Edmonton Oilers-Montreal Canadiens: NHL Betting Picks, March 10, 2009

Touthouse HandicappersSenior Writer IMarch 10, 2009

Edmonton Oilers vs. Montreal Canadiens

March 10, 2009, 7:30PM—courtesy of Ben Burns

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Montreal general manager Bob Gainey fired coach Guy Carbonneau yesterday and is taking over the head coaching job. Gainey had a stellar playing career for the Canadiens, winning five Stanley Cups. Known as a defensive specialist, he won four consecutive Frank J. Selke Trophies, the award which is given to the league’s best defensive forward.

With one of the league’s all-time great defensive forwards taking over, I expect the Canadiens to improve their overall defensive play. They should be particularly motivated to do so tonight.

Not only is it Gainey’s first game (in his second stint) behind the bench, but the Oilers also scored seven goals against the Canadiens last month. Naturally, nobody in a Montreal uniform wants to see a repeat performance. Note that the "under" is a profitable 19-7-2 the last 28 times that the Canadiens were attempting to avenge an earlier loss.

The Canadiens were actually starting to play well defensively, even before the coaching change. They’ve held six of their last seven opponents to three goals or less, allowing just three combined goals over their last two games. Not surprisingly, both those games stayed below the number, bringing the "under" to 3-0-1 their last four games.

Currently, this total is listed at 5.5o130 or 5.5o135. That means that we’re getting a generous +110 or +115 on the "under." Note that the "under" is 14-8 on the season when the Canadiens have played a home game with a total of 5.5. With the majority of the betting public betting on the "over," it’s possible that the line could even climb to six. Either way, I feel that we’re getting reasonably solid value.

Consider the UNDER

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