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Last Updated Jun 16, 2022, 03:18 AM

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Colorado Avalanche Picks, Predictions, Odds

The Tampa Bay Lightning and the Colorado Avalanche meet at Ball Arena Wednesday night for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals, a best-of-seven series. Puck drop is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET, and the game can be viewed on ABC/ESPN+.

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Score Prediction

Avalanche 4, Lightning 3

Best Bet

Avalanche -169
Over 6 (-110)

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TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING vs. COLORADO AVALANCHE PREDICTIONS

The Tampa Bay Lightning and the Colorado Avalanche will square off for all the marbles, starting Wednesday for the best-of-seven championship series.

For the first time since 1979, a teammate of legendary hockey player Jaromir Jagr will not have his name on the Stanley Cup. Lightning forward Pat Maroon, who never played with Jagr, is hopeful of having his name etched onto the championship chalice for the fourth consecutive year. "Big Rig" won the Cup in St. Louis in 2019, and with the Lightning in each of the past two seasons.

The Lightning have had a more difficult road than the Avalanche to reach this point. Tampa Bay will be playing its 100th game of the season when it takes the ice at Ball Arena in Denver on Wednesday. Tampa played seven games against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round, before sweeping the Florida Panthers in the second round, and needing six games to oust the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Avalanche broomed the Nashville Predators in the opening round, were forced to play six games against the St. Louis Blues, while going a perfect 4-for-4 against the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference Finals.

Colorado forwards Andrew Cogliano (finger surgery) and Nazem Kadri (broken thumb) were each able to skate on Sunday, June 12, and head coach Jared Bednar has not ruled either of the forwards from being available in Game 1. You'll also recall that Darcy Kuemper (upper body) dealt with an injury at the end of the Edmonton series. He was healthy enough to back up Pavel Francouz in Game 4, and it is more than likely with an extra week of rest that he'll be the starting tendy in the series opener.

Meanwhile, Tampa Bay forward Brayden Point (leg), who suffered a leg injury in Game 7 against Toronto, might be ready to return at some point during this series, too. Stud defenseman Victor Hedman also left Saturday's series-clinching win briefly after being shaken up on a hit, but he was able to return, and looks to be on track for Game 1.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING vs. COLORADO AVALANCHE BETTING ODDS

Lightning +150
Avalanche -169
Lightning +1.5 (-189)
Avalanche -1.5 (+160)
Over 6 (-110)
Under 6 (-110)

More Odds | Futures Odds

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING vs. COLORADO AVALANCHE BETTING RESOURCES

  • Date: Wednesday, June 15, 2022
  • Matchup: Atlantic vs. Central
  • Venue: Ball Arena
  • Location: Denver, Colo.
  • TV-Time: ABC/ESPN+, 8 p.m. ET

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING BETTING ANALYSIS

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 63-28-8
  • ATS: 48-51
  • O/U: 50-47-2

Lightning RW Nikita Kucherov has registered seven goals with a team-best 23 points in 17 playoff games. He now has managed 150 playoff points in his career across just 130 games, becoming the first Lightning player to reach the milestone, and just the 30th player in NHL history to reach the mark. Steven Stamkos leads the team with nine goals in the postseason, while Ondrej Palat is second with eight goals and a team-best plus-9 rating.

Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has been the goalie wire-to-wire for the Lightning in these playoffs, going 12-5-0 with a 2.27 GAA and .928 SV% across 17 games. He gives the Lightning its best chance to topple the Avalanche and help the team to its third consecutive Cup.

Tampa Bay has rattled off 19 wins in the past 26 games overall, while stacking wins lately, too. They're 8-1 in the past nine games following a victory. In addition, the Lightning have won five of the past six Stanley Cup Finals games. They're also 4-1 in the past five as an underdog, and 4-1 in the past five as a road 'dog, too. Tampa Bay has won 13 of its past 16 games as an underdog in the postseason, too.

For totals, it's all UNDER all the time for Tampa. It is 10-1 to the UNDER in the past 11 games overall, while cashing in five of the past six games on the road. The UNDER is 7-2 in the past nine as a playoff underdog, too. The OVER is 4-1 in the past five against the Western Conference, however, and 4-1 in the past five meetings with Colorado.

The Lightning lost both regular-season meetings with the Avs, losing 4-3 in a shootout in Tampa back on Oct. 23, 2021, the fifth game of the season, and Tampa dropped a 3-2 decision in Denver as the UNDER cashed in a clash between Vasilevskiy and Kuemper.

COLORADO AVALANCHE BETTING ANALYSIS

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 68-20-8
  • ATS: 47-49
  • O/U: 50-41-5

The leader in points during the postseason for the Avalanche has been the rearguard Cale Makar, going for 22 points, including five goals with a plus-11 rating. The goal leader has been Nova Scotian Nathan MacKinnon, potting 11 goals to go along with seven assists and a plus-12. Five of MacKinnon's goals have been on the power play, too. The team-best mark in plus/minus goes to Gabriel Landeskog with a plus-14, while Artturi Lekhonen has managed 16 PIM to lead the team.

Kuemper suffered an eye injury in the Nashville series, and an undisclosed upper-body injury in the Edmonton series. He is 6-2-0 with a 2.65 GAA and .897 SV% in the 10 games he has appeared, while Francouz is a perfect 6-0-0 with a 2.86 GAA and .906 SV% in his six starts and eight appearances overall.

The Avalanche have been fire at home, going 57-13 in the past 70 games in the Mile High City, while going 56-19 in the past 75 games overall. They're also 38-17 in the past 55 meetings with Eastern Conference teams, including each of the two regular-season meetings with the 'Ning.

The Lightning look to score early on the Avalanche in Game 1. (Getty Images)

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING vs. COLORADO AVALANCHE CONCLUSION

The favorite has cashed in 15 of the past 19 meetings in this series, although the road team is 9-3 in the past 12 in the series, too. Tampa Bay also owns a 5-1 record in the past six visits to Ball Arena, although, again, that lone loss came earlier this season back on Feb. 10.

Colorado has a slight edge in offense ability, while Tampa Bay easily gets the check-mark for goaltending and recent postseason success and experience. Both teams have premier defensemen, and plenty of firepower up front. The Avalanche have had more injuries during the postseason, although some key cogs might be ready to return after a lengthy rest between the Edmonton series and this Game 1.

The prediction is that this is going to be a war, and a very entertaining one. These teams will feel each other out early, and it wouldn't be shocking to see the Lightning leading after one period. In fact, playing Tampa Bay +110 on the money line after the first period is a worthwhile play.

Colorado should quickly catch up, and they'll have to score plenty of goals with either Francouz or Kuemper clearly less superior to Vasilevskiy.

As far as the offense is concerned, I also like taking Stamkos (-115) over Landeskog for most goals in the series (head-to-head), available as a player prop at most shops. Look to Makar (-150) over Hedman in most points in the series, too, although you'll obviously have to eat rather moderate chalk.

In addition, there is an exact series game order for the best-of-seven set. I like Avalanche-Lightning-Avalanche-Lightning-Avalanche-Lightning-Avalanche. Yes, that means I am looking for a Game 7, and yes, I am looking for the teams to alternate wins and losses for the entire series, starting with a Colorado win in Game 1. And that alternate win prop is +6600 is it comes through!

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING vs. COLORADO AVALANCHE BETTING TRENDS

  • Lightning are 19-7 in the past 26 games overall.
  • Lightning are 4-1 in the past five as an underdog.
  • Lightning are 5-1 in the past six Stanley Cup Finals games.
  • Lightning are 13-3 in the past 16 playoff games as a 'dog.
  • Avalanche are 56-19 in the past 75 games overall.
  • Avalanche are 62-19 in the past 81 games as a favorite.
  • Avalanche are 35-16 in the past 51 playoff games as a favorite.
  • UNDER is 10-1 in the past 11 games for the Lightning
  • UNDER is 5-1 in the past six road games for the Lightning.
  • UNDER is 7-3 in the past 10 as a road 'dog for the Lightning.
  • OVER is 7-2-3 in the past 12 playing on three-plus days of rest for the Avs.
  • Favorite is 15-4 in the past 19 meetings.
  • Road team is 9-3 in the past 12 meetings.
  • Lightning are 5-1 in the past six trips to Denver.
  • OVER is 4-1 in the past five meetings.
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