Colorado Avalanche at Nashville Predators Free Pick

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

The Colorado Avalanche look to stave off elimination at Bridgestone Arena in Game 5 of the NHL postseason’s opening round. NBC Sports Network will showcase the game, which gets underway at 9:30 p.m. ET on Friday, April 20.

Colorado Avalanche at Nashville Predators Odds

Nashville comes into the matchup as the obvious favorite with a moneyline of -345. The line for Colorado sits at +275 and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at an even 6 goals (-115 for the over, -105 for the under).

Nashville is 56-30 straight up (SU) and has earned 15.7 units for moneyline bettors this year. That win percentage, ranked second in the NHL so far in the early season, is a solid improvement compared to how the team performed during the 2016-17 season (41-41). Through 86 regular season matches, 44 of its games have gone over the total, while 41 have gone under and just one has pushed. The team is 30-13 SU at home this season.

The Predators’ offense attempted 32.2 shots per game in the regular season, resulting in 3.3 goals per outing (ranked seventh overall in the NHL). In the playoffs, the club’s attempting an average of 32.5 shots on goal and up to 4.0 goals per game.

Following a regular season where they found the net on 21.3 percent of all power-play opportunities (the 14th-ranked), the Predators have been able to score on 23.1 percent of their power plays in the early stages of this postseason.

Sporting a .925 save percentage and 28.6 saves per game, Pekka Rinne (45-18-4) has been the primary goalkeeper for Nashville this season. If the Preds, however, choose to give him a breather, head coach Peter Laviolette may turn to Juuse Saros (12-15-15 record, .926 save percentage, 2.39 goals against average).

The Preds will continue to rely on leadership out of Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson. Forsberg (69 points) has tallied 29 goals and 40 assists and has recorded multiple points on 19 separate occasions this year. Arvidsson has 30 goals and 33 assists to his name and has notched a point in 45 games.

On the other side of the rink, Colorado is 44-42 straight up (SU) and has netted 7.6 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 86 regular season contests, 45 of its games have gone over the total, while 34 have gone under and just seven have pushed. The Avalanche are 15-28 SU as the away team this season.

The Avalanche have scored on 21.4 percent of their power play opportunities this season, a figure that places it in the top-10 among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked fourth overall and it’s successfully killed off 83.0 percent of all opponent power plays.

Colorado’s skaters have been penalized 4.0 times per game this season, and 5.0 per game over their last five games. The team’s been forced to stave off opponent power plays 8.5 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Semyon Varlamov (28.8 saves per game) has been the primary option in the net for Colorado. Varlamov has 26 wins, 25 losses, and six OT losses to his credit, while registering a .920 save percentage and 2.68 goals against average this year.

Nathan MacKinnon (42 goals, 60 assists) will lead the attack for the visiting Avalanche.

Colorado Avalanche at Nashville Predators Betting Picks

Prediction: SU Winner – Predators, O/U – Under

Betting Trends

  • The over has hit in four of Nashville’s last five games.
  • Over Nashville’s last ten outings, six of them have been decided by two or more goals (the team is 4-2 in those games).