Arizona Coyotes vs. Colorado Avalanche Matchup Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

In their second head-to-head meeting of the regular season, the Arizona Coyotes and the Colorado Avalanche face off at the Pepsi Center for a Western Conference showdown. The puck drops at 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday, December 27, and it can be viewed live on Altitude Sports & Entertainment.

Arizona Coyotes at Colorado Avalanche Odds

Arizona (+150) is playing the role of underdog to Colorado (-170), and the Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 6 goals. The odds for betting that total sit at -115 money on the over and -105 on the under.

Colorado is 17-18 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 2.7 units this year. That early-season winning percentage is a huge turnaround from what the team managed during the 2016-17 season (22-60). Through 35 regular season contests, 21 of the teams games have gone over the total, while 13 have gone under and just one has pushed. The teams 10-7 SU at home this season.

The Avalanche have converted on 19.2 percent of their power play chances this year, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, their penalty kill is ranked eighth overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 82.8 percent of all penalties.

As a collective unit, the Avalanche have been penalized 4.4 times per game overall this season, and 3.4 per game over their last five home outings. The teams had to kill penalties for a whopping 14.2 minutes per game over their last five outings, overall.

With a .910 save percentage and 29.0 saves per game, Semyon Varlamov (12-11-2) has been the primary goalkeeper for Colorado this season. If the Avs, however, decide to rest him, head coach Jared Bednar may go with Jonathan Bernier (5-8-8 record, .893 save percentage, 3.29 goals against average).

The Avs will continue to lean on the offensive production from Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. MacKinnon (40 points) has tallied 15 goals and 25 assists and has recorded two or more points in 12 different games this year. Rantanen has 10 goals and 21 assists to his name and has notched at least one point in 21 games.

Over on the other bench, Arizona is 8-30 straight up (SU) and has lost 20.1 units for moneyline bettors thus far. Through 38 regular season outings, 21 of its games have gone under the total, while 16 have gone over and just one has pushed. The Coyotes are 4-17 SU as the visiting team this season.

The Coyotes have converted on just 15.1 percent of their power play opportunities this year, a figure that’s ranked 29th in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 19th overall and it’s successfully killed off 80.6 percent of all penalties.

Arizona’s skaters have been whistled for penalties only 3.3 times per game this season, and 2.0 per game over their last five on the road. The teams had to kill penalties an unhealthy 15.6 minutes per game over their last five outings.

Antti Raanta (.913 save percentage and 2.92 goals against average) has been the primary option in goal for Arizona. Raanta is averaging 25.2 saves per game and owns a 4-14-2 record.

Clayton Keller (13 goals, 16 assists) will pace the attack for the visiting Coyotes.

Arizona Coyotes at Colorado Avalanche Betting Predictions

Predictions: SU Winner – Avalanche, O/U – Over

Betting Notes

  • 70.6 percent of Colorado’s wins have come by two or more goals (the team is 12-10 overall in such games) while only 25.0 percent of Arizona’s wins have come by two goals or more (2-19 overall in games decided by at least two goals).
  • The Coyotes are 4-15 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 6-22 in games where they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes.
  • Colorado is 1-1 in games decided by a shootout this season while Arizona is 1-1 in shootouts.
  • The total has gone under in three of Arizona’s last five outings.
  • Colorado is ranked 3rd this season with just 6.5 giveaways per game. That figure has improved lately, however, as the teams averaged 4.8 giveaways over its last 10 games and 4.6 giveaways over its last five.
  • Arizona is ranked eighth this season with 8.1 giveaways per game. That figure has trended lower lately, however, as the teams averaged 6.8 giveaways over its last 10 games and 6.0 giveaways over its last five.
  • Arizona skaters have dished out the fifth-most hits in the league (24.0 per game), but the teams averaged just 21.0 hits over their last five away games.