Wednesday, April 17

Avalanche vs. Lightning odds, prediction: 2022 Stanley Cup Final picks, Game 5 bets from expert on 137-72 run

The Colorado Avalanche prevented the New Jersey Devils from repeating as Stanley Cup champions when they won the second championship in franchise history in 2001. They now are one victory away from keeping the Tampa Bay Lightning from lifting the prestigious trophy a third consecutive time. Colorado looks to finish the mission when it hosts Tampa Bay for Game 5 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final on Friday. The Avalanche, who posted a 3-2 overtime victory on Wednesday to take a 3-1 series lead, are one triumph away from setting the record for most combined regular-season and playoff wins in a campaign (72).

Opening faceoff at Ball Arena in Denver is set for 8 pm ET. Colorado is listed as the -190 favorite (risk $190 to win $100) in the latest Avalanche vs. Lightning odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over-under for total goals scored is six. Before making any Lightning vs. Avalanche picks or 2022 Stanley Cup Final predictions, you need to see what SportsLine NHL expert Matt Severance has to say.

Severance is a well-connected writer and handicapper who has worked in the industry since 2005. He is SportsLine’s top NHL handicapper, going 137-72-4 in his last 213 NHL picks and returning almost $3,000 for $100 players. Anyone who has followed him is way up.

Now, Severance has set his sights on Avs vs. Lightning and locked in his picks and NHL playoff predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see his picks from him. Here are several NHL odds and betting lines for Lightning vs. Aves:

  • Avalanche vs. Lightning money line: Colorado -190, Tampa Bay +160
  • Avalanche vs. Lightning over-under: 6 goals
  • Avalanche vs. Lightning puck line: Colorado -1.5 (+145)
  • Avalanche vs. Lightning tickets: See tickets at StubHub
  • COL: The Avalanche have a plus-30 goal differential this postseason
  • TB: The Lightning have been outscored 21-10 while losing four of their last five playoff road games

Why the Avalanche can win

Colorado’s offense has cooled down a bit, producing five goals over the last two games after registering 11 in the first two contests, but its special teams have been outstanding in the series. The Avalanche have gone 6-for-13 on the power play, scoring at least one man-advantage goal in each contest, and successfully killed 13 of their 14 penalties while also netting a short-handed tally. Norris Trophy winner Cale Makar scored while both up and down a skater in Game 2 and has collected five points over the last three contests after being kept off the scoresheet in the opener.

The 23-year-old Makar is third in the NHL in playoff scoring with 27 points after notching his 20th assist in Game 4 to grab a share of the franchise record for most in one postseason. Finnish right wing Mikko Rantanen also recorded his 20th on Wednesday as both players helped set up Nathan MacKinnon’s power-play goal in the second period to eclipse the mark set by Peter Stastny in 1985, when the team was known as the Quebec Nordiques. The 25-year-old Rantanen, who is riding an eight-game point streak and has notched at least one in 13 of his last 14 contests, is tied with Wayne Gretzky for the most assists through the first four games of a Stanley Cup Final (eight) and needs one more to match the record for an entire Final series currently shared by Gretzky (1987), Jacques Lemaire (1973), Larry Murphy (1991) and Daniel Briere (2010).

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Why the Lightning can win

Counting Tampa Bay out during the playoffs is not a wise move, as many already can admit this postseason. The Lightning trailed Toronto 3-2 in the first round and lost the first two games of the Eastern Conference final against the New York Rangers but proved their mettle in both series. Having the reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner in the crease certainly helps their cause as Andrei Vasilevskiy limited the Maple Leafs to four goals over the final two games of their matchup and allowed only five versus the Rangers as Tampa Bay won four straight.

Vasilevskiy was shaky when the Final began, giving up 11 goals over the first two contests, but he has given up only five against Colorado’s explosive offense in the last two. Although obviously not operating at 100 percent, Nikita Kucherov is an offensive threat every time he steps onto the ice. The 29-year-old Russian right wing, who was the league’s leading scorer each of the last two postseasons, ranks fourth in 2022 with 26 points in 21 contests.

How to make Avalanche vs. lightning picks

Severance has analyzed the Lightning vs. Avalanche game from every angle, and he is leaning over on the goal total, but he also says a critical X-factor makes one team a must-back on the money line. He’s only sharing who it is and which side of the Game 5 moneyline to back at SportsLine.

So who wins Avalanche vs. Lightning in Game 5 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final? And what crucial X-factor makes one team a must-back? Visit Sportsline now to see which team you need to jump on, all from the expert who has crushed his NHL picks, and find out.

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