Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final was just about everything fans wanted, with the Colorado Avalanche taking the series opener in overtime over the Tampa Bay Lightning. After two days off, the teams are squaring off again for Game 2 in Denver. This betting guide will offer some of the best picks for bettors going into Saturday’s contest.
Tampa Bay Lightning (+135) vs Colorado Avalanche (-160)
The Avalanche took the first game, but they needed some extra time to do it, getting the game-winner from Andre Burakovsky early in overtime. It was the sixth consecutive win in the postseason for Colorado, and it stopped a four-game winning streak by the Lightning – even if just barely. The Lightning have lost back-to-back games only once this postseason, the first two games of the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers.
Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)
Tampa goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy was a little shaky at the start of Game 1 but seemed to find his groove. After allowing three goals in the first period, Vasilevskiy stopped everything for the next 43:52 before giving up the game-winner. Expect him to be better, and there’s some good value in taking Tampa (+135) to bounce back here.
Over/Under: Under 6 (-110)
Colorado’s first couple of goals were a little soft, and they got another on a 5-on-3. Don’t expect Vasilevskiy to give up those gifts again. Both of these teams are also going to block a ton of shots, and Game 2 should be tighter as things settle in after Game 1. The Avs defense and goalie Darcy Kuemper have been pretty stingy with the shots, so this game should be lower scoring than the opener.
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The Avalanche have scored less than three goals just twice in these playoffs, and both of those happened in Game 2s. The first was when the Avs downed the Nashville Predators 2-1 in overtime in the first round, and the second was when the St. Louis Blues hammered them 4-1 in Game 2 of the second round. The under has hit in every one of Colorado’s Game 2s this postseason, and in five of Tampa’s last six games overall. Lean towards the under again in this one (U6, -110).
Prop Bet: Second-Period Goals (Over 2, +105)
The second period has been the highest-scoring period for the Avalanche during the postseason; the Avs and Lightning have combined to score 40 second-period during the playoffs. The Lightning scored two goals in the middle frame of Game 1, and that’s the period they looked the most comfortable. Both teams scored more than 90 goals in the second period during the regular season, as well.
Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
On the other side of the ice, both teams have given up more goals in the second period than in any other period. Of Tampa’s 45 goals allowed, 17 have come in the second, as have 18 of Colorado’s 43 goals allowed. There’s a good chance for things to open up in the second period of Game 2, and there’s lots of value in this number (+105) for the teams to combine for at least two goals in the middle period on Saturday.
Odds via BetMGM
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