Wednesday's small NHL betting schedule sees two Atlantic Division foes go toe-to-toe when the Montreal Canadiens head across the provincial border to visit the Ottawa Senators.
With Boston and Toronto seemingly running away with the division, both sides will look to steer clear of falling into irrelevancy before Christmas rolls around and pick up a much-needed victory.
Will Brady Tkachuk help Ottawa make it three straight wins and move within two points of Montreal, or can Les Canadiens pull off the road upset? Find out in our NHL betting picks and predictions for the Canadiens vs. Senators on December 14.
Canadiens vs Senators best odds
Canadiens vs Senators picks and predictions
The Ottawa Senators always saw something special in Brady Tkachuk, just look at the seven-year contract they dished out to him. Tkachuk impressed with 67 points last season while on a terrible Sens roster, but his play this year has shown him hit another gear.
The 23-year-old has amassed 31 points in 28 games, but it's his shooting volume that stood out to me. Tkachuk has been letting it fly this season, peppering 123 shots on goal — good for 4.4 per game — and he looks more confident than ever. His shots on goal prop for this matchup is set at an absurd 4.5, but with that number going for plus money, it's caught my attention.
The Ottawa winger has surpassed tonight's total 12 times this year, so he's more than capable of doing so. But enough about Tkachuk, let's take a look at the competition he's facing tonight that typically gives up a shit ton of shots. Montreal ranks 25th in the league in shots allowed (33.1 per game) meaning there will be ample opportunity for Tkachuk to find his spots and get shots off.
Another reason to love this matchup is how undisciplined the Canadiens can be, collecting 12.3 penalty minutes per game (31st). Take a wild guess who plays left winger for Ottawa's first power play unit. With Montreal making bonehead plays throughout the game, that'll give Tkachuk more time on the ice to help his team do some damage.
He's showing tons of confidence this season, and going against a leaky defense will help the Sens' young stud get to where he needs to be. Is 4.5 a daunting total? Absolutely. But with the perfect matchup in front of him and plus money for us, it's definitely worth "taking a shot," — pun shamelessly intended.
My best bet: Brady Tkachuk Over 4.5 shots on goal (+137)
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Canadiens vs Senators moneyline analysis
The Ottawa Senators opened up this Atlantic Division duel as -180 favorites and have since been bet up to -205. Ottawa comes into this game as winners of two straight, looking to win three in a row for the first time since October. On the other hand, Montreal has overperformed in some people's eyes up to this point, rocking a 14-12-2 record and just five points out of a playoff spot.
The Canadiens have held their own this year on the road — 7-5-2 record — while Ottawa has gone an uninspiring 7-8-0 at home. Uninspiring seems like the perfect word to describe this Sens team that was supposed to take a step forward this year, but sits in the cellar of their division
Ottawa's had no trouble getting pucks on net this season, ranking sixth in the league with 33.9 per game, but it's the 26th-worst 9.1 shooting percentage that has stopped this offense from flourishing. Montreal's been even worse on offense, sitting 25th in the league in goals per game (2.86).
One area of the ice the Senators will have Montreal's number is on the man advantage. As discussed previously, the Canadiens take a ton of penalties, which could spell disaster against a PP unit that ranks sixth in the league — sitting at a 27.4% success rate. Montreal's discipline in this game could tell the story.
Ottawa does have a good shot here to win its third straight, but with how much juice I have to pay I'll just steer clear of officially picking a side tonight.
Canadiens vs Senators Over/Under analysis
This total can be found at 6 or 6.5 depending on your book, but you'll be paying some juice if you want to take the Over on that lower number. Both of these teams have been quite profitable playing to the Under, with Montreal's O/U mark at 11-16-1, and Ottawa's at 11-17.
Underperforming offenses and competent goaltending have been the name of the game for these franchises, with Cam Talbot and Sam Montembeault being more-than respectable for their teams. Even Jake Allen has turned in some noteworthy performances this season.
Taking the Under at a book that offers 6.5 seems like the play, but once again, it all comes down to how disciplined the Canadiens can play on the road.
If Montreal constantly finds itself down a man, the final score can get skewed if the Senators' power play gets cooking. This seems like a game where I'll steer clear of the total and just bank on my man Tkachuk to do his thing.
Canadiens vs Senators betting trend to know
The Under is 7-2 in Montreal's last seven games overall. Find more NHL betting trends for Canadiens vs Senators.
Canadiens vs Senators game info
|Location:||Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, ON|
|Date:||Wednesday, December 14, 2022|
|Puck drop:||7:00 p.m. ET|