Avalanche vs Canadiens Picks and Predictions: Avs to Bury Habs in Goals

The Habs just fired their GM after a slow start, but it's the Avs – losing 8-3 last night – who have the real motivation to bounce back. Count on lots of goals in this game, as our Avalanche vs. Canadiens picks explain.

Last Updated: Dec 2, 2021 10:56 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Nathan Mackinnon Colorado Avalanche NHL
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Avalanche got thumped 8-3 Wednesday night by the Maple Leafs and won’t have much time to lick their wounds before they face the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday. There are lots of moving pieces to this out-of Conference matchup as Montreal has cleaned house in the front office while the Avs are likely down to their third or fourth option in net.

Can the Montreal players take the hint and turn their season around? Can Colorado rebound on the back-to-back with possibly their No. 4 goaltender? Find out on our free NHL picks and predictions for Avalanche vs. Canadiens on December 2.

Avalanche vs Canadiens odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

Colorado opened as a -160 road favorite but was quickly bet down to -180. The total opened at 6 -115 to the Over and has started to hit 6.5 at some books.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right until puck drop and be sure to check out the full NHL odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

Avalanche vs Canadiens predictions

Predictions made on 12/02/2021 at 9:25 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Avalanche vs Canadiens game info

Location: Centre Bell, Montreal, QC
Date: Thursday, December 2, 2021
Puck drop: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV: RDS, TSN2

Avalanche vs Canadiens betting preview

Injuries

Avalanche: Darcy Kuemper G (Questionable) F, Ryan Murray D (Questionable), J.T. Compher F (Out).

Canadiens: Brett Kulak D (Questionable), Chris Wideman D (Questionable), Joel Edmundson D (Out), Carey Price G (Out). 

Find our latest NHL injury reports.

Avalanche vs Canadiens head-to-head record (since 2016)

Avalanche: 5-3 SU, 17 goals for.
Canadiens: 3-5 SU, 22 goals for.

Betting trend to know

The Avalanche are 6-0 SU in their last six games playing on zero days' rest. Find more NHL betting trends for Avalanche vs. Canadiens.

Avalanche vs Canadiens picks and predictions

Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.

Since making it to the Stanley Cup Finals just a few months ago, the Montreal Canadiens have decided to fire GM Marc Bergevin after starting the season 6-16-2 and sitting seventh in the Atlantic Division. The Habs rode hot goaltender Carey Price (Out) through the playoffs last season but were the worst regular-season-performing team in the 2021 playoffs with a 24-21-11 record in a weak division. The sacking shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, as this Montreal team is missing a ton of important pieces and is arguably one of the weakest rosters in hockey. But can they play the “someone got fired, now we have to play good” card?

Montreal comes into Thursday’s game 3-7 SU in its last 10 and has been outshot in eight straight games. The power play is 1 for its last 20, the penalty kill has given up seven goals in its last 18 chances, and Montreal has the fifth-worst goal differential at 5-on-5 in hockey. There aren’t many things to like about this team, which is also thin on the blue line with Joel Edmundson, Chris Wideman and Brett Kulak all questionable. 

Jake Allen, Thursday’s likely starter in net, is sporting a 2.96 GAA and a negative goals saved above expected/60. Montreal is allowing an absurd 41 shots per game over the last 10 days and facing an angry Colorado team that is averaging 4.40 goals per game since November 1 could be bad for Montreal ML backers.

With a massive question mark in net — as fourth-stringer Justus Annunen could likely draw the start — Colorado will have to win this with its scoring, and that should be easy for one of the best offensive teams in the league. Nathan MacKinnon will have gotten his legs under him after returning last night, and looked good against Toronto. Annunen has a 6-4-5 record with a 2.62 GAA and a .906 SV% for the Avs’ AHL affiliate Eagles. 

Most matchups are bad for the Habs, but the Avalanche are much worse on paper. Colorado shouldn’t have many problems at even strength and should continue to snap it around on the PP. Getting blown out 8-3 is likely not sitting well with the Avs, and they know they’ll have to score with a rookie possibly making his NHL debut in net.

If your only angle to bet the Canadiens tonight is that they fired their GM, maybe sit this one out. Firing a GM isn't the same as firing a coach and won’t affect the locker room much. Give us the Avs to rebound and win it by more than one goal.

Prediction: Avalanche -1.5 (+140)

Colorado is coming off a game last night that saw 11 total goals. They gave up eight goals — all at even strength — and won’t be any better in net as Darcy Kuemper is dealing with an upper-body injury. 

Defensively, the Avs played loose in front of the net, which has been a major problem for this club all season and is a glaring weakness. They’re allowing 3.37 goals per game, which is the sixth-worst mark in hockey, and even though Montreal is one of the worst offensive teams in the league, the Habs should be able to pot a couple. Colorado is one of four teams that averages more than three goals for and against per game. 

This game also has the potential to see a few power-play goals as both Montreal and Colorado sit in the Bottom-10 in penalty killing. The Montreal PK has been a disaster over its last eight games and owns a 61% success rate, which is dead last in the league. Feel free to load up on Colorado power play Overs: MacKinnon (-120), Mikko Rantanen (+110), Nazem Kadri (+160) and Cale Makar (+150).

Allen is 8-4 O/U in his last 12 starts, is coming back from a concussion and has seen a ton of rubber in his return. Colorado is 9-1-1 O/U in its last 11, is coming off an embarrassing loss, and could have its fourth-string goalie between the pipes. This total is heading to 6.5.

Prediction: Over 6 (-125)

The Avalanche have been playing Over hockey since early November. They just got their most talented forward back in MacKinnon, are coming off their worst loss of the season, and could have a goalie making his season debut in net. If this doesn’t scream goals, I don’t know what does.

Colorado averages 7.32 combined goals per game, which is the highest mark in the league, while the Canadiens are no slouch either at 5.83 combined goals, which is led by the league’s second-highest goals against at 3.54 per game.

We don’t do this often, but we see very few avenues where Montreal wins this game in a high-scoring affair. With the juice hanging on the Over 6, we’re adding the COL ML to it and getting one plus-money play here.

Pick: Avalanche ML + Over 6 (+177)

NHL parlays

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