Free NHL Picks: Avalanche at Predators Odds
by George Monroy - 1/17/2014
The Western Conference is so top-heavy with talent that a squad like the Colorado Avalanche can skate through the season relatively unnoticed. The Avalanche is sitting on 65 points in the standings—which would make them a power house in the East—but wouldn’t host a home series if the playoffs started today. Patrick Roy’s squad has beaten every contender in the West this season and would be a nightmare first-round matchup for any squad. However, the team is receiving only the 10th best futures odds to win this year’s Stanley Cup title, according to Sportsbook.ag, and a bettor could get 22/1 odds on the squad at this very moment.
The Nashville Predators are not worried about their futures odds, because, at the moment, the team is eight points out from the final playoff spot in the West. The team’s biggest concern is figuring out how to string together wins instead of losses. Nashville has lost six of its last nine matchups but has managed to win its last two games. Let’s take a closer look at Saturday’s matchup with predictions and analysis.
Avalanche at Predators Betting Story Lines
Colorado is on a solid three-game winning streak to go along with six wins in its last eight matchups. The team, however, will start a road-heavy portion of its schedule Saturday against the Predators. Colorado plays four of its next five games on the road to close out the month, and then it will play the same road schedule to begin February. The Avalanche are a good road team with a 13-6-2 mark, and they managed to win their last two games away from home, one of which was a huge matchup against the Chicago Blackhawks last Tuesday.
Colorado is ranked seventh is in the league in goals scored with 2.9, 12th in goals allowed with 2.4 and eighth in power-play percentage, scoring 19.6 percent of the time. Goaltender Semyon Varlamov has been a steady force in front of the net and is coming off a standout performance against the New Jersey Devils where he allowed only one goal on 34 shot attempts during the game. Colorado’s point’s leader, Matt Duchene, has struggled on offense through the teams first eight games of 2014, but the Avalanche have found away to keep their offense flowing without his production.
Nashville has fallen to the bottom of the Central Division and lead the Winnipeg Jets by only two points for the dubious honor of sitting in last place. The team, however, is on a mini-winning streak and has won its last two games against Calgary and Philadelphia. The Predators will host two straight home games beginning on Saturday against Colorado then hit the road for six of their next seven matchups.
Nashville’s goaltender, Marek Mazanec, has been hot-and-cold over six starts and can play very well one game and then give up goals in a flurry the next. The team’s offense has been having the same problems, which is probably the reason why the Nashville has lost six of its last nine matchups. Overall, the Predators are ranked 25th in the league in goals scored with only 2.4, 21st in goals allowed with 2.9 and sixth in power-play percentage.
Avalanche at Predators NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
Both teams opened at -105 at BetOnline. The total was set at 5.5 goals, with the “under” being favored at -139. Colorado is 4-1 during its last five overall games and 6-2 after scoring two goals or less in the previous game. The team is also 5-2 during its last seven games played on one days rest and 7-3 over its last 10 Saturday games. However, Colorado is only 3-7 over its last 10 road games against teams with losing home records.
Nashville is 5-11 in its last 16 overall games and 2-6 during its last eight Saturday games. The squad is also only 7-19 against the Central Division and 2-5 over its last seven games against teams with a winning percentage above .600. Head-to-head, the “over” is 4-1-1 during the last six games play in Nashville, while the home team has won four of the last five overall meetings. Colorado is 3-11 in the last 14 matchups between the teams.
Free NHL Picks: Avalanche at Predators Predictions
Both teams are on small winning streaks entering Saturday’s matchup, but Colorado is the far superior team in this contest. The squad is intense and loves to put up goals. Nashville’s offense, on the other hand, has struggled to score over the last couple of weeks, and even though playing at home will be an advantage, the team’s problems will not simply disappear. The Avalanche is a big and aggressive team, and expect that advantage to come into play late in the game. Take Colorado on the moneyline.
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