off, compiling a stellar 1.50 GAA and .948 save percentage while starting each of the first two games. In all likelihood, we’ll see rookie Mike Condon making his NHL debut tonight. Condon spent last season with Montreal’s AHL affiliate the Hamilton Bulldogs. Condon appeared in 48 games with Hamilton, posting a very good 2.44 GAA, .927 save percentage, and had 4 shutouts.
Craig Anderson started in goal for each of Ottawa’s first two games. In last night’s 5-4 overtime shootout win at Toronto, Anderson stopped 37 of 41 Montreal shots on goal. It’s not out of the question that Dave Cameron will start him again tonight since it’s the Senators home opener. Ottawa is also counting on backup Andrew Hammond to play a vital role this season. After being called up from the AHL Binghamton Senators last year, Hammond was outstanding while filling in for Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner who were both sidelined by injuries. Unfortunately, Hammond is out for an indefinite period of time while recovering from a groin injury. That leaves the backup duties to undrafted rookie free agent Mike O’Connor who’s yet to appear in a NHL regular season game. O’Connor spent the last three seasons at Boston University where he went 40-21-10 in his career, and compiled a superb 2.18 GAA in addition to a .927 save percentage.
This isn’t a game that I will personally be wagering on. I do have a pair of betting angles pertaining to this contest which cover both the money line and total. When all else fails, I’ve found this handicapping method to be a useful asset when making NHL picks.
Any team (Montreal) coming off a divisional road win, versus an opponent (Ottawa) coming off a one goal road win, resulted in that team going 156-85 (64.7%) under the total since 1996.
NHL Picks: Play Ottawa -120 at Heritage