NHL Monday betting preview: 2 totals to start the week
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If you're reading this, chances are you love the NHL and watching/betting games on a nightly basis brings you great joy.

If that description fits, then this is going to be a tough week to soldier through. With the All-Star break looming, many teams have moved into their bye weeks, leaving us with just two games tonight, five on Tuesday, and two on Wednesday. A four-day layoff follows. Miserable, I know.

All we can do is make the most of these nine pre-break games and ride into All-Star weekend on a high.

GOATs and scapegoats

A tip of the cap to Frederik Andersen for a rough outing Saturday night against the Chicago Blackhawks. Andersen allowed six goals on 28 shots - a couple of them very soft - as we nailed the over 6.5, our best bet of the weekend, with more than a period to spare. That's the kind of goaltending you live for when you're on an over.

What you don't want is a rejuvenated Ilya Kovalchuk costing you money. The Russian winger has found the fountain of youth in Montreal. Another great outing on Saturday - a goal in regulation and another in the shootout - cost us our Vegas bet as the Golden Knights lost for the first time under Peter DeBoer. This wasn't in the script, Ilya.

Monday's bets

Colorado Avalanche score exactly five goals (+400)

The Red Wings have been horrific all season, especially on the road, where they're 2-17-2 since winning their first two games. Detroit has also allowed an average of 4.4 goals over that span. With the Red Wings facing an Avalanche team that doesn't lack for firepower, backing Colorado to finish with five goals at a return of 4-1 is too much value to pass up.

Florida Panthers/Minnesota Wild under 6 (+100)

The Panthers may be one of the highest-scoring teams in the NHL, but that reputation is largely due to their play on home ice. The over is 17-7-2 in Florida's home games this season but just 11-10 on the road, including 2-5 since the start of December. The Panthers have allowed just eight goals in their last four on the road, while the Wild are on a 6-2 run to the under in their last eight on home ice. I'd be hesitant at 5.5, but with a total of 6, the under is very much in play.

Best bet

Colorado Avalanche team total over 4.5 (+120)

As an extension of the bet above, backing the Avalanche team total over 4.5, also at plus money, offers a much lower margin for error. The Red Wings have allowed opponents to score at least five goals in six of their last 11 road games, and at least four in nine of those. The Avalanche are the fourth-highest scoring team in the NHL on a goals-per-game basis, and no team has come close to allowing as many goals this season as Detroit. Colorado should be able to name the score on home ice.

Trend of the night

In 12 games all time in Minnesota, the Florida Panthers have scored just 15 total goals and won just once (in March 2010).

On only one occasion have the Panthers scored more than two goals in a visit to Minnesota, and they've managed just a single tally in each of their last five trips to Xcel Energy Center. This is a very different Panthers team compared to those of years past - and a very different Wild one, for that matter - but this is overwhelming trend puts Florida's team total under 2.5 (+140) and under 1.5 (+350) in play.

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. 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, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

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NHL Monday betting preview: 2 totals to start the week
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