Avalanche vs. Golden Knights: Free Picks, Odds & Predictions

Colorado vs Vegas NHL
Colorado vs. Vegas, Ball Arena

Some COVID issues earlier this season meant the Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights played four times in nine days a month ago with the two teams splitting the matchups. Both have gone on hot streaks since last facing each other, so Thursday’s game should be a fun one in Denver. The Golden Knights hold a slim two-point edge on the Avalanche with a game in hand, so the race for home ice in the West Division playoffs is going to be in full force Thursday night.

Free Picks

Gabriel Landeskog is riding a six-game point streak entering Thursday’s contest and he’s been a major factor in the Avalanche offense recently with 11 points in those six games. The Colorado captain has really taken his offensive game to another level, though, in the last month with seven goals in his last 14 games, including one in three of his last four contests. The NHL betting sites in New Jersey are underselling Landeskog’s value with +220 odds on him to score a goal, so I’ll try to cash in a nice payout with this bet.

GABRIEL LANDESKOG SCORES GOAL

This is a giant risk because the winning team has scored three goals or fewer in all four games between Colorado and Vegas this season. These are also two of the best defensive teams because they possess the puck a lot, limiting the shots they allow on goal and the goals they concede. We really should be getting better odds from the legal sports betting sites in New Jersey than the paltry +125 odds they are handing out on Colorado to score at least four goals in this game. However, the Avalanche have scored at least four goals in their last six games and that type of confidence on the puck is hard to ignore, so this bet has more value than the safer options on the table.

COLORADO AVALANCHE OVER 3.5 GOALS

It’s quite honestly a shock that none of the first four meetings between these teams required overtime as three of them were decided by just one goal. The closest they came was the second game when Nazem Kadri scored the winning goal with under a minute left to lift the Avalanche to a win. This game is going to be very tight given how well these two have been playing recently, so it’s understandable to think 60 minutes might not be enough to separate these two teams. Without a firm grip on which team might win Thursday, I’ll settle for the +325 odds from the hockey betting sites in New Jersey that this game will take more than three periods to decide.

GAME GOES TO OVERTIME

Best Odds

Colorado Vegas
888Sport
-167 +135
FanDuel
-164 +138
BetMGM
-155 +130

Statistics

Head to Head

This is the fifth meeting of the season between Colorado and Vegas, the top-two teams in the West Division. The Avalanche and Golden Knights have split their first four meetings of the season.

Stats

  • Colorado and Vegas are two of the three best defensive teams in the NHL. The Avalanche rank third by allowing 2.26 goals per game, slightly more than the Golden Knights in second place at 2.2 goals allowed per game. They also are among the best on the penalty kill as Colorado ranks second at 87.4 percent kill rate and Vegas is sixth at 84.4 percent.
  • Vegas’ goaltending ranks second in the league with a .920 combined save percentage, but individually the Golden Knights’ Marc-Andre Fleury and Colorado’s Phillipp Grubauer are nearly identical. Fleury has a 1.93 goals against average and .931 save percentage while Grubauer leads the league with a 1.71 goals against average and is tied with Fleury for second in the NHL with a .931 save percentage.
  • Mikko Rantanen has quietly had an excellent season for the Avalanche this season with 19 goals on the year, two fewer than the league leaders. He is one of six Colorado players with double-digit goals, but the other five all have exactly 10 goals this season.
  • Mark Stone doesn’t shoot often, but when he does, he is scoring goals at an excellent rate. Stone ranks third in the NHL with a 22.6 percent shooting percentage. Teammate Max Pacioretty actually leads Vegas with 16 goals, but he also ranks third in the league with 120 shots this season.

Our Prediction for Colorado vs. Vegas

Colorado Avalanche to win

This game is an absolute toss up because both the Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights have been outstanding in recent weeks. Vegas is 12-3-0 since facing the Avalanche in Lake Tahoe last month while Colorado is 11-2-2 in its last 15 games. The Avalanche had a seven-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday while Vegas had a five-win streak snapped Sunday. I’m giving Colorado the slight edge because it is at home Thursday, but three of the first four games were decided by one goal, so it’s going to be a tight game.

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Josh Walfish is an award-winning journalist who has been covering college and professional sports in the United States. He holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University and his work has appeared in the Miami Herald, Chicago Sun-Times and Providence Journal. He most recently chronicled the UMass hockey teams rise to prominence over the last two years for the local newspaper

All Reviews by Josh Walfish

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