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Avalanche vs. Sharks Game 1 Betting Odds, Preview: Which Version of the Avs Shows Up?

Credit:

Neville E. Guard, USA Today Sports.

  • The San Jose Sharks are -128 favorites over the Colorado Avalanche in Game 1 of their second-round series.
  • The Sharks are banged up and the Avalanche are well-rested, so how should bettors approach this game?

San Jose Sharks vs. Colorado Avalanche Game 1 Betting Odds

  • Avalanche odds: +118
  • Sharks odds: -128
  • Over/Under: 6
  • TV: NBCSN
  • Time: 10 p.m. ET

The San Jose Sharks probably shouldn’t be in the second round. That isn’t to say the Sharks aren’t good — they are — but they were incredibly fortunate to get through their first-round series against the Vegas Golden Knights.

Not only did San Jose fall behind 3-1 in the series, they needed a miraculous 58-save performance from the engimatic Martin Jones to win Game 6 in double-overtime to get to Game 7, where all hell broke loose thanks to a controversial call in the third period.

With Vegas ahead, 3-0, in the third period of Game 7, the Sharks were awarded a 5-minute power play after it was deemed Cody Eakin’s cross-check on Joe Pavelski was egregious. It was a bad call and the Sharks took advantage, scoring four goals on the major.

The Knights would tie the game, 4-4, to send it to overtime but Barclay Goodrow sent the Sharks to Round 2 with a game-winning goal.

Over the course of the regular season the Avalanche were largely mediocre, but they got hot down the stretch to nab the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. That meant a date with the Western Conference regular season champions, the Calgary Flames, awaited.

The Avs were basically written off in the first round but made quick work of the Flames, winning the series in five games. Colorado was the better team and it showed in the results.

So now the question becomes what version of the Avalanche we should expect in Round 2.

Avalanche at Sharks Game 1 Betting Analysis

Both of these teams have game-breaking talent and we will likely see some serious star-on-star action as the Sharks will likely want some combination of Brent Burns, Erik Karlsson and Marc-Edouard Vlasic to be on the ice anytime that Nathan MacKinnon hops over the boards.

MacKinnon led all players in offensive-zone possession time per game (1:14) in the first round and his buddy Mikko Rantanen ranked fourth (0:58). The fact that MacKinnon and Rantanen performed as well as they did against the Flames, who have one of the league’s best defenses, is a reason for optimism for the Avalanche.

The biggest edge for Colorado, though, is in goal. Philipp Grubauer was terrific for the Avalanche in Round 1, posting a .967 save percentage at 5-on-5. Grubauer is clearly the best goaltender in this series and given San Jose’s troubles generating offense in Round 1, he could prove to be the difference.

With Grubauer looking like he’s in form, the Sharks will need Jones to keep pace on his end of the ice. Jones was one of the worst starters during the regular season, but turned into a monster in Games 5 and 6. The 29-year-old has a reputation of being boom-or-very-bust and trying to figure him out is a good way to end up banging your head against a table over and over.

San Jose will likely be without Pavelski and fellow top-six forward Joonas Donskoi, though neither’s status has been confirmed, for at least the first part of the series. For a team that succeeds thanks to its depth, those are both big blows and should open the door for Colorado.

There’s a lot of volatility for this Game 1, from injuries to goaltending to rest, so I’m not surprised to see the Avalanche shorten to under +120. At the current price I’m going to pass on this game, but if I can find the Sharks at -125 I’ll take a piece of San Jose and pray that Martin Jones doesn’t send me to the bottle.

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