NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction Today: Avalanche vs Stars Game 2

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction Today: Avalanche vs Stars Game 2 article feature image

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Avalanche vs. Stars Odds

Thursday, May 9
9:30 p.m. ET
TNT & truTV
Avalanche Odds+115
Stars Odds-135
Over / Under
+100 / -120
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about the Avalanche vs. Stars odds for Game 2 on Thursday, May 9 — our expert NHL prediction and pick.

This series between the Avalanche and Stars was expected to be a classic as two cup favorites squared off in the second round.

Game 1 didn't disappoint as the Avalanche stormed back from three goals down. Now, the Avalanche will look to leave Dallas with a commanding 2-0 lead, while the Stars will look to avoid going into an 0-2 hole for the second consecutive series.

Let's dive into my Avalanche vs. Stars pick and best bet today.

Colorado Avalanche

Since 2005, NHL teams that have had three or more days off and are facing an opponent that won a Game 7 two or fewer days beforehand were just 16-21 prior to Colorado's Game 1 victory.

In other words, the rest versus rust debate data showed that Game 1s have heavily favored the team with less rust. That looked to be the case early on, but then the Avalanche woke up and Miles Wood capped the game with an overtime winner.

If depth forwards like Wood are going to produce timely goals, this series should go Colorado's way. The Stars' greatest advantage is their superior depth, but they'll likely lose the minutes versus the Avalanche's top superstars.

That was the case in Game 1. Even Miro Heiskanen was no match for the Stars' top-two units, as he owned an xGF% of 1.29% versus Nathan MacKinnon's line, and 4.87% versus Casey Mittelstadt and the second line.

The Avalanche continue to be the antithesis to the idea that Stanley Cup winners have to play defense-first hockey. When they won the cup in 2022, their incredible 4.25 goals for per game average was the number one reason why.

If they find a way this season, it looks like their incredible offensive play will again be the greatest causation. They have scored 5.33 goals per game in the playoffs and have generated 3.77 xGF/60, which ranks second in the league.

Alexandar Georgiev has -2.4 GSAx and a .890 save percentage through six appearances this postseason and will get the start Thursday night.

Dallas Stars

Will the Stars have answers for the Avalanche's incredible combination of elite superstars?

That's a big question surrounding this game. Not only does Avalanche coach Jared Bednar have arguably the best top offensive line in the league, but he also has the best defense pairing in the league at his disposal. And he continues to throw them out as a five-man unit.

That combination gave Dallas fits in Game 1, just as it did the Jets in the previous series.

Miro Heiskanen and Thomas Harley had a far tougher night than usual and were unable to win the battle versus the Avs' superstars.

Joel Hakanpaa is considered day-to-day and could potentially play in this matchup, which would provide a notable boost to the Stars. Mason Marchment is considered probable to return, which would boost an already stacked offensive unit.

The Stars were able to generate offensive chances at a high rate versus a dominant defensive side in the Knights, and did get their share of looks in Game 1. Altogether this postseason, they have played to a 3.35 xGF/60, which ranks third in the league.

The play of Jake Oettinger will be another key factor in determining the Game 2 winner. In theory, Oettinger's top level offers an edge over Georgiev. However, he has offered somewhat even play this season.

In eight playoff appearances, Oettinger owns 1.8 GSAx. He was also particularly strong at the tail end of the Stars impressive Round 1 victory over the defending champions.

Avalanche vs. Stars

Betting Pick & Prediction

This is a matchup of two legitimate cup contenders. Barring the loss of a key skater or two, the winner of this series is going to be priced as the cup favorite heading into the next round.

The Avalanche got their legs as Game 1 wore on, and continued one of the most dominant offensive postseasons in history. They will continue to send out the MacKinnon and Cale Makar five-man unit, which offers a gigantic edge regardless of which line Stars coach Peter DeBoer gets out there.

By no means do I believe the Stars are fraudulent, but it's hard to find an argument as to why you would lay -126 to fade the Avalanche. Everything I felt ahead of Game 1 seems to remain more or less true for tonight's matchup, and the Avalanche are the more valuable side at a +114 price. The Stars will likely be +120 or greater when the series shifts to Colorado for Games 3 and 4, and that will be the time to back the Stars.

There is value on the over in tonight's game at anything better than -105 (Bet365 is at +100). Neither goalie has been overly sharp and both teams feature a ton of offensive upside.

Pick: Over 6.5 +100 (Play to -105)

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