Wednesday NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Colorado Avalanche vs. New York Rangers Betting Preview
André Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Nathan MacKinnon.
- The Avalanche are favored against the Rangers on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.
- New York will be down down its starting goaltender against the NHL's best attack.
- Nicholas Martin breaks down the matchup below and makes his pick for the game.
Avalanche vs. Rangers Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Colorado will head into Madison Square Garden for what should be an excellent affair between two of the league’s better teams against the Rangers.
The Avalanche will look to find some consistency and build off a 7-5 win in Philadelphia on Monday night. They’ve struggled through some poor defensive play and shaky goaltending in alternating wins and losses over their last six games.
New York is set to skate Tuesday in Chicago as it continues life without spectacular netminder Igor Shesterkin. The Rangers are looking to keep their seven-game winning streak alive.
Good Luck Stopping Colorado Attack
It’s no surprise to see the Avs sitting on top of the league at 4.14 goals per game, even while playing much of the season without an MVP-caliber player in Nathan MacKinnon.
What is surprising is to see that Colorado has allowed the sixth-most goals this season. And I’m not sure the problem will be easy to solve.
The Colorado defense continues to get poor play outside of its big four in Devon Toews, Cale Makar, Samuel Girard and Bowen Byram on the back end. As Jack Johnson has struggled mightily again, Erik Johnson has been far from good, and the remaining depth has also struggled. With Bowen Byram to remain out, there is more relying on guys like Jack Johnson than the Avs would prefer.
Poor goaltending has certainly been part of the problem, as well. Darcy Kuemper hasn’t been as strong as the Avalanche would have hoped, but he’s still probably an upgrade over Justus Annunen or Jonas Johansson.
Kuemper is listed as day-to-day with an upper body injury, so it’s unclear who will start on Wednesday night.
Colorado will likely offer some strong goal support for whoever does take the cage, though, as it continues to post gaudy offensive numbers and is skating as close to full health as we have seen this season.
With Nazem Kadri’s second line playing at such a scary level, the Avalanche are fielding two wildly talented offensive units, as well as defensemen like Makar, Toews and Girard who love to get up in the play and create.
Analytically the Avs appear due for some offensive regression, which isn’t surprising given their absurd goalscoring numbers, but I would safely bet they finish with more goals than expected this year.
Can Rangers Defense Slow Colorado?
As alluded to, the Avalanche have been deadly in front of goal, but the Rangers have been spectacular defensively, including a league-low expected goals against per 60 minutes mark of 1.72 over the first six games of this winning streak before last night’s win in Chicago.
However, over that stretch, the Rangers have played teams with an average league ranking of 25.16 in the league’s goalscoring rankings. It’s safe to say Colorado will be a step up in talent.
Shesterkin has been stellar in goal for the Blue Shirts, but he’ll remain out for the contest. Alex Georgiev is set to play Tuesday against Chicago and has posted some very shaky numbers throughout eight games this season, with an .876 save percentage and a -7.7 goals saved above expected rating.
I am hoping for the sake of my play the Rangers go back-to-back with Georgiev, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Gerard Gallant go with Keith Kinkaid, who has posted a .916 save percentage in the AHL in 11 starts this season.
Avalanche vs. Rangers Pick
Regardless of how tonight’s Rangers game goes, I am still going to like a play on the over at 6, and I’m hoping you see this early enough that most people can catch one of the sites still offering 6 instead of 6.5.
Colorado has played high-event hockey of late, with games averaging 8.35 combined goals over a large sample size of 14 games. I’m not seeing enough reason to overthink this one, specifically with Shesterkin out, even if the Rangers have been very strong defensively at home.
The Avalanche are set to continue skating three defenders who have been regularly burned at even strength in the Johnsons and Kurtis MacDermid, some very average goaltending (regardless of whether Kuemper is back), and I think New York should post a reasonable total.
However the Avs are deadly going forward, and I think it’s quite likely we see them score at least four against a Rangers team that has defended very well and played on Tuesday in Chicago.
Regardless of what the goaltending matchup ends up being, I do not think we see a better price than 6 at -115. Given certain ideal matchups, we could possibly see that number swing aggressively, so I believe it’s a win-win.
I lean towards the Avalanche as a side at -140 and think that would be a reasonable play, as well. We will likely see a worse number there as the game approaches.
I think playing both the over 6 and Avs’ moneyline together (should be somewhere near +220) is also a reasonable option if you want to be aggressive, but backing just the over at 6 is my favorite play.
Edit 5:17 EST Wednesday:
Colorado will indeed go with Darcy Kuemper, while the Rangers will start Adam Huska from AHL Hartford.
Huska has posted a .924 save % throughout 6 AHL games so far this season.
Pick: Over 6 (-115, play to -145)