Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:20 AM EST.
7:00 PM EST. There will no lack of excitement here in Montreal’s cathedral hockey palace, as P.K. Subban and the Nashville Predators arrive. There will be some storylines to be sure but we only care about one -- value. That the Canadiens are evenly price at home against the Preds is value at its best because Montreal is the better team and if this game were being played in Nashville, the Preds would be at least -130 and probably closer to -140. The Canadiens, at the very least, deserve that same respect.
Nashville played in Detroit last night and lost again for the seventh time in its last nine games. It’s not that the Preds are playing poorly but they’re not dominating games like every expert on the planet said they should before the season began. The Preds have dealt with some key injuries that no team can overcome. Filip Forsberg and Kyle Turris remain out while Subban and Viktor Arvidsson have been back for a few games. Another reason the Preds are losing frequently is because Pekka Rinne’s hot run is over. By the grace of some miracle, this stiff won the Vezina last year but he’s back up to his old tricks of allowing soft goals often. Rinne has posted save %’s of .897, .880, .817, and .871 in four of his last five games. We could go on but he’s not the starter tonight. Peter Laviolette wrongly figured that Rinne could beat Detroit last night but that didn’t happen and now Juuse Saros will play in Montreal. We doubt that’s sitting well with Rinne. In any event, Saros has posted save percentages of .833, .800, .667, .865, .833 and .832 in six of his last 10 games but Laviolette figures he gives the Preds the best chance to win and he’s right. Still, the Habs are the bargain of the day.
Does anyone even understand how good the Habs are? Shea Weber missed the first two months of the season. Shea Weber has also been lights out in Montreal with 11 points in 16 games and a sterling 56 percent possession rate. That’s while facing tough competition on a nightly basis too. Of the top 60 defenders (aka top pair minutes) by quality of competition (as measured by average Game Score), Weber’s Corsi is second behind only Jaccob Slavin. Unsurprisingly, the Canadiens have soared to new heights with Weber back, leading the league in Corsi at 57.3% since his return on Nov. 27. The Canadiens were already a great team in that department without Weber, but they’re on another level with him. The Habs are scoring, they’re great defensively and Carey Price may be getting his swag back. P.K Subban returning to Montreal will get a lot of the attention here but don’t you think that Weber’s teammates know how badly he wants this one? Win or lose here is not of any concern, as anything can happen in one game but this is truly one of the year’s best bargains thus far.
Note: We don’t like any other NHL games as much as we like this one so for now, we’re going to play this one only. If that changes, we’ll tweet it out.
Open an account today at and take advantage of their -104 style pricing on sides and totals, which is 60% better than other sportsbooks.
MONTREAL -½ +141 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.82)