NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Kraken vs. Avalanche Game 5 (Wednesday, April 26)
Via Steph Chambers/Getty Images. Pictured: Cale Makar #8 of the Colorado Avalanche skates against the Seattle Kraken during the third period in Game Three of the First Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Climate Pledge Arena on April 22, 2023 in Seattle, Washington.
Kraken vs. Avalanche Game 5 Odds
|Time||9:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Colorado Avalanche host the Seattle Kraken in Game 5 of this NHL Western Conference series on Wednesday night.
There have now been five or fewer total goals scored in seven of the past eight meetings between these two clubs. Will we witness another low scoring affair on Wednesday evening, or can the offenses pick things up this time around?
Here’s a look at the odds, as well as my Kraken vs. Avalanche Game 5 betting pick.
The Seattle Kraken continue to hang around in this series, a product of their depth and ability to roll all four lines. Possessing perhaps one of the deeper blue lines in the league, the Kraken throw out six defensemen who all play their roles well.
In fact, every single defenseman finished the regular season with an on-ice Expected Goals percentage of 50% or higher. At 5-on-5 since the Christmas Break, Seattle ranks second in the league in Expected Goals Against per 60 minutes (xGA/60).
Meanwhile, over that same stretch, the Kraken rank just 21st in the league in Expected Goals For per 60 minutes (xGF/60) at 5-on-5. While Seattle is certainly not a big team by any means nor delivers massive hits all over the ice, it is a scrappy bunch that makes opponents earn every good look.
Goaltender Philipp Grubauer backs the Kraken up, and he has played surprisingly well against his former team in this series. Over his four starts, Grubauer boasts a .916 Save Percentage (SV%) and 2.76 Goals Against Average (GAA).
While the Kraken possess a deep blue line with a bunch of solid players, the Colorado Avalanche boast a similarly deep blue line, except it is composed of superstars. While Colorado’s speed and playmaking often create an allure of an offensive powerhouse, its true specialty over the past couple of seasons has been its ability to prevent High-danger Scoring Chances at an elite level.
This season, the Avs finished third in the league in Expected Goals Against per 60 minutes (xGA/60) at 5-on-5. While superstar and Norris Trophy winner Cale Makar certainly needs no introduction, guys like Devon Toews and Samuel Girard continue to fly under the radar in terms of their impact, with each player boasting an on-ice Expected Goals Percentage north of 52%.
Colorado fans may get mad at me for throwing Girard into that sentence, particularly because he is prone to making the occasional brutal decision that makes fans furious. However, zooming out, he is still a key presence for this team and logs big minutes.
While the defense continues to dominate, the Avs offense is due for regression. Since the Christmas Break at 5-on-5, Colorado ranks third in the league in GF/60 but 16th in xGF/60.
Kraken vs. Avalanche Pick
While Grubauer’s regular season performance is certainly a cause for concern, his underlying metrics in these playoffs suggest that regression is not necessarily in the cards. Thus far, he ranks sixth among starting goaltenders in the postseason in Goals Saved Above Expected per 60 minutes (GSAx/60) at 5-on-5.
Across the ice, Alexandar Georgiev is slated to get the start between the pipes for the Avs. Through the first four games of this series, he boasts a .908 SV% and 2.99 GAA.
I am laying the extra juice to take the Under at 6.5, although I would also take the under at six for those who do not want to lay -143.
Pick: Under 6.5 (-143 | Play up to -149)
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