Best Bet: Back Avalanche on the Road

After one back and forth game and one blowout, game three comes back to Tampa Bay tonight. The Avalanche are up 2-0 in the series against the Lightning and looking to ride their offensive momentum into Amalie Arena tonight. The question now is can Colorado continue their fast-paced offensive attack? If not, will Vasilevskiy and company claw their way back with a close win tonight? Let’s analyze both sides and look at some betting trends in this matchup.

According to Covers.com, the consensus lines for betting this game on the money line are almost at a pick em’ (PK) for both sides. This means that both sides are almost entirely even across the board regarding the matchup and the oddsmakers in Vegas do not see an outright winner based on trends alone. This is not common in playoff hockey, as the home team is usually the favorite by a decent amount. However, because the Lightning has played poorly in the first two games, the oddsmakers have let the public decide this line.

via NHL (Lightning vs. Avalanche)

Because of the even money on both money lines, there is no puck line available to the public. You will have to use other mobile sportsbooks to grab an alternate puck line for either side. I do not recommend this strategy for tonight because I do believe there is one clear winner in this matchup. Before I give it away, let’s look at the betting trends:

  1. The over is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings in Tampa Bay.
  2. The over is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings.
  3. The Avalanche are 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.
  4. The favorite is 16-5 in the last 21 meetings.
  5. The road team is 9-4 in the last 13 meetings.

It is also worth mentioning some trends for the over/under, specifically towards the Lightning:

  1. The under is 5-0 in Lightning’s last 5 games as a favorite.
  2. The under is 5-0 in Lightning’s last 5 playoff games as a favorite.
  3. The under is 5-0 in Lightning’s last 5 games as a home favorite.
  4. The under is 7-0 in Lightning’s last 7 games playing on 1 day of rest.
  5. The over is 4-0 in Lightning’s last 4 vs. Western Conference.

Looking at this from both sides, my best bet for tonight’s game is going to be the Colorado Avalanche Moneyline. Here are a few reasons behind my bet:

  • I do not believe this game can or will be a blowout in either team’s favor. This game has, in my opinion, over time or last-second goal scored, written all over it.
  • This season, when the Avalanche score first, their overall record is 56-19 according to Statemuse. They have scored first in the first two games. I believe they do the same tonight in Tampa Bay.
  • Darcy Kuemper has shown to be the more consistent goalie in the playoffs so far, allowing only 27 goals this post-season. Andrei Vasilevskiy has allowed 50 goals this post-season.
  • The Avalanche are coming into game three riding the best road record of all time in the Stanley Cup playoffs: 7-0. Not only are they undefeated on the road, but they have outscored their opponents 36-20 on the road this postseason.

Look for the first team to score to take a huge advantage early on in the game. If the Avalanche score first again, statistically, they are destined to win the game outright. Take Colorado tonight to get it done tonight on the road against the two-time defending champions. I predict a low-scoring matchup with a late goal from the Avalanche to seal the deal. Final score: 3-2 Colorado.

Best Bet: Avalanche ML for 1U (-110)

Running record of 1 unit article plays: 3-1

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