Saturday Night playoff hockey in August? The ultimate proof that even COVID-19 does offer some benefits. Indeed, the NHL begins a postseason unlike any other. Pittsburgh and Montreal will open their best of five preliminary round series. While the Canadiens are 12th seed they stoke fear. Goaltender Carey Price can steal games and carry a team. Pittsburgh brings a lot more depth and firepower.
As a result, they are heavy chalk with the NHL betting odds. Of great concern was the Penguins’ lack of consistency for much of the year. Price gives Montreal a potential goaltending edge.
Montreal Canadiens vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
|Date and Time:||Saturday, August 1, 2020, 8 p.m. ET|
|Location:||Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario|
|Canadiens vs. Penguins TV Coverage:||NBC|
Montreal Canadiens vs. Pittsburgh Penguins SBG Odds Overview
On this occasion, NBC brings this Saturday night showcase to a national TV audience. Pittsburgh is one of the NHL’s marquee franchises. Their tradition of winning will draw sports betting handle. Sharps and bargain hunters may lean with Montreal. Price is seen as a goalie that can win a series.
Montreal Canadiens Overview
In sum, Montreal enters this game with a record of 31-31-9. Les Canadiens rank 19th for goals, 22nd for the power play, 19th for goals against, and 19th for penalty killing. If not for the COVID-19 expanded playoffs the Canadiens would be out. Yet Price makes them an upset threat.
Key Canadiens: LW Tomas Tatar 22 G, 39 A, 61 PTS, 5 +/-, 8 PPG, 6 PPA, 0 SHG, 13.6 SPCT, D Shea Weber 15 G, 21 A, 36 PTS, 8 +/-, 3 PPG, 5 PPA, 0 SHG, 8.1 SPCT, G Carey Price 27 W, 25 L, 2.79 GAA, .909 SVPCT, 4 SO
Pittsburgh Penguins Overview
Pittsburgh is 40-23-6 which is fifth place in the East. Overall NHL metrics have the Penguins ranked 10th for goal scoring, 16th for power play, 12th for goals against, and 10th for penalty killing.
Key Penguins: C Evgeni Malkin 25 G, 49 A, 74 PTS, 7 +/-, 7 PPG, 17 PPA, 0 SHG, 14.6 SPCT, D Kris Letang 15 G, 29 A, 44 PTS, 0 +/-, 6 PPG, 9 PPA, 0 SHG, 8.5 SPCT, G Matt Murray 20 W, 11 L, 2.87 GAA, .899 SVPCT, 1 SO
Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens Against the Spread
The Penguins are:
- 3-6 in their last nine games as a favorite
- 6-3-1 over then total as chalk
- 12-8 as a favorite against the Canadiens
- 6-2-3 over the total when favored vs. Montreal
- 7-4 in their last 11 matchups with the Atlantic Division
- 2-8 under the total vs. Atlantic Division teams
The Canadiens are:
- 7-13 in their last 20 games vs. Metropolitan Division teams
- 2-5-2 under the total with Metropolitan Division opponents
- 4-11 in their last 15 meetings with the Penguins
- 4-5-1 under the total against Pittsburgh
- 4-10 in their last 14 games as a dog
- 4-7-1 under the total as a pup
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Montreal Canadiens SBG Free Pick
In this situation do the Penguins and Canadiens play their first restart game? Pittsburgh’s price makes the Canadiens an attractive dog. Hockey is the one sport where playoff dogs regularly beat the NHL lines. Namely, Carey Price is primed to make a heist.
Penguins vs. Canadiens SBG Best Bet: Montreal Canadiens