NHL Thursday betting preview: Buy low on Habs in Winnipeg
Andre Ringuette / National Hockey League / Getty

Our heater suffered a minor setback as a 1-2 start to the week has pushed our current run to 15-6.

Let's get it back with a sweep Thursday.

Devils (+100) @ Sabres (-120)

New Jersey closed as -145 favorites when these teams met less than 48 hours ago. The Sabres won 4-1 on Tuesday and are now -120 favorites for Thursday. Granted, this game is in Buffalo, but one win doesn't negate the fact that this is a team in turmoil.

The Sabres' issues run deep and haven't been magically fixed overnight despite Tuesday's victory. The Devils thoroughly outplayed Buffalo, with Linus Ullmark standing on his head before a power-play goal swung the momentum in his team's favor.

New Jersey is far from a perfect team, but its issues over the past week can largely be attributed to inexperience. This is a young, talented roster that's going through growing pains. The Devils are still undervalued, especially with a large edge in goal.

MacKenzie Blackwood is excellent, and while he was outdueled by Linus Ullmark on Tuesday, that was the exception, not the rule. If Ullmark starts again Thursday, it'll be his fifth in eight nights. As a result, it's very possible we see Carter Hutton, who's a massive drop-off from Ullmark. Either way, the Devils will hold the edge in this department and are good value in what's a prime bounce-back spot.

Pick: Devils (+100)

Canadiens (-115) @ Jets (-105)

The Canadiens made the right decision firing Claude Julien. This is a deep team with a lot of speed that needs to be aggressive and energetic offensively. Julien's insistence on sticking to a conservative game plan - clogging the neutral zone and waiting for your opponent to make mistakes - wasn't the right fit for this roster.

In a move that was overdue, Kirk Muller is also gone. The Canadiens have had a bottom-10 power play in each of the last three seasons, and their penalty kill has also been below average. That's inexcusable given the personnel at their disposal. Both units have been nothing short of disastrous over the last few weeks, with no adjustments made.

Julien's successor, Dominique Ducharme - who coached the Halifax Mooseheads to a Memorial Cup win and Canada to World Juniors gold - is known as an innovative offensive bench boss. Whether he's the answer remains to be seen, but the change should provide a necessary spark for a still very good Canadiens team.

The market has soured on Montreal a bit due to this rough stretch. That works to our benefit as the Canadiens take on a Jets team the market is too high on. Winnipeg sits 29th in expected goals percentage, with Montreal in first. Better days are ahead for the Canadiens, while the Jets - who were far from convincing in a pair of somewhat fortunate wins over a bad Canucks team - are due for some regression.

Pick: Canadiens (-115)

(Odds source: theScore Bet)

Alex Moretto is theScore's supervising editor of sports betting. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, despises how the NHL handles starting goalie announcements, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

Comments
NHL Thursday betting preview: Buy low on Habs in Winnipeg
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!
Daily Newsletter
Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox