Tampa Bay Lightning at Colorado Avalanche Betting Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

In their final head-to-head meeting of the regular season, the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Colorado Avalanche face off at the Pepsi Center in an East-versus-West showdown. Altitude Sports & Entertainment will showcase the game, and the action gets going at 9 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 16.

Tampa Bay Lightning at Colorado Avalanche Odds

With a moneyline of -170, Tampa Bay heads into the contest as the obvious favorite. The line for Colorado sits at +150, and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at an even 6 goals. The line for betting the total stands at -105 for the over and -115 on the under.

Tampa Bay is 23-8 straight up (SU) and has earned 12.2 units for moneyline bettors this year. 18 of its games have gone over the total, while 13 have gone under and none have pushed. This 2017-18 Lightning team is 10-5 SU on the road.

Tampa Bay comes into the match up with the first-best power-play unit in the NHL, as it’s converted on 27.8 percent of its extra-man advantages this season. Its penalty kill is ranked 13th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 82.3 percent of its penalties.

For the team as a whole, Tampa Bay has been penalized 3.9 times per game during the 2017-18 season, and 3.2 per game over its past ten games. The teams had to kill penalties just 7.2 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Sporting a .934 save percentage and 30.2 saves per game, Andrei Vasilevskiy (21-5-1) has been the primary option in goal for Tampa Bay this season.

If head coach Jon Cooper decides to rest him, however, Tampa Bay could go with Peter Budaj (2-3-1), who has a .881 save percentage and 3.40 goals against average this year.

Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos will both look to continue their strong seasons for the visiting Lightning. Kucherov has 44 points via 22 goals and 22 assists, and has recorded multiple points in 14 different games. Stamkos has 12 goals and 31 assists to his creditand has registered at least one point in 22 games.

Colorado is 15-16 straight up (SU) and has netted moneyline bettors 2.4 units this season. 19 of its outings have gone over the total, while 12 have gone under and none have pushed. It’s 9-6 SU at home this year.

Colorado has converted on just 17.3 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a mark that’s ranked 24th in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 17th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 81.0 percent of all penalties.

Colorado players have been whistled for penalties 4.3 times per game in total this season, and 2.8 per game over their past five contests. The teams been forced to kill penalties just 7.8 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Semyon Varlamov has stopped 28.9 shots per game as the primary choice in goal for Colorado. Varlamov has 10 wins, 10 losses, and one OT loss to his credit and has recorded a poor .906 save percentage and 3.08 goals against average this year.

The home team offense will be led by Nathan MacKinnon (13 goals, 22 assists).

Tampa Bay Lightning at Colorado Avalanche Free Picks

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

Betting Trends

  • The total has gone over in three of Colorado’s last five outings.
  • The Lightning are 14-4 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 13-4 in games where they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes.
  • Colorado is 1-1 in games decided by a shootout this season while Tampa Bay is 1-1 in shootouts.
  • Colorado skaters have created 7.4 takeaways per game over its last five home games, a slight drop from its season average of 7.8 takeaways per game (ranked 12th overall).
  • Tampa Bay has averaged 4.5 goals per game, while giving up just 1.7, over their six-game winning streak.
  • Tampa Bay has created 5.8 takeaways per game over its last five road games, a drop-off from its season average of 7.8 takeaways per game (ranked 13th in the league).