Avalanche vs Penguins NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction
Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Bowen Byram of the Colorado Avalanche
- The Penguins host the Avalanche on Tuesday night in Pittsburgh.
- The game is priced as a pick'em despite Colorado skating with a roster that's close to full health.
- Below, Nicholas Martin shares a special bet with +270 odds that relies on the Avs winning a high-scoring affair.
Avalanche vs. Penguins Odds
|Over/Under||6.5 (-106 / -114)|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
With the Islanders, Sabres, and Panthers all breathing down their neck, every game is meaningful for the Pittsburgh Penguins, who recently have blown most of a sizeable lead in the wild-card race.
Oddsmakers are still respecting the Penguins’ game, and they are priced evenly with a now-healthy Avalanche team that has recently displayed elite form with wins in seven of eight.
Colorado Avalanche at Full Strength
Colorado’s shocking 3-2 regulation loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Jan. 12 seemed to be a tipping point. The Avs had been mired in a very disappointing slump and sitting outside of the playoff picture.
They have since fired off wins in seven of eight contests, and they’ve accumulated a ridiculous +18 goal differential (+2.25 per game).
A large part of the Avs’ turnaround in form has simply been playing with more of their top skaters back in the lineup. Bowen Byram is set to return to the lineup for tonight’s game, and the Avalanche will have as close to its full roster as we have seen all season long.
Byram was excellent in last year’s Stanley Cup final while averaging more than 23 minutes of ice time. He will be a massive addition to the blue-line and offer significant replacement value.
Alexandar Georgiev will likely start in goal for Colorado. He’s played to a +13.7 GSAx rating and .919 save % throughout 34 games played.
Fresh Start for Pittsburgh Penguins?
The All-Star break likely came at a good time for a Penguins team that very much appeared to be out of sorts and in need of a refresh.
A 6-4 loss at home to the Sharks was a shocking low point for Pittsburgh, but it wasn’t an entirely shocking result based on a large sample of its recent results.
Pittsburgh’s recent game has been quite shaky overall, particularly when skating against top teams as it will tonight.
The Pens have allowed a high mark of 3.5 goals against per game over the last 10. That dreadful mark has been far from bad luck, as well, with their xGA/60 of 4.11 the fourth-worst mark in the league over that span.
It’s logical to think that Pittsburgh’s awful defensive play is going to improve somewhat with Kris Letang and Jeff Petry back in the lineup. Especially as this has been one of the worst defensive stretches of coach Mike Sullivan’s entire tenure.
Even if Pittsburgh does sort out the play in front of goal, however, the current goaltending situation is very shaky.
Tristan Jarry remains listed as day-to-day and is not expected to start tonight. Casey DeSmith has really fallen into bad form after a quality beginning to the season, and he now owns a +0.1 GSAx and .901 save % throughout 22 appearances.
Avalanche vs. Penguins Pick
Colorado has been in excellent form of late and is well positioned to continue dominating moving forward now that it is skating as close to a full roster as it has all season long.
The Avs’ elite superstars should prove to be a very tough challenge for a Penguins team that has been allowing a wealth of goals against for a large sample size.
It seems disrespectful to the defending champion Avalanche to be priced this closely with a middling Penguins team, especially with the Avs skating at close to full health.
Therefore, I see value backing the Avalanche to win at -110 and would play it down to -120.
It also seems likely this matchup will be of the higher-scoring variety, particularly coming out of the All-Star break. FanDuel is offering an Avalanche Regulation win parlayed with the over 5.5 at +270, and I believe that is another strong play for a smaller stake.
Pick: Colorado Avalanche & Over 5.5 (+270)
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