Avalanche vs. Predators Odds & Picks: Can Nashville Keep Pace in Game 3?
Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Roman Josi.
- The Nashville Predators go home to host the Colorado Avalanche in Game 3 of their playoff series on Saturday.
- The Predators have shown they can keep pace with the Avalanche but enter the game facing a 2-0 deficit.
- Grant White explains if that will change in his full betting breakdown below.
Avalanche vs. Predators Odds
|Over/Under||6.5 (-110 / -110)|
|Time||4:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Coming back from a 3-0 series deficit against the best team in the Western Conference is nearly an impossible task. That makes Saturday’s Game 3 all the more important as the Nashville Predators look to climb back into their opening-round series against the Colorado Avalanche.
The Avs have dominated through the first two games of the series, but home ice could give the Preds the advantage they need to keep things close.
Are Avalanche Overperforming?
You wouldn’t know it by looking at their position in the standings, but the Avalanche’s offensive success is premised on home-ice advantage. Colorado averaged 4.0 goals per game in its friendly confines this season, compared to 3.3 on the road.
That decrease in output is substantiated by some disappointing production metrics.
The Avs ended the regular season with the 14th-most scoring chances across all strengths. Their number of quality chances was even more abysmal, with the Avs attempting the 12th-fewest per game. Those metrics look worse compared to what was allowed, as the Avs ended the season with negative relative metrics in both categories.
When we factor in their 49.3% Fenwick Rating and the rest of their stats, Colorado finished the season with a 49.2% expected goals for rating, implying it got outplayed more often than not.
Even though the Avs posted an expected goals for rating of 69.2% across all strengths, a lot of the heavy lifting was done in the second period when they had three straight power plays. Colorado totaled nine high-danger chances across all strengths in that period, equaling more than half of their quality chances throughout the game.
In the other three periods combined, the Predators out-chanced the Avs, 10-8, in quality chances, illustrating Nashville’s ability to keep pace with Colorado.
Predators Can Keep Pace
Nashville played behind some talented teams in the Central Division this season, so you’d be forgiven for not knowing how productive they were offensively.
The Preds ended the campaign tied for the 12th-most goals in the league, thanks to their elite finishing talent. Four players finished the year with shooting percentages of 18.5% or better, helping Nashville to the fourth-best mark in the league.
The Predators’ solid offensive play is complemented by their elite defensive metrics, ranking among the league’s best in several key metrics.
Sustained structure in their own end supports that they should be able to neutralize the Avs’ attack on Saturday. Opponents attempted the seventh-fewest scoring and third-fewest quality opportunities at five-on-five, with the Preds not giving up an inch in the defending zone.
Connor Ingram appears set to make just the fifth start of his career on Saturday. Ingram has been sensational since stepping between the pipes, stopping 95.2% of shots through two games.
Now, Ingram has the benefit of playing in front of a Predators team on home ice, which would decrease the volume of shots he’s dealing with and give Nashville its best chance of competing.
Avalanche vs. Predators Pick
The Preds need a more disciplined effort against the Avs on Saturday, but they can also fall back onto their impenetrable defensive zone coverage.
We’ve seen an opportunistic Preds team throughout the season, using their scoring chances wisely and posting one of the top-end shooting percentages in the NHL.
Colorado is much less effective on the road, and even if the Predators can’t knock them off, they should at least be able to keep things close.
Pick: Predators +1.5 (-128)