Free Picks: Colorado Avalanche vs. Vegas Golden Knights

Avalanche vs Golden Knights NHL
Colorado Avalanche vs. Vegas Golden Knights, NHL, Ball Arena

Vegas and Colorado have jostled for goals against one another all season. But the blue paint is accompanied by unfamiliar faces – especially Colorado. Entering this Thursday night contest, I take a look at the total goals and why I am confident Vegas and Colorado snap the streak of low-scoring games. Will I hit the nail on the head or will newcomer Jonas Johansson prove me wrong?

Two defensive juggernauts go head-to-head.

If you want a clinic on how to play defensive hockey, watching the Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche compete is a good starting point. This season, the Avs are ranked 3rd in goals against, while the Knights are ranked 2nd. These teams have done a tremendous job in stopping the opposition.

Thursday night, these teams meet for the fifth time this season.

Looking at previous contests, the Golden Knights and Avalanche have met defensive expectations. In 4 games, only 14 goals have been scored between the two teams. While games may see statistical anomalies, that has not happened between Vegas and Colorado so far this season.

For this free pick and prediction, I think it is only fitting that I focus on total goals.

Looking back between these teams, there have been 2 shutouts and 2 games that have featured 5 goals. This is interesting because the total goals is currently listed between 4.5 and 5.5 on 888Sport and Betway.

I think there is great value to be found at the total goals on Betway. Specifically, the under of 4.5. What’s clear this season is that these teams know each other and their defensive strengths. The offense has not been able to explode on any occasion, so Colorado and Vegas’ defensive schemes have not been compromised.

I also like that both teams have had rest and are not entering this game playing on consecutive days. Starting goalies have not been announced just yet, but expect Robin Lehner to get the start for Vegas and Jonas Johansson to get the nod for Colorado.

I am conflicted because Johansson has not performed well this season, which will greatly impact the NHL odds for this contest.

Even with the Avalanche and Golden Knights having adequate rest, I think Johansson being in net is the game changer in this one – especially the over.

Assuming Johansson gets the nod, I think we smash the over in this contest. Johansson has struggled all season and even with the Avs’ defense, Vegas should manage to light the lamp.

Stats

  • Colorado averages 3 goals per game in last 10 against Vegas.
  • The total has gone over in 4 of Colorado’s last 5 games.
  • Vegas has averaged 2.33 goals against Colorado in last 3 games.
  • COL/VGK combine for 65.5 shots per game in last 10 head-to-head.

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have always wanted to be a writer and sports are my favorite thing in the world, so I combined the two to make a career. I have been a long-time gambler and sports betting writer that isn't afraid to look at the underdog or specials. I am covering the NHL, MLB and NCAA Football for BetPicks.ca and am a huge fan of both sports - as well as many others. Follow me on Twitter @Patrick_Trudeau so we can talk betting, sports, or why ketchup DOES belong on Poutine.

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