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Winnipeg Jets Visit Mundane Montreal Canadiens

March 6 NHL Betting Preview

The Winnipeg Jets (15-7-1) won six out of seven of their last games, including three victories over the Montreal Canadiens (10-6-6) during that very same span. Conversely, the Canadiens have only managed to win one game in their previous seven attempts. As a result, Montreal is clinging to the final playoff spot in the North, while Winnipeg surged into second place.

Updated NHL odds on our sportsbook show the Jets as curious road dogs vs the Canadiens on March 6. It seems the bookies believe Montreal’s luck is due to change, but that’s not necessarily how online sports betting works. Let’s explore this matchup, and make our own determination about which picks are likely to earn us some loot.

Nathan Beaulieu #88 of the Winnipeg Jets falls to the ice
Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Also check on these NHL betting lines.

Winnipeg Jets at Montreal Canadiens

Saturday, March 6 at 7:00 p.m. EST

Bell Centre- Montreal, QC

NHL Betting Vitals

Puck Line: Jets +1½ (-190), Canadiens -1½ (+165)

Money Line: Jets +125, Canadiens -145

Goal Totals: 5½

Canadiens’ Complicated Way Forward

Newly-promoted interim head coach Dominique Ducharme has a mixed bag to sort out in Montreal. The Canadiens are 1-3 since Ducharme took over for the fired Claude Julien, and they’re a hot mess. Incidentally, all three of Montreal’s losses under Ducharme came against the Winnipeg Jets, who have dominated the Habs of late.

The Canadiens clearly have talent, but their system and execution is flawed. The best way forward for Montreal may be to tweak the lines and defensive combinations, while trading goalie Carey Price. Since being obtained from the Blues, G Jake Allen has largely outperformed Price, who is wearing out his welcome after 14 years in Montreal.

The Habs have 14 picks in the upcoming NHL draft, and can position themselves for an even more massive haul. Montreal has a lot of soul searching to do for the remainder of this season. If the Canadiens cannot win consistently during the early stages of this process (right now), the Calgary Flames overtake them.

Betting Forecast

Let’s start with the simple fact that the Jets own the Canadiens in recent head-to-head competition. Winnipeg has won the previous four contests with Montreal, and the road team is 8-3 over the last 11 games. Jets’ netminder Connor Hellebuyck is the reigning Vezina Trophy winner, and definitely has the edge on the Habs’ Price.

Hellebuyck is 11-6-1 this year, with a solid 2.60 GAA and .915 save percentage, and is due for shutout soon. Price is 6-4-3 with a 2.97 GAA and a rather pedestrian .893 SV%. Hellebuyck has won four out of five starts, while Price has lost five out of seven.

The Jets balance a fierce offensive attack (3rd in GPG) with great defense and goaltending (9th in goals against). Meanwhile, Montreal gets off a tremendous number of shots per game (2nd), but hasn’t converted these opportunities into goals. The Canadiens defense and whole approach often appears lackluster, and that just doesn’t cut it in the NHL.

Important note: The over has hit in 10 of the last 14 head-to-head battles between these two squads. Most recently, Winnipeg wiped out the Canadiens 4-3 in overtime on March 4. Back the Jets’ puck and money lines, and the over.

NHL Free Pick ATS: Winnipeg Jets +1 ½ (-190)

NHL Free Pick $$$:  Winnipeg Jets +125

NHL Free Pick O/U:  Over 5 ½ Total Goals Scored

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