NHL Betting Guide: Monday 1/31/22
We've got five games to start the week before the All-Star Game, so let's see where we can find value in the betting market.
Please note that lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. Please check here to make sure you're seeing the most updated information.
Edmonton Oilers vs. Ottawa Senators
Ottawa Moneyline (+160) 2-Star Rating out of 5
Ottawa +1.5 (-162) 3-Star Rating out of 5
Last season, the Ottawa Senators and Edmonton Oilers were both in the North Division. Famously, the Oilers won all eight meetings between the two teams, and the soft nature of the Senators' defense went a long way to helping Connor McDavid reach 105 points.
This season, they'll only meet twice, with Monday being the second game in a few weeks' time.
The Senators beat the Oilers 6-4 on January 15th despite going into the third period down 3-1. Ottawa is 29th in points percentage, but they aren't at the level of the true bottom-feeders like the Arizona Coyotes or Montreal Canadiens. They are 4-4-2 in their last 10 games, and while they did lose on Saturday, they certainly can make a case that they deserved to win.
Edmonton hit a new low in that loss at home against Ottawa but then hit another new low when they lost 6-0 a few days later. They've been able to string together four wins in a row since, but nothing has fundamentally changed with the team. They added Evander Kane for some more depth on the wing but also lost Tyson Barrie due to injury to hurt their depth on defense. They will still be rolling out Mikko Koskinen in net, who has struggled badly and has been one of the worst goalies in the league since December 1st.
The Senators are definitely capable of beating the Oilers again tonight. Ottawa is missing Josh Norris and Drake Batherson, but that was true on Saturday, and it didn't really hurt them too much. Matt Murray has been solid in net for Ottawa since his recall and hasn't lost in regulation in his last five games. If that's the case again tonight, the puck line would be a win for Ottawa bettors, but there is also value on betting the Sens to win this outright.
Florida Panthers vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
Under 7.0 (-132) 3-Star Rating out of 5
If you are familiar with NHL totals, you know that the majority of the lines are between 5.5 and 6.5 goals. When a game gets to 6.5, it's probably the high of the night. In this game, we have the rare seven-goal total.
We saw a game with a seven over/under last week. It involved these Florida Panthers and the Vegas Golden Knights. That game finished 4-1, with two of the goals being empty netters. The Golden Knights were back at full strength in the forward department in that game, so they had more talent than what the Columbus Blue Jackets will roll out tonight.
Columbus played a game yesterday that would have exceeded this total, as they won 6-3. However, there are a few reasons that this game is different.
They played the Montreal Canadiens on the second night of a back-to-back, and Montreal struggled in the goaltender department like they have a few months now, as starting goaltender Sam Montembeault allowed three goals on just seven shots before being pulled.
Tonight, they'll face their former goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who is sixth in goals saved above expected this season. They'll also have an upgrade in net themselves, as Elvis Merzlikins will likely replace Joonas Korpisalo.
It takes special firepower on both sides for a game to have a total of seven, and Columbus does not carry that firepower. It seems a bit like the oddsmakers got a bit overzealous after Columbus' game last night, which was against a Montreal team icing a roster that has several borderline NHL players. Our model likes the under, as well, so this wager definitely makes sense tonight.