The Nashville Predators and Colorado Avalanche meet for Game 1 of their 1st-round Western Conference playoff series Tuesday at Ball Arena in Denver. Puck drop is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN). Below, we look at the Predators vs. Avalanche odds and lines, and make our expert NHL picks, predictions and bets.
The Predators really stumbled down the stretch, winning just once in their final 5 games. That lone victory was a 5-4 shootout win in Colorado Thursday. The Over has cashed in 5 straight games entering play.
The Avalanche clinched the Central Division in April and coasted to the finish line. Colorado won just once across its final 7 games overall. The Avs were a solid 7-1-1 in their final 9 home games.
Predators at Avalanche odds and lines
- Money line: Predators +265 (bet $100 to win $265) | Avalanche -350 (bet $350 to win $100)
- Against the spread (ATS): Predators +1.5 (+105) | Avalanche -1.5 (-130)
- Over/Under (O/U): 6.5 (O: -135 | U: +110)
Predators at Avalanche projected goalies
David Rittich (6-3-4, 3.57 GAA, .886 SV%, 0 SO – regular season) vs Darcy Kuemper (37-12-4, 2.54 GAA, .921 SV%, 5 SO – regular season)
Rittich will serve as the starting goalie, at least for the first 2 games, as G Juuse Saros is nursing a leg injury suffered in late April. He has been ruled out until at least Game 3. G Connor Ingram will serve as the backup.
Kuemper was bested by Rittich last Thursday in the 5-4 shootout loss, but the veteran was still 21-4-2 with a 2.51 GAA and .920 SV% in 31 starts at Ball Arena during the regular season. He was 0-0-2 with a 4.23 GAA and .870 SV% in two appearances vs. Nashville this season.
It’s too expensive to play Avalanche (-350), risking three and a half times your potential return.
AVOID, and look to the puck line instead.
Against the spread
The AVALANCHE -1.5 (-130) are much more reasonably priced on the puck line.
There is some risk here as the Predators did win each of the last 3 meetings between the two sides, including last time out in Denver. However, the Avalanche are a fantastic team at home, and they’re not going to let a heavy underdog with a backup goaltender come in and spoil Game 1. Look for the Avs to start fast, and finish faster.
OVER 6.5 (-135) is the slight lean here.
With much lower stakes, these teams combined for 9 total goals Thursday. We should see a little more defense here, especially from the home side, although I have little confidence Rittich will offer much in the way of resistance.