Colorado Avalanche vs. Dallas Stars Game 3 Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions (Wednesday, August 26)

Credit:

Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Nathan MacKinnon

  • Check out our NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs betting preview for Wednesday's Game 3 matchup between the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche.
  • Following Dallas' two wins to begin the series, the Stars moneyline opened at +114 for Game 3. That's a huge jump from opening at +146 in Game 1 and +140 for Game 2.
  • Michael Leboff believes that market movement is a significant overreaction. Read on for his full betting guide, including odds, picks and predictions for tonight's Game 3.

Stars vs. Avalanche Odds

Avalanche Odds -141 [BET NOW]
Stars Odds +120 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 5.5 (-108/-113) [BET NOW]
Time 10:30 p.m. ET
TV NBCSN

Odds updated as of Wednesday at 8:15 p.m. ET 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.


Who saw this one coming?

After a dramatic comeback in Game 2, the Dallas Stars have jumped out to a 2-0 series lead over the Colorado Avalanche. Prior to the start of the series, Colorado was -225 to win the series and eliminate Dallas. The odds have shifted dramatically as Dallas is now -305 to win the series.

After closing as -175 favorites in Game 1 and -155 for Game 2, the Avalanche are down to -137 at DraftKings for Game 3.

Are we buying the dip or is there still value on the Stars?

Colorado Avalanche

Things change quickly in the NHL playoffs.

A few days ago, Avalanche were coming off back-to-back 7-1 thrashings of the Arizona Coyotes in Round 1 and were the Stanley Cup Favorites heading into Round 2. The Avalanche looked like the team to beat and almost nobody expected Dallas to be the team to do it.

Colorado was under 50% across the board in shot attempts, expected goals and high-danger chances in Game 1, so it deserved to be in an 0-1 hole heading into Game 2.

Even though the Avalanche blew a two-goal lead and lost, 5-2, in Game 2, they were actually pretty good. The shot attempts were 49 to 22, the high-danger chances were 11 to 6 and the 5-on-5 expected goals were 1.82 to 1.41 all in favor of Colorado. The difference was goaltending and special teams.


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.


Pavel Francouz did not cover himself in glory in his first start of the postseason but there’s no reason to panic about Francouz taking over for the injured Philipp Grubauer.

Francouz had a higher save percentage and Goals Saved Above Expectation (GSAx) than Grubauer during the regular season. Francouz is a good goalie, but the optics of the backup playing, coupled with his performance on Monday might be causing an overreaction.

Dallas Stars

Dallas has been disrespected by the oddsmakers throughout these playoffs.

Despite having a much stronger resume, the Stars were basically a pick’em against Calgary in Round 1. Dallas might not have the flash, but only Boston allowed fewer goals per game than the Stars did in 2019/20.

When you compare their actual goals to their expected goals, the Stars underperformed in the regular season. This team isn’t as offensively inept as people think. They aren’t a powerhouse, but their recent performance shows that their offensive ceiling is a bit higher than what they showed in the regular season. Dallas has scored 29 goals in its last seven games.

Ben Bishop gets most of the credit when you think about Dallas’ stinginess, however, Anton Khudobin has been his underrated sidekick during his tenure in Big D. With Bishop hurt, Khudobin’s star is starting to shine brighter in these playoffs. The Kazakhstan native made 38 saves in Game 2, including 19 in the first period.

In a series where both teams are using their No. 2 goalie, Khudobin gives Dallas an edge.

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Betting Analysis

I think it’s safe to say that the market was too high on Colorado for both Game 1 and the series price. Now, it seems like the opposite is true. It’s hard to bet a team at +118 when they were 30 cents higher a couple of nights ago.

The Stars have played well and this was always going to be a much tighter series than people projected, but these odds have probably moved too much.

If you told me, before Game 1, that Colorado would be down to -137 for Game 3, I would have expected an injury to someone like MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen or Cale Makar, not Philipp Grubauer.

I lean towards the Avalanche at -140 or better. You are buying low on an extremely talented and desperate team. Colorado didn’t get the desired result in Game 2, but it was the better team. Had the Avs won, where would this line be?

[Bet now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 sign-up bonus.]

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