Can MacKinnon Lead Team to 2-0 Lead?

Can MacKinnon Lead Team to 2-0 Lead?

Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche carries the puck in front of Anthony Cirelli of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images via AFP.

The Colorado Avalanche won an overtime thriller in Game 1 to move within three wins of the Stanley Cup, but the Tampa Bay Lightning showed the resiliency that helped them win the last two Cups. Read on for our Stanley Cup Final Game 2 picks between the Lightning and Avalanche.

The Stanley Cup Final between the Lightning and Avalanche continues on Saturday night. Tampa Bay scored two goals in 48 seconds midway through the second period to tie Game 1 at three, but Colorado proved to be too much for the Bolts as the Avs prevailed in overtime with Andre Burakovsky’s early winner.

Here are my Lightning vs. Avalanche picks and predictions for Saturday’s matchup (dds via BetRivers, FOXBet, and PointsBet; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5 star scale).

Lightning vs. Avalanche Game Info

Date/Time: Saturday, June 18, 8 p.m. ET
Lease: Ball Arena, Denver, CO

Lightning vs. Avalanche Odds Analysis

The Avalanche opened as -150 favorites and are around there at most books. They’re between -148 (BetRivers) and -165 (DraftKings Sportsbook). The Lightning are as high as +140 (DraftKings) after opening at +115. Tampa Bay has received 60% of the tickets and handle as of Friday afternoon.

The total is at a stagnant 6 after a 4-3 Game 1. You can get Over 6 (-110) at DraftKings and Under 6 (+100) at FOXBet.

Lightning vs. Avalanche Picks

  • Avalanche (-148 via BetRivers) ★★★★
  • Under 6 (+100 via FoxBet) ★★★
  • Nathan MacKinnon anytime scorer (+140 via PointsBet) ★★★

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Lightning vs. Avalanche Predictions

Avalanche (-148)

Despite Game 1 going to overtime, the Avalanche were the better team for most of the contest. They had more shot attempts, shots on goal, and scoring chances in each period. At 5-on-5 play, they generated 2.66 expected goals while allowing just 1.22 –– and not more than 0.36 in any one period. Even with the Lightning scoring two quick goals in the second period, Colorado used its speed to keep the pressure on.

Home-ice advantage also remains paramount. The Avalanche went 32-5-4 at home in the regular season and are now 6-2 in the playoffs at Ball Arena.

Under 6 (+100)

Game 1 had a high-flying start with four goals in the first period thanks to a few penalty calls and fluky goals in front. Those were the type of goals that Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy likely won’t allow again, and even Nick Paul’s goal for Tampa Bay wasn’t a great one for Avalanche goalie Darcy Kuemper.

The game slowed down after the first, however, with just three goals (including two in 48 seconds) the rest of the way. We’re getting a favorable line at even money for the Under 6 with it at -110 on other books.

MacKinnon to score (+140)

Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon had a game-high 13 shot attempts and eight scoring chances in Game 1, resulting in 0.51 expected goals for him individually. He leads all active players with 11 playoff goals (Evander Kane had 13) and had no trouble with Lightning center Anthony Cirelli in Game 1.

Where to Bet on Lightning-Avalanche Picks

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Lightning-Avalanche picks made on 6/17/2022 at 11:15 am ET.

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