There are just three NHL games on the schedule Wednesday, but that’s plenty when it comes to NHL betting.
The postseason isn’t in the cards for the Columbus Blue Jackets or Montreal Canadiens. Still, these teams have some interesting trends to consider ahead of their Eastern Conference matchup on Wednesday.
The Blue Jackets come into the contest on a 2-1-1 run, but a noticeable decrease in their team save percentage suggests that goals against should continue to be a problem. That’s an issue that resonates with the Habs, as they have been one of the worst teams in the league at preventing scoring.
Below are analysis and NHL betting picks for the matchup.
Canadiens vs. Blue Jackets Odds, Moneyline, Over/Under
Moneyline: Canadiens +140 | Blue Jackets -165
Spread: Canadiens +1.5 (-175) | Blue Jackets -1.5 (+145)
Total: 6.5 Over +100 | Under -120
Canadiens vs. Blue Jackets Analysis
Goaltending has been an issue for both clubs this season.
The Habs and Blue Jackets each rank in the bottom eight in the league in save percentage, allowing the second and third-most goals in the league, respectively. Those metrics have looked even worse lately, as the Blue Jackets have posted below-average save percentages in five of their past seven and the Canadiens have posted a cumulative 88.2% save percentage over their past four.
There’s no sign of improvement on the horizon, with neither team providing adequate defensive zone coverage over their recent samples.
Montreal has given up 30 or more scoring opportunities across all strengths in all but one of their past 13 games, with opponents cracking the 40 mark in eight of those contests. The Blue Jackets are faring no better, allowing 11 or more high-danger chances in six straight contests, leading to four or more goals against in four of six games. Goals will continue to flow effortlessly with the state of these defensive metrics from both sides.
Nevertheless, poor defensive showings have been offset with improved offensive play.
Columbus has scored four or more goals in two of their previous three games, with the Habs going north of three goals in three of five. Combining those metrics has resulted in the Habs going over the total in three of their past five games and the Jackets going over in four of their previous seven.
Defense isn’t a priority for either team and with the over 6.5 priced at +100, this is an excellent opportunity to take a stance on a high-scoring contest.
Blue Jackets vs. Canadiens Predictions
The Pick: Over 6.5 +100