There's only one game on the NHL betting board for Monday night: a North Division battle between the Ottawa Senators and Vancouver Canucks.
Both teams will look to turn their seasons around after poor starts, with the Canucks 2-5 and coming off back-to-back home losses to the Canadiens, while the Sens are 1-3-1.
We break down the NHL odds with our best free Senators vs. Canucks picks and predictions for Monday, January 25, with the puck dropping at 10 p.m. ET.
Ottawa Senators at Vancouver Canucks Betting Preview
Senators: Cedric Pacquette C (Doubtful).
Canucks: Travis Hamonic D (Out), Micheal Ferland LW (Out), Jayce Hawryluk RW(Out).
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Betting Trend to Know
The Senators are 11-42 in their last 53 road games. Find more NHL betting trends for Senators vs. Canucks.
NHL Sharp Money and Line Movement ReportBy Patrick Everson
Vancouver hit the DraftKings odds board at -155 Saturday night and dipped to -141 early this evening before edging up to -148. As of 7:15 p.m. ET, the Canucks are attracting 74 percent of bets, but just 54 percent of cash on the moneyline. The total opened at 6.5 and hit 7 for five minutes this afternoon before reverting to the opener, with ticket count and money running 2/1 on the Over.Check out the full line movement for this game
The Senators were expected to be bad before the season began. After all, they finished second-last in the league in point percentage last year and remain in rebuilding mode. After opening the year with an upset win against Toronto, they have since dropped four games in a row, with their last two losses coming by a total score of 10-4 against a flawed Jets side.
The Senators are currently dead-last in the NHL in Corsi rating which is a strong indicator that they have struggled to control play and that their lack of success isn't due to bounces simply not going their way.
The Sens have some nice young pieces including Josh Norris, Brady Tkachuk and defenseman Thomas Chabot, but their overall firepower and defensive play leave much to be desired. Meanwhile, Ottawa goalie Matt Murray has been lit up with his new team and is coming off a game where he allowed four goals on 26 shots before getting the hook.
The Canucks were supposed to be much better than they have looked this season, especially after a deep run in last year's Stanley Cup playoffs where they knocked off the defending champion St. Louis Blues. However, the loss of starting netminder Jacob Markstrom has really hurt while their defensive play continues to be a sore spot.
That said, the Canucks are much more talented up front, with a strong Top-6 group of forwards led by Bo Horvat, Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson—who is off to a slow start this year but looks due for a breakout.
Another factor to consider is that despite playing in empty arenas, home favorites are a commanding 33-10-0-2 this season. Combine that with the fact that the Senators are just 11-42 in their last 53 road games and we're siding with the Canucks here.
PREDICTION: Vancouver ML (-145)
Not only have the goalies for both teams been getting shredded but the defensive play in front of them has been brutal as well.
Regardless of who gets the start in nets tonight for Vancouver, both Braden Holtby (3.70 GAA) and Thatcher Demko (5.47 GAA) have struggled with sub-.890 save percentages. However, the Canucks also have a league-worst expected goals against per 60 minutes of 3.6, so it's not like they are just letting easy ones slip by them.
Likewise, while Murray has a 3.79 GAA with a save percentage of .880 across four starts, he hasn't been getting much help in front of him. The Senators are 26th in the league in high-danger chances allowed per 60 minutes and their xGA/60 ranks 25th.
If it was simply a matter of the goalies allowing weak goals, you might assume that they are due to bounce back. But when they're getting peppered with high-danger shots that seems much less likely—especially when you consider that both sides feature a young and fast group of skaters.
The Over is 13-6 in the Senators' last 19 games as a road underdog, while the Canucks have cashed the Over in five of their last six games as a favorite. With the Over also 4-0 in the last four meetings in the head-to-head, we're backing it again.
PREDICTION: Over 6.5 (-102)
Senators vs Canucks Betting Card
- Vancouver ML (-145)
- Over 6.5 (-102)
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