There is no better story in these Stanley Cup playoffs than the Montreal Canadiens. They had the worst record of any team that made it to the postseason, but they are now the hottest team in the league.
The Habs have now won nine of their last ten games, and they get to stay at home as they attempt to go up three games to one over the Vegas Golden Knights. They'll face off at 8:05 PM ET at the Bell Centre. And when you are signed up with BetOnline, you have so many ways to wager, because of all the prop bets that are available.
The Canadiens won three straight against Toronto to close things out and continue the Leafs' playoff frustration, then swept Winnipeg in four. They were able to attain a split in Las Vegas, and on Friday they won dramatically in overtime as Josh Anderson scored his second goal of the evening.
Montreal has gotten great goaltending from Carey Price, who was something of a disappointment in the regular season, but has a 2.10 GAA in the playoffs. And since the Knights have outshot the Habs by a 106-79 margin in this series, Price has had to do considerably more work than his counterpart, Marc-Andre Fleury.
The twist that's been added to this series is the absence of a head coach - in this case, Montreal's Dominique Ducharme, who has to isolate because of the NHL COVID protocol. His team did win without him in Game 3
Here are the NHL playoff betting odds, as they have been posted at BetOnline:
Vegas Golden Knights -174
Montreal Canadiens +157
Knights -1½ Goals (+164)
Cansdiens +1.5 Goals (-184)
Over 5 Goals -125
Under 5 Goals +113
Amazingly, the Golden Knights had a 30-8 edge in shots on goal after two periods of Game 3, which should give you an idea of how well Price has kept things under control. But it is probably an inspiration for oddsmakers who figure such things eventually produce results.
Sure, that may be the case, and if you want more fuel added to the fire, we'll supply it - thus far, Vegas has a big goose egg, ZERO for ten on the power play. Will that finally turn around? And the Canadiens have now gone ten straight games without giving up a power play goal.
if any of those things reverse themselves, we've got a different kind of game to look at.
But it's altogether possible that this Montreal team is only now becoming the club they should have been all along. They are ahead of Vegas in terms of "High Danger Scoring Chances," and that carries with it some analytical importance.
And much of Vegas' offensive punch has come from the backline. Defensemen have scored six of the team's eight goals, and they have accounted for 48 shots on goal. That means the Habs have really done a tremendous defensive job against the guys who can get easy chances.
They've amazed us so far. You could do a lot worse with a home dog than what you've got here.
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