The Colorado Avalanche are on the brink of winning the third Stanley Cup in franchise history after taking a 3-1 lead in the series on Wednesday.
Tampa Bay Lightning (+145) vs Colorado Avalanche (-175)
It’s Colorado’s series to win, but the question is whether or not they take care of business at home on Friday. The Avalanche have been the best team throughout these playoffs, losing just three games throughout the entire postseason. They’ve needed a pair of overtime wins to get to this point, and the last game was won by what some considered a controversial goal, but they’re still the favorite to win Game 4. Add in a bunch of injuries for the Lightning, and this seems like a tall order for Tampa.
Mikko Rantanen, Colorado Avalanche (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
Tampa looked bad in the first two games in Colorado, allowing 11 goals over the two games. That puts the Avs in the driver’s seat, and they should close this series out in Game 5. The money line (-175) is a bit steep here, and understandably so, but it’s the right play. However, there is also value in Colorado’s puck line. If they’re leading in the third period, Tampa is going to yank Vasilevskiy early, and that opens the door for empty netters, so take a look at the puck line (-1.5, +150) for the Avalanche, too.
Over/Under: Over 6 (+100)
Whether it was the altitude, that the Lightning weren’t ready for Colorado, or if the Avs are just the better team, Tampa Bay struggled in the first two games in Colorado. Seven goals were scored in each of those games, and the Avalanche cleared the over by themselves in Game 2. Every game has gone over six goals except for Game 4, which came up a goal short. The goaltenders have gotten better, but there have been six goals or more scored in four of Colorado’s last five home games in these playoffs.
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With the chance to close out the series, the Avs are going to come out firing, but that’s nothing new. They’ve rattled off at least 30 shots on goal in every game of the series, and their game with the fewest shots was the game the Avs scored seven goals. Expect the play to be wide open as Tampa is fighting for their lives, too. Both goalies were incredible in Game 4, and there were still five goals scored. Play the over (O6, +100) in Game 5.
Prop Bet: Second Period Goals (Over 2, +110)
At least two goals have been scored in the second period of 16 of Colorado’s 18 playoff games this season and in seven of the last eight Avs games. Seven of the 11 goals scored by Tampa Bay in this series have been scored in the second stanza, as well. This seems to be the period where the game has settled in for both teams through the first four contests, and it should continue here.
Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
Colorado is not going to take its foot off the gas in this game, and Tampa is in a position where it’s going to have to start taking some chances, too. There’s no room to slow down, and Game 4 showed the Avs are just as dangerous when playing from behind. This game should be wide open, and this is a good value play for two or more goals to be scored in the second period (+110). Two goals earn a push in this play, but at least a push gets your money back.
Odds via BetMGM
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