NHL Picks: Canadiens vs. Avalanche Betting Review

David Lawrence

Saturday, November 2, 2013 12:11 PM GMT

The Habs and the Avalanche will face off on the ice tonight in Colorado. What is the best way to bet this game for our NHL picks?

It will be a reunion of sorts on Saturday night as Patrick Roy returns faces his former team. The Hall of Fame goaltender won Stanley Cups win the Canadiens but is still bitter for their decision to trade him away. Now he’s the bench boss of the resurgent Avalanche, who have been the best team in the NHL so far this season. 

Have you checked out the NHL Picks of the Day yet?

The Montreal Canadiens can win because…

They’ve played better on the road (4-2-0) than at home (4-4-0) this season. That’s actually a trend that’s carried over from last season where the Habs were marginally better on the road (15-7-2) compared to at home (14-7-3). 

The Avs have some issues these days after a bizarre week. They oddly traded away Steve Downie, who was skating on the team’s top line with Matt Duchene and Ryan O’Reilly. On top of that, there’s the disturbing news of goaltender Semyon Varlamov apparently assaulting his girlfriend. Varlamov turned himself in on charges of kidnapping and assault, but the team still elected to start him on Friday night. 

If you’re taking the Habs with your sports picks, you’re hoping that the Avs are a tad distracted right now and the Canadiens can take advantage. 

The Colorado Avalanche can win because…

They have been the best team in the NHL to date. Colorado won again on Friday night with a 3-2 win in Dallas. The NHL odds makers made them a very small road favorite because of the off-ice issues going on with the team but the Avs kept their focus and cashed in.

These days, it’s pretty hard to score on them. If Varlamov is in net again on Saturday, the Habs will have to get through a goaltender that’s 7-1-0 with a 1.56 GAA and a .945 save percentage. If it’s his backup Jean-Sebastien Giguere, he’s 3-0-0 with a 0.67 GAA and a .981 save percentage. He’s only allowed two goals this season.

Everything is working well for the Avs these days as they enter Saturday’s affair on a five-game winning streak. They’ve also won 11 of their first 12 games this season. Montreal just lost in Minnesota on Friday night and is now a pedestrian 3-4-0 in their last seven. The Avs are the better team and as long as they are focused, they’ll cash in.

Outlook & Pick 

The Habs may get a boost to their lineup with the return of Max Pacioretty (expected to return) and that will help. However, you can be sure that Roy wants this game to stick it to his former team one more time. Not only is he bitter that they traded him away all those years ago, he’s also bitter that he didn’t get the head coaching gig when it was open last offseason. 

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Look for the Avs to do what they typically do: put forth a solid defensive effort and build from there. While you have to lay a bit of juice with them on the NHL odds, they are worth adding to your NHL picks in this spot.

Free Pick: Avs -130 at Will Hill