Florida Panthers vs. Colorado Avalanche Betting Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

In their last head-to-head matchup of the regular season, the Florida Panthers and the Colorado Avalanche collide at the Pepsi Center in an East-versus-West showdown. The action gets started at 9 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 14 and it’s being shown live on Altitude Sports & Entertainment.

Florida Panthers at Colorado Avalanche Odds

Colorado (+100) is currently the underdog to Colorado (-120), and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals (-120 money on the under, +100 on the over). Netting moneyline bettors 1.4 units, Colorado is 14-16 straight up (SU) overall this year. That early-season winning percentage is a remarkable improvement over the 22-60 record from the 2016-17 season campaign. Through 30 regular season matches, 19 of its games have gone over the total, while 11 have gone under and none have pushed. The team is 8-6 SU at home this season. The Avalanche have converted on 17.7 percent of their power play chances this season, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, their penalty kill is ranked 16th overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 80.9 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 outings. The team has had to kill penalties for just 8.0 minutes per game over their last 10 outings, in total. Averaging 28.8 saves per game with a .903 save percentage, Semyon Varlamov (9-10-1) has been the best option in goal for Colorado this year. If the Avs, however, choose to rest him, head coach Jared Bednar may roll with Jonathan Bernier (5-7-7 record, .900 save percentage, 3.05 goals against average). The Avs will continue to rely on leadership out of Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. MacKinnon (33 points) has produced 11 goals and 22 assists and has recorded multiple points 10 times this year. Rantanen has nine goals and 16 assists to his name and has recorded at least one point in 16 games. On the other side of the ice, Florida is 12-19 straight up (SU) and has lost 7.3 units for bettors taking the moneyline this year. A total of 16 of its games have gone over the total, while 15 have gone under and none have pushed. The Panthers are 6-10 SU as the away team this season. The Panthers have converted on just 17.5 percent of their power play opportunities this season, a mark that’s ranked 24th in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 25th overall and it’s successfully killed off 78.2 percent of all penalties. Florida’s skaters have been called for penalties 4.5 times per game in total this season, and 6.0 per game over their last five on the road. The team has had to defend opponent power plays 15.0 minutes per game over their last five road outings. Roberto Luongo (.928 save percentage and 2.62 goals against average) has been the primary option in goal for Florida. Luongo is averaging 31.7 saves per game and has six wins, nine losses, and two overtime losses to his credit. Vincent Trocheck (13 goals, 19 assists) and Jonathan Huberdeau (nine goals, 23 assists) are the top point-getters for Florida and will pace the attack for the visiting Panthers.

Florida Panthers vs. Colorado Avalanche Free Picks

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

Betting Notes

  • Over Colorado’s last ten outings, five of them have been decided by two or more goals (the team is 1-4 in those games).
  • The Panthers are 5-8 SU when they serve more penalty minutes than their opponent while the Avalanche are 4-7 SU in games where they spend more time in the box than their opponent.
  • Colorado is 1-1 in games decided by a shootout this season while Florida is 2-2 in shootouts.
  • The over has hit in four of Colorado’s last five outings.
  • One of the best teams when it comes to possession and valuing the puck, Colorado is ranked 4th this season with just 6.8 giveaways per game. That figure has trended down, however, as it’s averaged 5.3 giveaways over its last 10 games and 5.0 giveaways over its last five.
  • Florida has averaged 10.8 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 12.6 giveaways per game (ranked 28th in the league).