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

Golden Knight vs Avalanche NHL week 16
Vegas vs. Colorado, T-Mobile Arena

The Vegas Golden Knights are inching closer to securing the top seed in the West Division with this current nine-game winning streak. The team standing between them and the streak reaching double digits is the Colorado Avalanche, who are still just four points behind Vegas with a game in hand. The Avalanche have lost two straight since winning their first game out of a COVID-induced pause, and they look rusty. Vegas has had a couple of days to rest and rejuvenate itself for the stretch run, and that might be enough to get the job done Wednesday night.

Free Picks

Over the last six games, Alex Tuch has alternated between scoring and not scoring, and Wednesday will be a scoring game, according to the pattern. Tuch has 17 goals this season for Vegas, the third most on the team, and he had three goals in a two-game series against Colorado in February. At +260 odds from the NHL betting sites in New Jersey, there is good value on Tuch to score, especially against a shorthanded Avalanche team struggling to keep teams off the scoreboard over the last week. He’s the under-the-radar scoring candidate that makes sense given the forms of both teams entering this game.

ALEX TUCH SCORES GOAL

I was awfully tempted to push the total to over 4.5 goals, but I stuck at over 3.5 goals at +148 odds instead for safety. The Golden Knights have scored at least four goals in six of their last seven games and in four of those games, Vegas scored at least five goals. The Avalanche’s goaltending without Philipp Grubauer is suspect with the Avalanche allowing nine goals in their two losses to the Blues over the weekend. Vegas has far more firepower offensively than St. Louis and the Golden Knights are a confident bunch on this nine-game winning streak. Given the Avalanche’s struggles without Grubauer in net and Vegas’ current form, I’d be aggressive on the Golden Knights’ goal total at the legal sports betting sites in New Jersey.

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS OVER 3.5 GOALS

During this nine-game winning streak, Vegas has won by multiple goals on seven occasions, though it was against worst opposition than Colorado. However, the Avalanche’s goaltending looked suspect against the Blues in Colorado’s return to play, and that is something Vegas can take advantage of Wednesday. As noted above, the Golden Knights have scored at least four goals in six of its last seven games and will certainly put pressure on the Avalanche’s defense. Because of how evenly-matched these two teams are on paper, the hockey betting sites in New Jersey are offering +215 odds on Vegas to win by at least two goals. However, the Avalanche will be without three key players and that should be enough for the Golden Knights to win by multiple goals on home ice.

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS -1.5 GOALS

Best Odds

Vegas Colorado
888Sport
-122 +100
FanDuel
-124 +106
BetMGM
-125 +105

Statistics

Head to Head

This is the seventh meeting of the season between the top-two teams in the West Division, Vegas and Colorado, and the pair have split the previous six contests between the clubs.

Stats

  • The Golden Knights have been the best defensive team in the NHL this season, leading the league with a .922 team save percentage, allowing just 2.15 goals per game and an 86.1-percent success rate on the penalty kill. During this current nine-game winning streak, Vegas has allowed just 15 goals and a .934 save percentage while allowing just two power-play goals on 21 opportunities.
  • Colorado ranks seventh on the power play by scoring on 24 percent of power plays, but the unit produces on a regular basis for the team. The Avalanche have scored a power play goal in six straight games and 16 of their last 20 contests overall. During that 20-game stretch, the Avalanche are converting on nearly 27 percent of their power plays.
  • Mark Stone had a six-game point streak snapped in Vegas’ last game, but during that streak, Stone put up six goals and five assists. Those six goals account for a third of his goals in 46 games this season and came after a stretch of 10 straight games without a goal. Stone still leads the Golden Knights with 53 points, which ranks 11th in the league.
  • It’s been a rough return to play for Avalanche goalies Jonas Johansson and Devan Dubnyk. Despite having a .905 save percentage and a 2.54 goals against average this season, both players allowed four goals and have a sub .870 save percentage in their last starts against the Blues over the weekend.

Our Prediction for Vegas vs. Colorado

Vegas Golden Knights to win

The good news for the Colorado Avalanche is the players who missed the last week while on the COVID-19 list should be back by the end of the week. But Mikko Rantanen and Philipp Grubauer are not options Wednesday against the Vegas Golden Knights and that’s an issue. Colorado’s goaltending and defense have suffered in the past three games and the offense has been rather stagnant at times as well. That isn’t a great formula against a rest Vegas squad that has won nine straight games and is playing at home. The Golden Knights will take advantage of the Avalanche in this weakened state to strengthen their grip atop the West Division.

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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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