Minnesota Wild at Colorado Avalanche Betting Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

A couple of teams that have put themselves squarely in the playoff picture, the Minnesota Wild and the Colorado Avalanche meet at the Pepsi Center in a Central Division tilt. Altitude Sports & Entertainment will showcase the game, and the puck drops at 9 p.m. ET on Friday, March 2.

Minnesota Wild at Colorado Avalanche Odds

Minnesota is 36-28 straight up (SU) and has earned 3.0 units for moneyline bettors this year. 32 of its games have gone over the total, while 28 have gone under and just three have pushed. As an away team this season, the Wild are 14-17 SU.

Minnesota has converted on 21.2 percent of its power play chances this season, a mark that places them in the top-10 among NHL teams. Its penalty kill is ranked 16th in the league, and it’s successfully killed off 80.6 percent of its penalties.

For the team as a whole, the Wild have been penalized 3.9 times per game this season, and 2.8 per game over its last five match ups. The team’s been forced to defend opponent power plays just 7.2 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Averaging 27.6 saves per game with a .919 save percentage, Devan Dubnyk (28-17-5) has been the top option in goal for Minnesota this season. If it chooses to rest him, however, Minnesota could roll with Alex Stalock (9-15-2 record, .914 save percentage, 2.80 goals against average).

Eric Staal and Mikael Granlund will both lead the offensive attack for the visiting Wild. Staal (64 points) is up to 33 goals and 31 assists, and has recorded multiple points in 16 different games. Granlund has 19 goals and 34 assists to his creditand has registered a point in 32 games.

Over on the other bench, Colorado is 34-29 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 9.7 units this season. 33 of its matches have gone over the total, while 26 have gone under and just four have pushed. This year, the team is 22-9 SU at home.

The Avalanche have converted on just 19.9 percent of their power play chances this year, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked fourth overall, and it’s successfully killed off 83.0 percent of all penalties.

Avalanche players have been whistled for penalties 4.1 times per game in total this season, and 3.4 per game over their last five at home. The team’s been forced to defend opponent power plays just 7.4 minutes per contest over their last five home games.

Semyon Varlamov (28.4 saves per game) has been the top option in goal for the Avalanche. Varlamov has 18 wins, 19 losses, and three OT losses and has recorded a mediocre 2.86 goals against average and a .913 save percentage this year.

Nathan MacKinnon (29 goals, 42 assists) will lead the attack for the Avalanche.

Minnesota Wild at Colorado Avalanche Betting Predictions

Free Pick: SU Winner – Avalanche, O/U – Under

Betting Trends

  • Over Minnesota’s last ten games, seven of them have been decided by two or more goals (the team is 5-2 in those games).
  • Penalties and power plays could prove to be critical tonight. The Wild are 8-9 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 24-13 in games where they’re in the box for fewer than 10 penalty minutes, total. The Avalanche are 16-10 when the team serves fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 21-19 in games where they’re in the box for less than 10 minutes.
  • Minnesota (3-2 in shootouts) has more experience this season in games decided by shootout. Colorado has only participated in a couple of shootouts this year, winning one and losing the other.
  • Colorado skaters have averaged 3.6 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 6.4 giveaways per game (the 4th-fewest in the NHL).
  • Minnesota is ranked third this season with just 6.2 giveaways per game. That figure has trended higher lately, as it’s averaged 8.5 giveaways over its last 10 games and 7.8 giveaways over its last five.