Kraken vs Avalanche Odds, Game 2 Prediction | NHL Betting Preview (Thursday, April 20)
Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Cale Makar.
- The Kraken and Avalanche are set for Game 2 on Thursday night.
- Not only does our expert expect Colorado to bounce back, but he also sees value on the total.
- Continue reading for Ryan Dadoun's analysis and his best bet for Kraken vs. Avalanche Game 2.
Kraken vs Avalanche Odds · Game 2
|Over/Under||5.5 (-128 / +104)|
|Time||9:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche’s first-round series against the Seattle Kraken didn’t start the way they hoped. The Avalanche were outshined by Philipp Grubauer, their former goaltender, en route to the Kraken’s 3-1 Game 1 victory. Now, the pressure is on Colorado to win Game 2.
The Kraken were a great defensive team during the regular season, as evidenced by the fact that they had an expected goals allowed of 163.59, per Moneypuck (seventh fewest). Unfortunately, their goaltending often wasn’t as good as the defensemen in front of them, with Grubauer finishing the season with a lowly .895 save percentage.
However, he seems to excel at showing up the Avalanche. He stopped 34 of 35 shots versus Colorado on Tuesday and posted a 1.70 GAA and a .928 save percentage against Colorado over three regular-season outings. Whether it’s added motivation or just that Grubauer knows how to deal with the players he used to share a locker room with, it seems he’s uniquely qualified to frustrate the Avalanche.
If that continues to be true, then Colorado is in trouble because Seattle is more than the Avalanche’s equal offensively. The Kraken finished the campaign tied for fourth in the league with 3.52 goals per game. Seattle doesn’t have an equivalent to star forwards Nathan MacKinnon or Mikko Rantanen, but the Kraken don’t need one. Their strength comes from having a balanced attack. Daniel Sprong, who had 21 goals and 46 points in 66 contests, started Game 1 on the fourth line. That’s how deep Seattle is.
That depth allowed Seattle to shrug off the fact that its SEVEN leading scorers from the regular season — Jared McCann, Vince Dunn, Jordan Eberle, Matthew Beniers, Yanni Gourde, Sprong and Oliver Bjorkstrand — were all held off the scoresheet in Game 1. Maybe some of them will step up Thursday, but the Kraken are a group that can adapt to a variety of circumstances.
All that said, Colorado shouldn’t be dismissed. Seattle might get along fine without superstars, but MacKinnon and Rantanen are still a luxury that can’t be undersold. That duo was held to one combined goal in the series opener, but has the potential to take charge of this series at any point.
Seattle also isn’t the only team with depth scoring. Colorado forwards Valeri Nichushkin (47 points, 53 games), J.T. Compher (52 points, 82 games) and Artturi Lehkonen (51 points, 64 games) were all held off the scoresheet in Game 1, but shouldn’t be overlooked heading into Thursday’s action.
Then, of course, there’s Cale Makar. The defenseman won the Conn Smythe Trophy last year while scoring eight goals and tallying 29 points in 20 playoff contests. He was kept scoreless in Game 1, but there’s a good chance he’ll end up being a major factor in this series.
In net, it’s a safe bet Colorado will start Alexandar Georgiev again. He had a great regular season, posting a 40-16-6 record, a 2.53 GAA and a .918 save percentage in 62 contests. Even if he got outplayed by Grubauer in Game 1, the fact remains, it’s a long series and he can’t be counted out.
Kraken vs. Avalanche Pick
Colorado’s Game 1 loss hasn’t swayed oddsmakers. The Avalanche are still regarded as heavy moneyline favorites. The total of 5.5 goals at FanDuel really interests me though. In Game 1, the under proved to be accurate, but these teams combined for 6.86 goals per game in the regular season.
Georgiev is a high-end goaltender and Grubauer has fared well against the Avalanche, but when measured against these forward cores, I think Game 2 will feature enough scoring to cash the over.
Alternatively, if you’re chasing a bigger potential payout, taking Colorado on the puck line seems fair. It’s riskier in my mind because I’m expecting a close contest, but I do believe the defending Stanley Cup champions will bounce back Thursday.
Pick: Over 5.5 | Play to -135
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