Colorado Avalanche at Florida Panthers Free Pick

Two clubs squaring off for the first time this year, the Colorado Avalanche and the Florida Panthers clash at the BB&T Center in an East-West showdown. The game will get going at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 9 and it’s being shown live on Altitude Sports & Entertainment.

Colorado Avalanche at Florida Panthers Odds

Florida (+120) is entering this one as the underdog to Florida (-140), and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at an even 6 goals (-120 for the under, +100 for the over). Colorado is 12-15 straight up (SU) and has lost 0.5 units for moneyline bettors this year. 17 of its outings have gone over the total, while 10 have gone under and none have pushed. As an away team in 2017-18, the Avs are 4-9 SU. Colorado has converted on 19.5 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a figure that’s right around league average. Additionally, its penalty kill is ranked 19th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 79.2 percent of all penalties. For the team as a whole, Colorado has been whistled for penalties 4.6 times per game overall in the 2017-18 season, 5.0 per game over its past five games total, and 4.2 per game over its last five road outings. The team’s been forced to kill penalties just 8.0 minutes per game over their last 10 outings. Sporting a .903 save percentage and 28.6 saves per game, Semyon Varlamov (8-9-1) has been the top option in goal for Colorado this season. If Colorado chooses to rest him, however, the team may go with Jonathan Bernier (4-7-1 record, .891 save percentage, 3.24 goals against average). Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen will both spearhead the attack for the visiting Avalanche. MacKinnon has 32 points via 10 goals and 22 assists, and has recorded multiple points 10 times. Rantanen has eight goals and 14 assists to his name, and has registered a point in 15 games. On the other side of the rink, Florida is 11-17 straight up (SU) and has lost 6.0 units for moneyline bettors this year. 15 of its outings have gone over the total, while 13 have gone under and none have pushed. The team is 6-8 SU at home this year. Florida has converted on 18.1 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 29th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 76.1 percent of all penalties. Florida skaters have been sent to the penalty box 4.4 times per game in total this season, and 2.8 per game over their last five at home. The team has had to stave off opponent power plays 8.7 minutes per game over their last 10 outings. Roberto Luongo has stopped 31.7 shots per game as the top option in goal for Florida. Luongo has six wins, nine losses, and two OT losses and has maintained a mediocre 2.62 goals against average and a .928 save percentage this season. Jonathan Huberdeau (eight goals, 21 assists) and Vincent Trocheck (12 goals, 17 assists) will lead the offensive counter for the Panthers.

Colorado Avalanche at Florida Panthers Betting Predictions

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

Betting Trends

  • The total has gone over in three of Florida’s last five outings.
  • Colorado has managed 29.2 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Florida is averaging 40.0 shots per game over its last five home outings.
  • The Panthers are 4-7 SU in games where they serve more penalty minutes than their opponent while the Avalanche are 3-7 SU when they spend more time in the box than their opponent.
  • Two of Florida’s last ten games have been decided by a shootout. The team is 1-1 in those games and 2-2 overall in shootouts this season.
  • Florida has averaged 7.4 takeaways per game over its last five home games, a drop-off from its season average of 8.6 takeaways per game (ranked 9th).
  • Colorado has scored 3.1 goals per game this year, but is down to 1.8 goals per contest over its last four games (0-4 SU over that span).
  • Colorado is ranked 13th overall with 7.9 takeaways per game. That figure has trended lower recently, however, as it’s managed 6.7 takeaways over its last 10 games and 6.8 takeaways over its last five.