Remember all of that relocation talk about the Arizona Coyotes? I’m starting to wonder if that actually happened. Yeah, there’s still a NHL team playing in Arizona these days, but it looks nothing like the miserable outfit that patrolled the desert ice over the past decade. It’s as if NHL commissioner Gary Bettman swooped in one night, took the old roster out of town and dressed up a bunch of new players in Coyotes jerseys.
It looks like Arizona has a great chance to keep rolling tonight when it hosts the Ottawa Senators, a team most pundits picked to finish at or near the bottom of the Eastern Conference this year. Are the Coyotes worth a wager to pick up their fourth straight victory, is there value on Ottawa as the road underdog here, or is there a better way to bet this game? Allow me to break it down in this edition of our NHL pick of the week as we look to improve to 3-1 on the year in this weekly series.
Ottawa Senators vs. Arizona Coyotes Betting Odds
If you’re going to back the Coyotes right now, oddsmakers are going to make you pay a much heavier price than we’re accustomed to seeing in Arizona games. The Yotes were -185 favorites on the moneyline at the time of writing, and you’d even have to lay some juice (-115) if you laid half a puck with Arizona in regulation time. (If you’re not familiar with that wager, it’s when you require your team to win the game in the first 60 minutes. It’s a great way to get better odds on a team you like, but you run the risk of losing your wager if the game goes to overtime or a shootout.)
All odds that are referenced in this article were taken from BetOnline.ag at 1 p.m eastern on October 30, 2018. These odds may have changed since the time of this writing.
Senators Leaky on the Road
No one could accuse the Senators of playing stellar defense anywhere this season. But the Sens have been particularly inept in that department on the road, where they’ve been carved for 19 goals against in just four games as the visitor. A couple of nights ago in Vegas, they let several leads slip away in a 4-3 OT loss. The game before that, Craig Anderson and company allowed the Avalanche to put up a 6-spot. In fact, a 5-3 win at Toronto in the opening week is the only time this season that the Sens haven’t given up at least 4 goals on the highway.
The good news for Ottawa fans, at least early in the season, was that the offense was putting up enough numbers to offset that poor defensive play. But after lighting the lamp 28 times in their first 7 games, the Sens have been limited to just 7 goals in their last 3 games.
Coyotes Playing With Tons of Confidence
At the start of the year, it looked like Arizona fans were in for another miserable campaign. The Coyotes were shut out in three of their first five games, bringing back memories of last year’s team that started the season 0-10-1 and finished second-last in the league with just 208 goals scored.
Offense can be contagious, and it’s clear that Arizona players are expecting good things to happen right now when they take the ice. Best of all, the scoring has been balanced, with none of Arizona’s players having more than 7 points and 8 players having produced at least 4 points apiece. “The puck’s going in for a lot of guys right now and it makes it a lot easier,” forward Michael Grabner told reporters.
One other positive in the desert right now is that all of these goals haven’t come at the expense of playing quality defense. Arizona has allowed 1 goal in each of its last 3 games and 4 of the last 5, and the Yotes have given up more than 3 on just one occasion this season. That suggests this team is playing strong hockey at both ends of the ice right now, and exactly the type of squad I’m interested in backing.
Ottawa Senators vs. Arizona Coyotes Betting Pick
Like I mentioned when talking about the betting odds on this game, the cat’s out of the bag when it comes to Arizona’s recent success. Oddsmakers are hardly asleep at the switch, pricing the Coyotes as near -200 favorites for the second time in their last three games.
Ottawa’s playing its final game of a 3-game road trip in which the Senators have fought hard, holding leads in games at Colorado and Vegas. But falling apart late in games and losing takes its toll on a team, and I’m not sure we get a spirited effort from the Senators once again here. Meanwhile, the Coyotes will take to the ice with unprecedented confidence as they look for their fifth win over Ottawa in the last seven meetings.
Barring a letdown from Arizona after its dominant win over Tampa Bay, I think the Coyotes win this game with relative ease. For my NHL bet of the week, I’m taking Arizona on the 3-way moneyline (must win in regulation time) at -115 odds.