NHL Picks: Flyers vs. Canadiens

David Lawrence

Saturday, October 5, 2013 1:34 PM GMT

Let's review the matchup between the Philadelphia Flyers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs. What are the betting odds and the best way to bet against the bookies?

Both the Philadelphia Flyers and Montreal Canadiens started the season the same way: with a home loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Now both teams will try to pick up the pieces and rebound when they square off against each other on Saturday night. 

Record: 3-7 (-195)

Also, check out my NHL Best Bets For Saturday~

The Philadelphia Flyers can win because…

The Canadiens have some issues in net. Nobody is really talking about it but it’s a conversation that needs to be had: is Carey Price a starting-caliber goaltender in the NHL? Yes, he’s been an All-Star before but he struggled down the stretch of last season, allowing 33 goals in his final 11 starts, and he’s begun the 2013-14 season by giving up four goals to the Maple Leafs. Price doesn’t play particularly well against Philadelphia either as he allowed 10 goals in the two meetings with the Flyers in the lockout-shortened season.

People who make their NHL picks know that the Habs are built around goaltending and defense. They have a good blue line and steady scoring, but neither area is able to overcome bad goaltending.

The Flyers did lose their regular season opener to Toronto but that game was very nip-tuck. They held an early lead and could have gone ahead 2-1 at the end of the second period when Wayne Simmonds was awarded a penalty shot. However, the team didn’t execute very and were stymied by a good performance from Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier. With Price struggling, the goaltending situation should help them out more in this game.

The Montreal Canadiens can win because… 

The Flyers offense is still missing in action. The Flyers mustered just one goal in their first game of the season and that was at home. Now they’re on the road and have to find a way to do better, which is not likely to happen. While the Flyers were only able to score once on the Leafs on Thursday, the Canadiens managed to net three goals. Also, the Flyers faced Toronto the second night, so technically, the Leafs should have been a bit more worn down since it was a back-to-back situation. 

On the whole, these are two relatively evenly matched teams but the Habs have home-ice advantage. Sure, Price might get some criticism but he’s a better goaltender than what the Flyers will put in net with either Steve Mason or Ray Emery. The Habs are the safer of the two sports bets here. 

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Outlook & Pick 

The Flyers are a bit of a wild card. I still see them as an improved team over last year and I expect that to show at some point. If they let me down again on Saturday night then I’ll start to reconsider them going forward. However, they look like a decent play on the NHL odds. They are a road dog in Montreal and as long as Price is in net, they should have a reasonable chance to win. Take the Flyers.

NHL Pick: Flyers +113 at William Hill