Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:00 PM EST.
2:00 PM EST. OT included. We’re not high on the Devils. We see New Jersey as one of the NHL’s worst teams but situationally speaking, they are very much worth a bet here. You see, the Devils have a game under their belt when they blew a 2-0 lead against the Rags on Thursday before losing 4-3 while the Habs have been off for 10 days. That’s a significant edge to the visitors. We’re also taking back an inflated price on the Devils because they are the walking wounded with so many regulars out of the lineup that includes Taylor Hall, Travis Zajac and Sami Vatanen among others.
The Canadiens are not immune to being flat. See that 5-1 recent win over Florida? Montreal was outshot 51-23 in that win. Before the break, Montreal beat Arizona, 2-1 but again, they were the second best team on the ice. Carey Price stole those two games but he’ll be serving a suspension here for missing the All-Star game and that leaves Antti Niemi minding the net. Goaltending decides games in this league more than any other factor and in that regard, Niemi is a massive risk at this price. Don’t get us wrong, as we like the Habs very much in certain spots but we have seen too many no-shows from them to trust them at this price in an unfavorable situation. Jonathan Drouin plays at half mast half the time.
Finally, it has become tradition for Montreal to host a game on Super Bowl Sunday and with the entire country focused in on it, this is the warm-up band that everyone will be tuning into watch also. The Canadiens may show up in body only today and get warmed up for tomorrow’s much bigger game against another Canadian team that they don’t see often. You see, the Oilers’ game has become one of the season’s most sought after tickets, as this passionate fan base is doing whatever they can do to get inside the Forum to get a glimpse of Connor McDavid. Make no mistake that tomorrow is a big game for the Habs while this one is just a warmup.
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New Jersey +145 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.90)