Free NHL Picks: Avalanche at Coyotes Odds
by George Monroy - 11/20/2013
The Colorado Avalanche finally hit their first rough patch of the season when they lost three straight games last week. The team had a particularly embarrassing loss to the St. Louis Blues where they allowed seven goals during regulation on only 24 shot attempts. Colorado even fell from first place in the Central Division into a tie for third. Don’t feel too bad for the team, though, because they are still sitting on 30 points—which is more than any team in the Eastern Conference—and are still on of the more talented squads in NHL.
The Phoenix Coyotes have quietly earned 31 points in the standings and have four impressive wins over the San Jose Sharks, Washington Capitals, St. Louis Blues, and Tampa Bay Lightning during the month of November. The team has won eight of their last 10 games and are being led by the excellent goaltending of Mike Smith, who has a .917 save rate on the season. Let’s take a closer look at Thursday’s Avalanche versus Coyotes matchup and figure out which side of the wager has the most value to bet on.
Avalanche at Coyotes Betting Story Lines
Phoenix has been the surprise team of the Western Conference over the first two months of the season and has stayed relatively under-the-radar, while the other surprise team of the year, the Avalanche, has received the lion’s share of the media attention. The Coyotes were expected to be one of the worst teams in the league and were receiving +3000 conference championship odds before the year began. Phoenix is now receiving +1100 odds at Sportsbook.ag and is playing like a legitimate title contender.
The Coyotes are coming off of a big win over the Lightning and managed to score six goals on 30 shot attempts. The team went two-for-three on power-play attempts and continues to be one of the best power-play teams in the NHL. Phoenix converts on 22.4 percent of its attempts and is ranked sixth in the league. Defenseman Connor Murphy scored his first career against Tampa Bay after being called up from the American Hockey League a day before.
Colorado was also not expected to do much this season and was receiving +2500 Conference championship odds before the season begin, and the Avalanche are now one of the favorites in the West at +700 odds. They started out the year impressively and already have two six-game winning streaks under their belts. Colorado is ranked fifth in goals scored per game with 3.2 and third in goals allowed with 2.1. The Avalanche are coming off of a huge 5-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday, which ended a three-game losing streak. Goaltender Semyon Varlamov stopped 36 shots and helped the team refocus in a big matchup against the defending champs.
Thursday night’s matchup is a collision between two of the most profitable teams in the NHL. The Avalanche have a 13-7 puckline record with a profit of $1,153, while the Coyotes have a puckline record of 12-9 with a profit of $201. Both teams are also performing well on the moneyline and have made a profit of around $850 for bettors this season.
Avalanche at Coyotes NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
Phoenix opened as a small -126 favorite over the +114 underdog Avalanche. The total was set at 5.5 goals, with the “under” being favored at -116. Colorado is 5-1 during their last six matchups against teams with winning records and 4-1 during their last five against the Pacific Division. The team also does an excellent job of building win streaks and is 12-3 following a win. The truth is the Avalanche have performed well in just about every area this season and have a 7-2 record over their last nine road games, and they have the same record against the Western Conference.
Phoenix is 8-2 over their last 10 overall matchups and has a perfect 6-0 record this season against teams with a road record of .600 percent or better. The one area where the Coyotes have struggled is when playing on three or more days of rest—the team only has a 1-4 record in those situations. Head-to-head, the “over” has come in three times in the last five meetings in Phoenix. Colorado has struggled in this matchup and is 2-8 over the last 10 matchups in Phoenix, and it is 1-4 during the last five overall meetings.
Free NHL Picks: Avalanche at Coyotes Predictions
The Avalanche just ended a three-game losing streak by beating the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks. The matchup was a game that Colorado used as a measuring stick to see just how good the team really is. The Coyotes will be taking the same approach in their matchup against the one of the Western Conference’s best teams, and will probably look at Thursday’s game as a must-win situation. Many times motivation is the key to picking a winner between two teams, and it is difficult to imagine the Avalanche coming into this road matchup with the same intensity they had against the Blackhawks. Expect Phoenix to play at the top of their game and earn a big win over Colorado. Take the Coyotes on the moneyline.
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