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Avalanche vs. Coyotes Game 3 Odds & Pick (Saturday, Aug. 15): Bet on an Arizona Comeback?

Avalanche vs. Coyotes Game 3 Odds & Pick (Saturday, Aug. 15): Bet on an Arizona Comeback? article feature image

Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Ryan Graves, Taylor Hall.

  • Check out our betting preview for Saturday's Game 3 NHL Playoffs matchup between the Colorado Avalanche and Arizona Coyotes.
  • Colorado's price is steep, but should you stomach betting on Arizona following two consecutive losses?
  • Read on for Pete Truszkowski's full betting preview, including odds, picks, and predictions for tonight's Game 3 matchup.

Colorado Avalanche vs. Arizona Coyotes 

Avalanche Odds -175 [BET NOW]
Coyotes Odds +148 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 5.5 (+120/-140) [BET NOW]
Time 3 p.m. ET

Odds as of Friday night and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.

The Colorado Avalanche followed a similar script during the opening two games of their first-round series against the Arizona Coyotes. That script consisted of playing relatively uninspiring hockey for the first 50-plus minutes of the game before scoring late in regulation to win the game. 

Thankfully for the Coyotes, they performed much better in the second game of this series. Arizona actually outshot the Avalanche 32-28 after Colorado outshot Arizona 40-14 in Game 1. 

The Avalanche were better, but the Coyotes looked like a far better side. The shot attempt rate decreased from 60% in favor of Colorado during the first game to 53%. Expected goals went from 69% to 52.4%. High danger chances were 77.8% in favor of Colorado in the first game, but in game two they only had 42.9%. 

Can Arizona continue to improve its play and will it be enough against the Avalanche in Game 3?

Colorado Avalanche

Colorado is clearly the better team and it’s obvious any way you evaluate it. This series is a No. 2 seed against a No. 11 seed, the Avalanche have a 2-0 series lead and Colorado is controlling the possession. The Avalanche’s star power and depth trumps anything the Coyotes can put on the ice. 

The Avalanche top line of Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen reunited midway through Game 1 and stayed together in Game 2. They’ve combined for a goal in both games thus far, but they haven’t been their usually dominant selves. 

When together, these three are often compared to ‘The Perfection Line’ in Boston and they are mentioned as one of the best lines in the league. In Game 2, the Avs trio had 45% of shot attempts and 35% of expected goals. Things should only improve for this group.

Yet, Colorado is still firing even when its top guys aren’t at their best. The Avalanche has some of the best depth in the league with guys like Nazem Kadri, Andre Burakovsky, and Tyson Jost have already scored big goals in this series. Their depth might be tested as Joonas Donskoi missed Game 2 after he was deemed unfit to play, and Vladislav Namestnikov left the game early after being hurt in a collision. 

With Game 3 being the second half of a back-to-back, the question always goes to the goaltending. With the Avalanche up by two games in a series where they are heavy favorites, it’s probably safe to assume they have the luxury of using backup netminder Pavel Francouz, who actually outperformed Philipp Grubauer throughout the season, so there shouldn’t be much of a dip. 

Arizona Coyotes

Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet summed up his feelings after game two by saying “that’s more like it.” 

Nobody expects Arizona to win the series, but its Game 1 performances like game one made the Tocchet’s team look unqualified for the playoffs. Even in Colorado’s dominant first game, it was scoreless for almost 55 minutes. That shows the randomness involved in a hockey game.

Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images. Pictured: Rick Tocchet.

In Game 2, we saw a performance by the Coyotes that had the game tied with under three minutes left. Colorado did get a lucky bounce off a skate right to Burakovsky that allowed them to grab the win, but if Arizona can stay in games, eventually they’ll be the team to get a bounce like that. 

Darcy Kuemper has started every game for the Coyotes in this postseason tournament, and I would expect that to continue. He’s faced over 40 shots in four of the six games he’s played thus far and he was the reason that they eliminated Nashville. During the first game, Kuemper had the Coyotes in the game late when they had no business competing. You have to believe that Arizona will go down swinging with its goaltender. 

Betting Analysis

Within the hour it took me to write this article, the line has moved from the opener of +150 at FanDuel up to +160. The line closed at +170 for Game 2 and I wouldn’t be shocked if we saw that number again.

The Coyotes’ Game 2 performance actually bolstered my optimism for their chances. They had more high danger chances than Colorado, they stayed relatively even in terms of shot attempts, and the game was tied until the final moments. 

Only 13% of NHL first round series end in a sweep. The sport lends itself to things like luck and variance more than others, so asking a team to win one game in a best of seven isn’t a big ask.

Arizona showed improvement from game to game, and I expect their desperation level will rise in game 3. Teams almost never come back after losing the first three games, so their season is basically on the line on Saturday. Colorado will be hard-pressed to match their intensity.  

The price on Colorado is too high, and if Arizona is going to win a game in this series, I think game three will be the one. +160 implies only a 38.5% chance of winning and that might be selling Arizona a little short. 

I would wait to bet on this game and see if I can get the Coyotes at a bit longer odds. However with how close both games have been late in the third period, I’m not laying the juice on Colorado. 

The Pick: Coyotes, but look for +165 or better

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