Free NHL Hockey Prediction: Avalanche vs. Lightning NHL Odds
Looking for Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Colorado Avalanche free hockey plays & NHL Odds? NHL betting sees the Lightning taking on the Avalanche on Wednesday, June 15th at Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado. Cappers Picks provides complimentary expert handicapping picks on all NHL Hockey games all season long so stay tuned for more FREE daily NHL hockey predictions like this Lightning Avalanche matchup.
(63-28-8) Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Colorado Avalanche (68-20-8)
Date: Wednesday June 15th 2022
Time: 8:00 PM ET
Venue: Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado
NHL Hockey Moneyline Odds: Lightning +145 | Avalanche -165 (Bet Now!)
NHL Hockey Puck Line Odds: Lightning +1.5 -185 | Avalanche -1.5 +175
NHL Betting Total: 6.0
And then there were two. It’s rather rare to see the two “best teams” meet in the Stanley Cup Final.
As oxy-moronic as I know that sounds, and I know the Lightning were not the top seed in their conference, most hockey analysts for the majority of the year had these two as their top power ranked rosters in their respective conferences.
It is quite common in hockey given how chaotic it is to see lower seeds upset teams touted much higher than they are and go on deep runs and perhaps win the cup even. In other sports, particularly basketball and a little less so but also in football, there is less parity.
In the NFL’s Championship this year which I covered we saw the LA Rams and Cincinnati Bengals do battle for football supremacy. In what was a loaded AFC, the Bengals were not a consensus number one pick but still highly power ranked, and the Los Angeles Rams were most analysts number one on the other side.
In the NBA where there is the least amount of parity we see the top seeds make it to the final rather often. This year is an exception not the rule that we see neither conferences top seed represented in the final.
In the NHL, we almost never see the consensus picks both make it through, and because of that fact I for one am very excited to see these two go at it starting Wednesday.
A couple of things jump out at me early in the research as well as from the eye test. Neither team has faced an opponent even remotely comparable to one another thus far, which makes me think as a handicapper the wise play would be to put my feet up for game one to see how it plays out.
However, it also just feels wrong to not bet every game in the Stanley Cup Finals. It is a long offseason and the chance to bet on hockey will not come until October therefore, we’re going to find a way.
As we did in the Western Conference Final, before we dive into game one stuff I want to take a look at the series odds as a whole and perhaps make a pick there as well. So, the odds look like this for the series win.
Tampa Bay Lightning +155
Colorado Avalanche -175
The line is a tough one to lay for sure, and the early money is coming in on the Lightning. It moved here from +160.
It would seem that the play might be to just take a flier on the Lightning at that price, given that they haven’t lost a series in three straight years. And they have the most stubborn obstacle to get past in the sport, Andre Vasilevskiy.
So with that out of the way, let’s dive into how these teams matchup against each other.
Tampa Bay Lightning
One thing that does make me nervous about backing the Lightning in this one is the mere fact that in their unprecedented run they have yet to face a team as good as the Avalanche.
It’s a low hanging fruit statement, I get it. But it does hold water.
Not to take away from their previous cup wins and opponents, but in their first appearance in the final they defeated the surprising Dallas Stars and in the following year they beat the even more unlikely but incredibly pesky Montreal Canadiens.
In more recent playoff play, we recall they played a tightly contested first round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs that went seven games and then made mince meat of the Florida Panthers.
Now the Panthers were the highest scoring team in the regular season as well as the Presidents Trophy winners. But they sorely lacked playoff experience and the ability to elevate their game and intensity, making them an easy target for the seasoned, embattled Bolts.
They also just waxed the Rangers winning four straight after coming out of the gate rusty, turned the jets on and the Rangers did not have an answer. The Rangers malpractice in their own zone and allowance of high danger chances finally caught up with them.
The issue for me is, as much as I credit their three opponents for the things they do well and as good as they may be, not one of them holds a candle to the Colorado Avalanche.
Speaking of them, they are getting a long rest after making quick work of my Oilers. It appears that Kadri will be out for the remainder of the playoffs except the organization is being predictably quiet on the matter and not ruling him out completely.
We all know about their strong suits, I have harped on them many times. They’re big, they’re fast, they are highly skilled and talented.
They are also incredibly deep and incredibly creative with that depth, head coach Jared Bednar has made a couple minor tweaks throughout the playoffs with injuries all of which panned out.
If there is a weakness in this lineup though it is in net. Darcy Kuemper is battling an eye injury still that he suffered in the first round against Nashville.
In the final game of the series against Edmonton he was backing up his running mate Pavel Francouz, indicating that he’s likely healthy enough to play. The rest will undoubtedly help get him back in starting condition.
The thing is, even prior to his injury Kuemper has shown some cracks in the armour as has his backup Francouz. If the Lightning can defend the Avalanches’ sustained attacks of which there will be many, there is a way here for them to three-peat.
NHL Betting Trends:
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Tampa Bay’s last 5 games.
- Tampa Bay are 10-2 SU in their last 12 games.
- Tampa Bay are 6-3 SU in their last 9 games against Colorado.
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Tampa Bay’s last 6 games on the road.
- Tampa Bay are 5-1 SU in their last 6 games when playing on the road against Colorado.
- Tampa Bay are 6-1 SU in their last 7 games against an opponent in the Western Conference conference.
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of Tampa Bay’s last 6 games against an opponent in the Central Division division.
- Colorado are 5-0 SU in their last 5 games.
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of Colorado’s last 5 games against Tampa Bay.
- Colorado are 12-4 SU in their last 16 games at home.
- Colorado are 1-5 SU in their last 6 games when playing at home against Tampa Bay.
- The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Colorado’s last 10 games played in June.
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of Colorado’s last 6 games played on a Wednesday when at home.
Overview 4* Free NHL Betting Pick: Lightning ML +145
Look, I realize what the Lightning are up against here and I do believe it’s Nate Mackinnon’s and the Avalanche’s year. I am going to give game one to the Lightning in a shocker and take a chance on it.
Reason being is strictly Andre Vasilevskiy and the Bolts’ commitment to blocking shots. I think it will stymie the Avs and catch them off guard early in the series after playing three teams (Blues being competent but not excellent) that were inferior both defensively and in goal.
As long as the Bolts keep winning I am going to keep taking them until the streak ends. One of my gambling rules.
Good luck and happy Stanley Cup Finals!
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