After just one game in the Stanley Cup playoffs last night, we get a nice doubleheader this evening as the Bruins visit the Blue Jackets, followed by the Avalanche hosting the Sharks.
We sat out yesterday’s St. Louis/Dallas thriller after dropping our only play Sunday, when the Sharks fell a goal short of the Team Total Over 3.5. That 4-3 final score was a bit deceiving as Colorado stifled the Sharks attack through most of the game, nursing a 2-1 lead past the midway point of the third period and holding a 4-2 advantage until San Jose scored late in the third. Our strong opinion Sunday afternoon fared much better as the Hurricanes upset the Islanders 2-1 to take a 2-0 lead in that series.
Tonight, we’ll look to get back on track with a play in the late game in Denver — taking a shot at a big plus-money price in the process. Site Supporters (remember, you can support the site for free) can read our reasoning why in a 500-word writeup that explains why we aren’t just backing the moneyline in this spot.
Good luck if you’re tailing along, and enjoy the games!
Odds below are at the time we made the pick.
Today’s pick is below.
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Pick > Avalanche -1 +153 (5Dimes)
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With so few games per night and so much more attention paid to each, it gets a lot harder to find value on the NHL betting board. So while we tend to post plays that are somewhere within the range of -130 to +130, tonight we’re going outside the box a bit to take a shot at a longer shot that pays more than it should.
If you like the Avalanche to win Game 3 tonight at home, you’re hardly the only one. Early betting support has poured in on the Avs, taking them from a -115 opener yesterday morning all the way up to -130 chalk by this morning. We happen to like Colorado quite a bit tonight as well, but chasing moneylines that have already moved 15 cents isn’t exactly a blueprint for longterm success. Fortunately, there’s another angle we can attack to back Colorado here: betting on the Avalanche to win by margin. The odds have dropped a bit on the puck line as well, but not enough to offset the extra value we think we’ve found.
When Colorado has won this year, it’s generally been by 2 goals or more. In fact, just 9 of the Avs’ 38 wins were by 1 goal, and their .290 winning percentage in one-goal games was easily the lowest in the entire NHL. Of the Avalanche’s 23 victories on home ice so far this year, 15 of them came by 2 goals or more, including a dominating 6-2 rout of the Flames in Game 3 of Round 1. It’s also worth noting that the Avs have won their last eight games at the Pepsi Centre, that they outshot the visiting Flames 108-66 in their two home games last round, and that Philipp Grubauer has allowed more than two goals in a game just once in his last nine home starts.
While the majority of the Avalanche’s wins this year have been by multiple goals, the same is true of San Jose’s losses. Of the Sharks’ 22 road losses this year (including overtime), 16 of them were by 2+ goals. They have not looked good at all on the road in these playoffs, either, losing 6-3 and 5-0 in Vegas before getting outshot 59-29 in a 2-1 OT win over the Knights in Game 6.
If you’re feeling particularly brave, the Avalanche -1.5 is available at +220 odds at 5Dimes at the time of writing (assuming you selected Reduced Juice as your bonus when you signed up at 5Dimes). The Avs will need to win the game by 2 goals or more in order to cash your bet anyway, so you might want to take the chance at +0.7 more units of profit.
There are other options to back Colorado here as well: the regulation time line (-0.5 +120), Sharks Team Total Under 2.5 +120 or Avs Team Total Over 3.5 +130. They all have their merits (of those three, we like Sharks TT under the most), but given each team’s tendency this year to win or lose by multiple goals, the value on Colorado -1 is our preferred way to attack this one.
Bet this game at 5Dimes – Reduced juice odds on sides and totals!