Charles Krupa/Associated Press

Despite taking a 3-1 series lead back home Friday, the Ottawa Senators find themselves as small underdogs versus the Boston Bruins for Game 5 of their first-round NHL playoff matchup. The Senators have won the past three games since losing the series opener 2-1, including the past two in Boston.


Betting line: The Bruins opened as -112 favorites (bet $112 to win $100); the total is at five goals, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. Line updates and matchup report.

NHL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 3.3-1.7, Senators (NHL picks on every game).


Why the Bruins Can Pay on the NHL Lines

The Bruins were favored to win this series going into the postseason, even though they were the lower seed. Many still believe they are the better team. Every game of this series has been decided by just one goal, including the pair that Ottawa won in overtime by identical 4-3 scores.

Boston had a goal disallowed in the second period of Game 4 on Wednesday for offside after Senators coach Guy Boucher challenged the play and won, and a questionable penalty in overtime of Game 3 gave Ottawa the power-play opportunity that led to the game-winner. In a series this close, the Bruins are due to see something go their way, which could help them pick up a victory.


Why the Senators Can Pay on the NHL Lines

The Senators have won nine of their past 10 meetings with the Bruins, losing just three times in the previous 16 games between the teams, according to the OddsShark NHL Database. Why that has not translated into being the favorite here is mind-boggling, to say the least.

The Sens are also a good home team this year, going 23-12-8 at the Canadian Tire Centre, including the regular season and playoffs. While the Bruins are a great road team, Ottawa has a mental edge with the 3-1 advantage.


Smart Betting Pick

Boston’s lack of offense when it matters the most is a huge concern for the team heading into Game 5, especially after getting blanked 1-0 at home in Game 4.

There is a good possibility that at least one Canadian team will make its way into the Eastern Conference Final, with the Montreal Canadiens potentially meeting the winner of this series in the next round. Home ice will finally make a difference, so take the Sens on the NHL lines.


NHL Betting Trends

Boston is 1-5 in its past six games.

The total has gone under in six of Boston’s past eight games.

Ottawa is 6-2 in its past eight games.


All NHL lines and betting trends according to Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.

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