NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Predators vs. Avalanche (May 5)
Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche.
Predators vs. Avalanche Odds
|Time||9:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Woof. That’s all you could say after watching the first 20 minutes of Game 1.
On Tuesday night, the Colorado Avalanche made mincemeat out of the Nashville Predators in a dominant 7-2 win.
The Avs came into the playoffs off a rough end to the season, having already clinched a playoff spot. However, coming into the playoffs fully healthy, the Avs are a force to be reckoned with.
Similarly, Nashville didn’t have a great end to its season, but the stakes were different as it barely made the playoffs. They Predators didn’t look great on Tuesday and they’ll need to both make significant changes to the game plan and get better goaltending in Game 2.
Nashville has no shortage of talent up front. Matt Duchene and Filip Forsberg scored 40 goals for the first time in their careers and Roman Josi had a historic season for a defenseman. They’re also well versed in creating havoc for other teams. Tanner Jeannot, Mathieu Olivier, and Philip Tomasino can all get under your skin which is perfect in a playoff atmosphere. The Predators have one injury, but it’s a big one as they missed Juuse Saros in Game 1 and will be without him again for Game 2.
As you can tell based on the score, the Predators were horrific on the offensive end. Duchene was the only one on the board as the team put up only 25 shots and a below average 44.86 expected goals rate. They were a top five power play team all season and were able to nab one PP goal out of four chances.
David Rittich was seen slamming his stick in anger in the pathway from the bench to the locker room and who can blame him? After a dreadful game, allowing five goals in 13 shots, it was up to rookie Connor Ingram. The youngster showed up and played like he belonged, stopping 30 out of 32 shots. With Saros out, will we see Ingram come in for Game 2? Or will coach John Hynes go back to the veteran Rittich?
Colorado is one of the deeper teams with extreme talent on both ends of the ice. Captain Gabriel Landeskog is back from injury, while Nathan Mackinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Cale Makar and Nazem Kadri are always problems for the opposition. Makar has provided a spark on the blue line, averaging well over a point per game. The Avalanche also have Devon Toews who’s provided a spark from the blue line.
The Avs truly dominated play in Game 1 with 45 shots on net and a quality 55.14 expected goals rate. Colorado’s top players all contributed as Mackinnon, Makar and Landeskog lit the lamp. With the sixth-ranked power play on the season, which scored at a 24.3% pace, the Avs were able to score on two out of five chances in Game 1. This will be big for Colorado throughout the series as Nashville took the most penalties during the season at 4.78 per game.
Darcy Kuemper has had a tremendous bounce back after starting the year off poorly. The 10-year veteran had himself a quality game, stopping 23 out 25 shot attempts, which matches up to his season-long .921 SV%. He also posted a 0.4 GSAx (Goals Saved Above Expected), which could be better, but it could be an outlier given how exceptional he was all season.
Predators vs. Avalanche Pick
With Saros out of the picture, I find it hard to believe Colorado won’t come out on top again in front of its home crowd. I really like what I saw out of the rookie in Ingram, but with how poorly Nashville has played prior to Tuesday, I don’t think it will matter who’s in net.
BetMGM has the Avalanche as the overwhelming favorite at -400 and Nashville at +310. While I see Colorado coming out on top, -400 is not the best bang for your buck. Playoff hockey is usually more tight checking and low scoring, but I can see this game going over 6.5 goals — especially if the Predators go back to Rittich.
I can definitely see the Predators coming in with something to prove after being embarrassed on Tuesday. Nashville does have weapons that can cause problems and Colorado’s high powered offense is impossible to ignore.
Pick: Over 6.5 (-125).
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