VegasInsider.com NHL expert Matt Blunt provides his score predictions and best bets for two NHL games on Saturday Jan. 16, 2021.
Montreal Canadiens vs. Edmonton Oilers
Money-Line Odds: Montreal -108; Edmonton -108
Total (Over-Under): 6.5
Score Prediction: Edmonton 4 Montreal 2
Best Bet: Oilers ML
Montreal was talked up from every corner of the market regarding them being the most legit team to challenge the Maple Leafs atop this Canadian division.
Montreal added guys to help a weaker offense, but scoring is never the issue for the Oilers, and to me it's Edmonton that should have more time in the conversations of which Canadian team is going to win this division.
The Oilers issue is always on the defensive end, but playing I've got them as chalk at home in an early season game with Montreal, not at a pick'em range where Montreal's preseason steam still seems to be warm.
Edmonton has won five of the last six meetings between these two teams, scoring at least four goals in all of those wins, so dealing with Carey Price has never been a big concern for Connor McDavid and company, and I don't believe it will be here either.
Vancouver Canucks vs. Calgary Flames
Money-Line Odds: Vancouver +125; Calgary -148
Total (Over-Under): 6
Score Prediction: Calgary 4 Vancouver 1
Best Bet: Flames ML
Calgary's prized new goalie Jacob Markstrom gets his first crack at his old team here, and with the better team in front of him, Markstrom and the Flames should get this done at home.
Vancouver never had a whole lot of help in front of Markstrom last season, and with him gone, the defensive issues in Vancouver are only going to continue.
The Canucks gave up eight goals in their two games with the Oilers, and while there are two phenomenal players over there, Vancouver allowing 3+ is probably going to be a highly common occurrence.
That plays right in the hands of a Calgary team who can score, and a goalie who knows he was brought here to win games like this.
The extra motivation for Markstrom puts it over the top in terms of expecting him to more likely be better than average than not, and Calgary's offense puts this game out of reach late.
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