NHL Saturday betting preview: Trust Carolina in Central Division showdown
Gregg Forwerck / National Hockey League / Getty

A split on Thursday takes us to 16-7 on this current run as we look to finish off a strong February.

With injury uncertainties it was difficult to write this in advance, but now that we've got more clarity there's still value on the board heading into Saturday night.

Hurricanes (-115) @ Panthers (-105)

We're getting an excellent number with the Hurricanes here in what's setting up as the ideal goaltending matchup between Sergei Bobrovsky for Florida and James Reimer likely starting for Carolina.

Bobrovsky ranks 61st among all goaltenders in the NHL in GSAx with a minus-7.52 mark, and while his surface stats look improved of late, two of those starts came against the Red Wings. He was lit up for eight goals on 49 shots - an .836 save percentage - in two starts against the Lightning, and now faces a Carolina team with an equally potent offense.

In fact, the Hurricanes actually rate as the league's best five-on-five offense by a decent margin so far this season, generating 2.84 expected goals per 60 minutes. They also boast a top-10 power play. The Panthers have been one of the league's better stories early on, but I have doubts about the sustainability when I look at this roster top to bottom. This is a great price to get in on one of the league's best teams.

Pick: Hurricanes (-115)

Canadiens (-130) @ Jets (+110)

I was on the Canadiens on Thursday and got burned as they blew an early 3-1 lead. There's a lot that went into the loss, and to blame it all on Carey Price isn't fair, but he's a big part of why they lost that game.

Price let in a brutal go-ahead goal to Nate Thompson in the third period, which proved to be the game-winner, just minutes after the Canadiens did well to kill off a pair of penalties. It was a deflating goal and completely took the wind out of their sails. It's been a theme for them of late, with Price letting in soft goals in recent starts against both the Senators and Maple Leafs that have cost the Habs dearly.

It looks like they've learned their lesson, as Jake Allen is getting the start Saturday. Allen has been nothing short of spectacular for Montreal, ranking top 10 in the NHL in GSAA and GSAx, while Price sits 64th out of 68 goalies in both categories. His struggles have plagued this team and it's time the torch is passed to the Fredericton, New Brunswick, native.

The massive uptick between the pipes makes the Canadiens worthy of this price, even without Josh Anderson, who isn't expected to play. Add in the fact the Jets are one of the league's worst five-on-five teams going up against one of the best, and I'm willing to bite again. Let's hope I don't live to regret it once again.

Pick: Canadiens (-130)

(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.

NHL Saturday betting preview: Trust Carolina in Central Division showdown
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