Avalanche vs. Coyotes Game 2 Odds & Pick (Friday, August 14): Arizona’s Price is Getting Out of Hand


Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Darcy Kuemper

Colorado Avalanche vs. Arizona Coyotes Odds

Looking for Saturday’s Game 3? Head here.

Avalanche Odds +190 [BET NOW]
Coyotes Odds -225 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 5.5 (-103/-120) [BET NOW]
Time 2 p.m. ET
TV NHL Network

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The Arizona Coyotes have one real path to victory in their best-of-7 with the Colorado Avalanche: Hope that Darcy Kuemper stands on his head and pray to get lucky on offense.

In Game 1, it appeared the Yotes could pull off that high-wire act. Despite being completely outplayed, Arizona held Colorado off the scoreboard for nearly 55 minutes.

A 0-0 game deep into the third period was exactly the type of game the Coyotes wanted and the type of game they had to win if they were going to have a chance in this series.

It wasn’t meant to be. The Avs scored three goals in 1:23 to give the final score an honest 3-0 makeover.

It was a dominant performance by the Avalanche. On defense, they held the Coyotes to just 0.84 expected goals and 14 shots in all situations. Not only did the game remind the world of the gap between these two teams, it showed that Colorado isn’t merely an offensive juggernaut.

Colorado’s defense is really what complicates this matchup for Arizona. The Coyotes are known as a defense-first team but they have the second-best defense in this matchup.

Colorado Avalanche

Even after its excellent defensive performance in Game 1, Colorado’s dexterous offense still commands the most attention. Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Nazem Kadri, Gabriel Landeskog, Andre Burakovsky and Valeri Nichushkin comprise a dynamic top-six and they are supported by one of the league’s most exciting offensive defenseman in rookie Cale Makar.

It seems like the Avalanche can create offense from anywhere because of how deep they are. Survive a MacKinnon shift? Great, now you need to stop Kadri and Landeskog.

Colorado’s offensive exploits are known throughout the league, but the Avs quietly developed into one of the league’s most accomplished defenses this year, too.

The Avs rank inside the top-10 in goals against, expected goals against and shot attempts allowed at 5-on-5. They make life pretty easy on their goaltenders, both of whom are quite good, too.

5-on-5 Stat Result Rank
Goals For Per 60 Minutes 2.96 T1
Goals Against Per 60 Minutes 2.08 4th
Expected Goals For Per 60 Minutes 2.33 9th
Expected Goals Against Per 60 Minutes 2.11 T7
Shot Attempts For Per 60 Minutes 60.33 3rd
Shot Attempts Allowed Per 60 Minutes 53.67 11th
High-Danger Chances For Per 60 Minutes 10.14 22nd
High-Danger Chances Against Per 60 Minutes 9.6 5th

Expected goals (also known as xG) is a predictive statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as shooting luck or outstanding goaltending.

Simply put, an expected goals rate (xGF%) above 50% is considered good because it means a team is creating the majority of the scoring chances. Anything below 50% is usually a sign that a team is struggling to control play.

xG numbers cited from Evolving Hockey.

The Avs are a handful for any team in the NHL, let alone a mediocre squad like Arizona.

Arizona Coyotes

The Coyotes can really only beat you in one way: Bend, but don’t break.

Without a threatening offense, the Yotes rely on Darcy Kuemper to bail them out of games in which they are outplayed. He’s done that quite a bit over the past few seasons, posting a +17.01 Goals Saved Above Expectations (GSAx) in his last 84 games, but the rest of the team has not played up to his standards.

5-on-5 Stat Result Rank
Goals For Per 60 Minutes 2.24 23rd
Goals Against Per 60 Minutes 2.23 7th
Expected Goals For Per 60 Minutes 2.25 18th
Expected Goals Against Per 60 Minutes 2.34 20th
Shot Attempts For Per 60 Minutes 55.77 12th
Shot Attempts Allowed Per 60 Minutes 59 26th
High-Danger Chances For Per 60 Minutes 11.98 3rd
High-Danger Chances Against Per 60 Minutes 10.88 18th

Goals Saved Above Expectation (GSAx) is an advanced statistic that measures a goaltender’s performance against the quality of scoring chances he faced. It is a better catch-all metric compared to save percentage because every SV% counts every saved shot and goal the same, while GSAx weights shots by the quality of the scoring chance. GSAx numbers cited from Evolving Hockey.

There are some intriguing offensive talents in Arizona’s top six. Taylor Hall can still be a force, Christian Dvorak has developed into a second-line caliber player and Phil Kessel can still finish when he has the puck on his stick.

Behind those three is another competent line consisting of Derek Stepan, Conor Garland and Clayton Keller. It’s a perfectly adequate second line, but adequate won’t cut it against a team this deep.

If Game 1 was any indication, this series could be over in the blink of an eye, but hockey rarely goes according to script.

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Betting Analysis

It’s very likely that Colorado wins Game 2, but the price on Arizona is getting into “out of hand” territory. Considering that Game 1 closed with Colorado at -180 and Arizona at +155, it’s hard to pass up the Coyotes at +190 less than 48 hours later.

The listed odds imply that Colorado has a 66.8% chance of taking Game 2. I admit that this is a mismatch, but I still that number sells the Coyotes — and Kuemper — a little bit short.

If you do bet on the Coyotes with me, it’s the type of game you may not want to watch. You can expect Colorado to dominate possession, create more scoring chances and probably win.

But this is the NHL, after all. If you want to have a chance at winning, you’ll have to make some bets that make you squeamish.

The Pick: Arizona +180 or better

[Bet the Coyotes at DraftKings. CO, NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]

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