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Friday NHL Betting: Odds, Picks & Predictions for Avalanche vs. Stars Game 7 Preview (Sept. 4)

Friday NHL Betting: Odds, Picks & Predictions for Avalanche vs. Stars Game 7 Preview (Sept. 4) article feature image

Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Michael Hutchinson

  • The Avalanche are a short favorite over the Stars in Game 7 on Friday afternoon, with the total at 6.
  • Colorado has erased a 3-1 series lead to set up this decisive content -- but can the Avs finish?
  • Michael Leboff breaks it all down and explains why he's leaning toward Colorado at the current number, despite their third option manning the pipes.

Game 7: Stars vs. Avalanche Odds

Stars Odds+118 [BET NOW]
Avalanche Odds-137 [BET NOW]
Over/Under6 (-120/-103) [BET NOW]
Time4 p.m. ET

Odds as of Thursday evening and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.

The whole point of sports is that anything can happen.

At the beginning of 2020 Michael Hutchinson was being chased out of Toronto. It isn’t very often that a back-up goaltender can be made the scapegoat for a team failing to meet expectations.

But instead of focusing on a porous defense or a top-heavy roster, the Leafs and the Greater Toronto Media Circus decided that swapping out Hutchinson, who in fairness was struggling as Frederik Andersen’s deputy, for a better back-up goalie would turn the Leafs from underwhelming to Cup Contender.

That didn’t happen, of course, as the Leafs had bigger problems than just a struggling No. 2 goalie, and Hutchinson was waived and traded to the Avalanche, who brought in the journeyman goalie to serve as the in-case-of-emergency netminder behind Philipp Grubauer and Pavel Francouz.

As fate would have it, Michael Hutchinson has become the story of a series that is not short on them.

Goaltending Edge Still with Dallas

Hutchinson back-stopping the Avalanche to a Game 7 after they were down 3-1 is a beautiful story. It’s especially hilarious considering that he was one of the NHL’s worst goalies during the regular season and the Stars have one of the league’s best partnerships with Anton Khudobin and Ben Bishop.

Goaltending makes no sense.

Even though Hutchinson is the hotter hand compared to Khudobin, Dallas still figures to have a huge edge in the blue paint in Game 7. Hutchinson has never played this well in his career — he has a a -20.93 Goals Saved Above Expectations (GSAx) in 123 career NHL starts (excludes postseason).

Just because Khudobin has the better career numbers by far doesn’t mean he’ll outplay Hutchinson in a one-game sample, but it’s just important not to get caught up in the way Hutchinson is playing right now.

Colorado’s Defense Has Stepped Up

This series was painted as a showdown between an offensive force (Colorado) and a defensive power (Dallas), but that’s not entirely true. Really, this is a matchup between two great defensive teams; one of them just happens to have a really good offense as well.

This series has been littered with goals, which was unexpected. Dallas’ offense was better than its results during the regular season but nobody thought the Stars, a defense-first team that prefers low-event hockey, would be winning games 5-3 or 5-4.

The Avs struggled to keep the puck out of the net in the first half of the series but they have found their defensive game. Colorado has allowed just 1.42 expected goals per 60 minutes (5-on-5) over the last three games. If they keep that up, they will make Hutchinson’s job a lot easier.

Colorado Is Back in Bettors’ Good Graces

Sports bettors are all about “what have you done for me lately?” The Avalanche opened this series as huge favorites but their price plummeted after they got pushed around in the first two games of the series. Injuries also played a factor.

Game 1-175+146
Game 2-155+132
Game 3-135+115
Game 4-130+112
Game 5-121+104
Game 6-124+107
Game 7-137+118

Odds via DraftKings

Colorado was over-hyped before the series started thanks to a dominant performance against Arizona, but it is startling to see how far the Avs dropped between Game 1 and Game 5, which was Hutchinson’s first start.

After two wins from Hutchinson, the Avalanche are back up to -137 at DraftKings. Like I said, “what have you done for me lately?”

Game 7 Betting Analysis

I’m really interested to see where this line ends up because I have a hard time believing that bettors will be flocking to lay 35 cents with Michael Hutchinson. If they do, and push Dallas above +125, I’d bet the Stars but I really don’t see that happening.

At the time of writing (Thursday at 11:30 p.m. ET), bet365 has the best price on Colorado at -130 (check out our updated odds page to shop for the best number). I’m going to wait to see where this line goes, though I imagine I’ll betting on the Avs before all is said and done (follow me in The Action Network App to see all my NHL bets).

The goaltending situation scares the hell out of me, but I’m more comfortable betting on Colorado as a short favorite than Dallas as a slight underdog in this matchup. The Avs have a more dynamic offense to go along with a fantastic defense, so I think they have more paths to success in this matchup.

Bet: I think -130 is a bit expensive for Colorado with Hutchinson, but if you’re looking for action and are just looking for some guidance, I’d go with the Avs at that number. That said, I’m going to hold out hope that a -125 pops on Colorado.

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