The NHL goes outdoors for the first time this season as the Colorado Avalanche take on the Vegas Golden Knights with scenic Lake Tahoe as the backdrop.
Let’s take a look at this a Western Division clash from a betting perspective in our Avalanche vs. Golden Knights betting preview with odds, picks and predictions.
Avalanche vs. Golden Knights Betting Pick
The Avalanche missed most of February with games postponed due to players out with COVID-19, but after a pair of games against the Golden Knights inside T-Mobile Arena, these two clubs take it outside from Vegas to Lake Tahoe, where the Knights will play their first outdoor game in franchise history. Colorado will be in the elements for the first time in a little over a year, when they hosted the Kings at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.
The Avalanche lost that contest 3-1, and have gone 0-2 in contests played outside, as they also lost to Detroit 5-3 back at Coors Field in 2016. Marc-Andre Fleury will get the start in net for Vegas, with backup Robin Lehner not making the trip due to an upper-body injury. For Colorado, top goalie Phillipp Grubauer is expected to start in net.
Avalanche vs.Golden Knights Odds
Here are the lines for Avalanche vs. Golden Knights at DraftKings Sportsbook:
Spread: Avalanche (-1.5 +215); Knights (+1.5 -265)
Moneyline: Avalanche (-115); Knights (+100)
Over/Under: Over 5.5 (-113)/Under 5.5 (-108)
Bets We Like With a Golden Knights Win
Mark Stone to Score a Goal Anytime (+245, DraftKings)
The Golden Knights’ captain has four goals and 12 assists on the season, and while most of these outdoor games have historically gone under the total, this is a different arrangement than playing inside a football or baseball stadium.
With a more pond-like setup, I expect plenty of wide open action, with Stone getting a goal here this afternoon for Vegas.
Bets We Like With an Avalanche Win
Nathan MacKinnon to Score a Goal Anytime (+138, DraftKings)
Colorado’s top player picked up a goal in his last game against Vegas on Tuesday night, for just his third of the season. He has been very quiet on the scoresheet from a goal perspective, and I expect that to change here on the big stage. Look for MacKinnon to find the back of the net at least once, if not twice, in this contest.
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Bets We Like Independent of the Outcome
First Period OVER 1.5 Goals (-125, BetMGM)
These two teams have adaptable styles, and as we saw on Sunday, this matchup end with just one goal scored by Vegas. But in Tuesday’s rematch, it was a 3-2 final that should have seen more goals from both sides. With this outdoor setup being a bit different from previous Winter Classics and other outdoor matchups, I expect goals early and often in this showdown.
Avalanche vs. Golden Prediction
Colorado is still trying to get their legs back under them after having two weeks off with the COVID issues, but the fact that some of their top players have had experience playing in these outdoor games could give them a slight advantage. I expect a high scoring affair in this “Pond” hockey style setup, with the Avalanche picking up a 6-4 victory.
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