Avalanche vs. Lightning Odds & Picks: Betting Guide to Stanley Cup Final Game 6
Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Andrei Vasilevskiy
- Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final is set for Saturday night.
- The Avalanche are looking to clinch a title, while the Lightning are hoping to force a Game 7.
- Tony Sartori breaks down the matchup below.
Stanley Cup Final Game 6: Avalanche vs. Lightning Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
We could have the final tilt of this outstanding 2022 NHL season as the Tampa Bay Lightning host the Colorado Avalanche. Colorado will look to rebound from its 3-2 loss on Friday and lift the cup for the first time since 2001 while the Lightning will look to force a Game 7.
Will we get another low-scoring game between these two teams, or can we expect more goals this time around?
For the second straight game, the Colorado Avalanche will have the opportunity to clinch a title. Low-scoring games have started to develop between these two clubs as each of the past two outings have seen just five total goals scored.
I expect this trend to continue in Game 6, especially with how well each of the two goaltenders have been playing. While Colorado's starting goaltender, Darcy Kuemper, certainly let in a muffin to open Game 6, he had a solid performance throughout the rest of the game.
Allowing three goals on 29 shots, Kuemper produced a 0.897 save percentage. While that number is not where you want it to be on the surface, his metrics prove that he had a good game outside of that Jan Rutta goal.
Posting a -0.9 goals saved above expected (GSAx), Kuemper played exactly how he needed to through the rest of the game as that Rutta goal had a mere 1.2% chance of scoring via MoneyPuck.com.
Over his past two starts, Kuemper has now stopped 63 of 68 shots for a 0.926 save percentage. Kuemper also has the massive benefit of guarding the crease behind the best defense in the league.
During the regular season, the Avalanche ranked fourth in the league in five-on-five expected goals against (xGA) per 60 minutes. In the playoffs, Colorado ranked first among the 16 teams in xGA per 60 minutes.
Tampa Bay Lightning
While I hyped up Colorado's defense in the previous section, its offense also deserves a ton of credit as it has what feels like a never-ending cast of weapons to generate high-danger scoring chances. Unfortunately for those offensive players, they are attempting to score on one of the best big-game goaltenders that this league has seen over the past few decades.
Despite struggling through the first two games of this series, Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has returned to his normal self in games three through five. Over those three outings, Vasilevskiy has stopped 106 of 113 shot attempts for an outstanding 0.934 save percentage.
Facing elimination in Game 5, Vasilevskiy stepped up as he so often does in high-pressure situations. Not only did he stop 35 of 37 shots for a 0.946 save percentage in that game, but he produced a +0.42 GSAx as he was stuffing high-danger scoring chances throughout the night.
Unders have been a great bet for the Lightning recently, which makes sense considering they have one of the top two goaltenders in the world. Over Tampa Bay's past 16 games, there have been six or fewer goals scored 12 times (75%).
Avalanche vs. Lightning Pick
This game will be tight with conservative play from both sides, which is exactly how each of the past two games have played out. This trend makes sense as everything is on the line in each of these final games and nobody wants to be the guy who takes a bad penalty or makes an overly-aggressive pinch that leads to an odd-man rush.
We know what we are going to get from Vasilevskiy in this game, so this bet most likely hinges on the performance of Kuemper. That being said, Kuemper has been good over the past two games and his job should be made a lot easier with the stellar defense in front of him.
I believe it is better to lay the juice at 6 than taking 5.5 if the line drops to that number before puck drop on Sunday evening.
Pick: Avalanche/Lightning u6 (-115) | Play up to (-130)