Stanley Cup Finals 2021: Lightning vs. Canadiens odds, NHL picks, Game 3 predictions from proven hockey expert

The Tampa Bay Lightning held serve at home in the first two games of the 2021 Stanley Cup Final and are halfway to repeating as champions. The series shifts to Bell Centre in Montreal on Friday, with the puck dropping at 8 p.m. ET for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final 2021. This will be the first time the Montreal Canadiens have hosted a Stanley Cup Final matchup since Game 5 of the 1993 series. Just 3,500 fans will be allowed in attendance due to strict COVID protocols still in place in Canada.

William Hill Sportsbook lists Tampa Bay as a -135 road favorite (risk $135 to win $100) for Game 3 in its latest Lightning vs. Canadiens odds, with an over-under goal total of five. The Lightning were heavily favored in the first two games in Tampa. Before you make any Canadiens vs. Lightning picks or any other NHL predictions, you need to see what SportsLine NHL expert Matt Severance has to say.

Severance is a well-connected writer and handicapper who has worked in the industry since 2005. He is a whopping 175-114 in his last 289 NHL picks, returning $1,735 for the $100 bettor overall and $1,851 on money line selections. You need to check out what he has to say about Game 3 of the 2021 Stanley Cup Finals.

Now, Severance has set his sights on Lightning vs. Canadiens. You can head to SportsLine now to see his picks. Here are several NHL betting lines and trends for Canadiens vs. Lightning:

  • Lightning vs. Canadiens money line: Tampa Bay -135, Montreal +115 
  • Lightning vs Canadiens over-under: 5 goals 
  • Lightning vs. Canadiens spread: Tampa Bay -1.5 (+205) 
  • TB: The Lightning are 6-1 in their last 7 Stanley Cup Finals games 
  • MON: The Canadiens are 5-1 in their last 6 home games

Featured Game | Montreal Canadiens vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Why the Lightning can win

The Bolts have beaten Montreal by a combined score of 8-2 in the first two games, so they should be favored to take a 3-0 series lead on Friday. Russian goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy is now the clear favorite to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP after stopping 42 shots in the 3-1 victory in Game 2. Vasilevskiy has won his last three starts while giving up just two goals on 80 shots.

What should worry Canadiens fans as well is that Tampa Bay played Game 2 without a key injured forward in Alex Killorn, who may return Friday, and that none of the team’s stars were factors – and the Lightning won anyway. The goals came from lesser-known players Anthony Cirelli, Blake Coleman and Ondrej Palat. Combined, they have 12 goals in these playoffs – two fewer than teammate Brayden Point has alone. Tampa Bay is 25-10 in its past 35 playoff games as a favorite.

Why the Canadiens can win

Montreal was vastly outplayed in Game 1 but looked like a different team in the Game 2 loss. The Canadiens outshot the Lightning 43-23, won more face-offs, were better on the power play and had fewer giveaways. Nick Suzuki had the lone goal to become just the third player in Canadiens history to score 10 career playoff goals before his 22nd birthday, joining Claude Lemieux (14) and Stephane Richer (14).

Returning home can only help the Canadiens’ cause as they will get the last line change, which potentially can help slow that dynamic Tampa Bay offense. In addition, interim head coach Dominique Ducharme will rejoin the club. He had been isolating for two weeks due to a positive COVID test. The Canadiens are trailing 2-0 in a Stanley Cup Final best-of-7 series for the fifth time in franchise history. They have come back to win the Cup twice and also rallied from down 3-1 in the first round of these playoffs. The Habs are 4-1 in their last five after scoring two goals or less in their previous game.

How to make Lightning vs. Canadiens picks

Severance is going under on total goals scored. He’s also found an x-factor that has him jumping all over one side of the money line in Game 3 of the 2021 Stanley Cup Final. You can see his Stanley Cup Final 2021 expert picks only on SportsLine.

So who wins Lightning vs. Canadiens? And what x-factor makes one side of the money line a huge value? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Lightning vs. Canadiens matchup you need to jump on Friday, all from the expert that has crushed his NHL picks, and find out. 

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