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Habs, Sens on NHL lines

Montreal and Ottawa are normally familiar with one another, but a rash of injuries to both clubs has some new faces in the lineup for Friday night’s game.

Oddsmakers have the Canadiens as road favorites against the Senators, with the OVER/UNDER total set at 5.5.

The Canadiens (-125 at Bovada) have won two of three against the +105 Senators this season, but it’s Ottawa who holds a slight 6-4 record in the past 10 head-to-head. The stability in net for Montreal has sportsbooks giving them the edge on the NHL lines in betting action, but the home underdog Senators are not to be taken lightly in this divisional rivalry.

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Ottawa has to take advantage of the injuries to veterans Michael Cammalleri, Hal Gill and others on the Canadiens if they expect to pull off the upset in front of the home crowd. Montreal is tough to beat when labelled as favorites though, going 15-9 when pegged as such. The Senators on the other hand are not competitive when underdogs – posting a 10-19 record.

Montreal will be the popular choice on the NHL betting lines, but the real money could be for totals betting. The Senators and Canadiens have made winners of UNDER bettors nearly 2 to 1.

NHL betting action cranks up on Saturday when the Washington Capitals travel to face the Toronto Maple Leafs as likely road favorites. The home underdog Maple Leafs are just 9-10-4 at the Air Canada Centre, while Washington is only 9-9-3 on the road.

Alexander Ovechkin is not his normal self this season, and Alexander Semin is still on the shelf, so it could be an opportunity for a rare Toronto underdog win over nemesis Washington. They did beat the Capitals 5-4 in December, and lost by the same score in their other meeting this season.

Washington has dropped four of five recently and welcomes a chance to get on track against the struggling Maple Leafs, losers of three straight. Toronto scored just two goals in those losses and needs to find the scoring touch in a hurry to beat what can be an explosive Washington offense.

The Capitals themselves have struggled to find the back of the net as well, failing to score more than three goals in any of its previous five games. Low-scoring affairs don’t seem to be the norm however with these teams, as OVER bettors have been rewarded in four straight head-to-head matchups.

Washington will most likely garner most of the attention on the NHL betting lines for this contest, and have a decent record as favorites at 24-18. Toronto, meanwhile, is just 10-17 as an underdog.