Stanley Cup Final Game 5 Odds, Preview, Prediction: How to Bet Lightning vs. Avalanche (June 24)
Getty Images. Pictured: Nathan MacKinnon.
- The Colorado Avalanche look to clinch the Stanley Cup tonight when they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning.
- The Avs have dominated this postseason, which has benefited them in a big way throughout the playoffs.
- Nick Martin breaks down Game 5 below and explains why he expects the Avs to hoist the Stanley Cup tonight.
Lightning vs. Avalanche Odds
|Over/Under||6 (-106 / -114)|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Nazem Kadri’s beautiful overtime winner in Game 4 has his Avalanche on the cusp of finally hoisting the Stanley Cup, and Colorado will enter as heavy favorites Friday to cap off its magical run on home ice.
After Game 4 closed as a pick’em, does it seem fair for Colorado to be priced as a massive favorite at -185?
Lightning Running Out of Gas?
What the two-time defending champion Lightning have done over the last two seasons has been nothing short of spectacular — and the resilience shown from this group to even get into this position has been nothing short of spectacular.
In each of the last two cup runs, Brayden Point was among the very best Lightning skaters, and getting through two very tough opponents without him is wildly impressive. I feel this potential series loss is far from the Lightning finally getting a tough team in the Cup final.
Tampa Bay has fought through a plethora of injuries this postseason. Now, it seems like Jon Cooper’s group is finally running out of gas as it meets an extremely talented and well-rested Avalanche squad.
Erik Cernak has quietly proven to be one of the toughest players in hockey over the last few seasons, but the quietly stellar defender was clearly dinged up badly before leaving Game 4.
It’s quite likely we’ll see him and maybe even Point skate in this contest. However, it’s hard to imagine either will be able to play anywhere near top form.
Tampa Bay got dominated in the opening two games of the series in Colorado, managing an expected goals rate of 33.85%. Even if some of the Lightning’s dinged-up players manage surprisingly strong performances tonight, it will likely take an all-world performance from Andrei Vasilevskiy to force a Game 6.
This’s very possible, as Vasilevskiy has been tremendous again this postseason, playing to a +13.7 goals saved above expected rating with a .920 save %.
Colorado Benefiting From Postseason Dominance
Colorado enters this contest with a record of 15-3 this postseason. A victory tonight to cap off the run would have the Avalanche hoisting the Cup having suffered the fewest losses in the salary cap era.
While the Avalanche already possess the best roster in hockey, that advantage is compounded due to the fact that Colorado has not had to grind through nearly as many playoff outings.
Tampa Bay’s Cooper said earlier this postseason that he thought the fact his group had played fewer contests than the Rangers made a difference entering the back half of that series. Now, it seems that narrative is working against his group in this final.
Kadri served as the Avalanche’s most notable absence earlier in the series, and it was hard to say what kind of a difference he would make as he returned to the lineup in Game 4.
Yet, Kadri built upon what has been an amazing postseason with his seventh game-winning goal of the run. Colorado is clearly holding a far greater edge with him back in the lineup.
Darcy Kuemper has likely been asked to do less than any goaltender in recent history en route to this cup, as evidenced by his .898 save %. That mark could be the worst from a Cup winner in over 25 seasons.
Kuemper has now played to a -3.9 GSAx this postseason but was very solid in Game 4. If he can just stop the shots he’s supposed to, he could be hoisting the Cup Friday night.
Lightning vs. Avalanche Pick
As tough as closing out the back-to-back champions will surely be, I think Colorado’s going to come out and control the run of play in this contest.
Colorado’s dominance throughout this postseason seems to be paying off in this series, as I feel the Avalanche are far less withered than the Lightning. On top of that, Tampa has played to significant home and road splits this postseason, and the Avs thoroughly dominated the Lightning in Denver in Games 1 and 2.
It’s much easier to find arguments as to why the Avalanche will come out and dominate tonight than why a heavily beat-up Lightning team can post a win in Colorado after getting crushed there in the first two games of the series.
I feel we have some strong value for the Avalanche to win in regulation at -105 and would play that down to -115.
Pick: Avalanche Win in Regulation (-105)