Avalanche Got the Stars Sweating For Game 3

Colorado Has Sharp Value as Slight Faves at Home

The Dallas Stars escaped game two with a 5-3 home victory even if the Colorado Avalanche got within a goal with just over three minutes remaining. Dallas carried a 4-0 lead into the third. The series moves to Ball Arena in Denver Colorado for game three with the Avalanche opening as a -130 favorite (6.5 under -115). And we find it hard to go against the chalk for our Stars vs Avalanche preview.

Stars logo Stars vs Avalanche Avalanche logo

Records: Dallas Stars (57-24-10), Colorado Avalanche (55-27-7)
Location: Ball Arena, Denver, CO
Day/Time: Streaming: TNT, truTV, MAX

Series Feels Like It’s 2-0

The Avalanche have come back from mult-goal deficits against the Stars. And even when they come up short,  it feels like a few more minutes would have finished off the Stars. Colorado has won seven of their last 10 meetings but only once did the Avs not come back from multiple goals to get within a goal. This leaves Dallas and its bettors feeling lucky rather than enjoying the win.

The public can cash their ticket and move on. The Stars can’t and will skate with that burden into every third period. Special teams were the difference again with Dallas earning the advantage after two goals in five power-play attempts while holding Colorado to an 0-3 night with the man advantage. The last kill was the most important after Wyatt Johnston was called for a high stick and Bednar pulled Alexandar Georgiev to give his potent power play a two-man advantage.

Dallas survived and Esa Lindell banged home an empty netter for the final margin of victory. For handicappers, it still has to feel like the Avalanche are up 2-0 in the series after outscoring Dallas 5-1 in the third period. Dallas Stars bettors are barely in the red, with 0.26 units lost. Over the previous two seasons, Pete DeBoer’s team is 15-13 (-1.86 unit) in the playoffs. Dallas has faced the Colorado Avalanche in the playoffs three times since 2006 with the Avalanche holding 9-6 NHL records.

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Avalanche Top Line, Nichuskin On Fire

We talk about depth almost ad nauseam this time of year, but for now, the Colorado Avalanche are proving that Bednar can lean on an elite top line to win games. Valeri Nichushkin scored his ninth postseason goal, tying the Rusian star with Pat LaFontaine for the most goals in consecutive games (7). Next up is nine straight goals held by Brayden Point who did it in 2021 with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Reggie Leach holds the overall record with 10 straight in 1976 with the Philadelphia Flyers.

This season, the top line of Nichuskin (28), Nathan Mackinnon (51), and Mikko Rantanen (42) combined for 121 goals. That line’s success hasn’t stopped in the postseason with the trio combining for 11 goals and 13 assists over their last five playoff games.

The concern for bettors with the Avalanche moving deeper into the postseason is lines 2-4 have produced just two points less over the last five. Second-line center Casey Mittelstadt, a late-season acquisition from the Buffalo Sabres, has just one goal in his previous 10 games. Colorado has produced 2.02 units of profit this postseason, improving to +5.14 units won behind an impressive record of 24-10 (.706) in their last 34 games.

That should give you an idea of how much respect the oddsmakers have given to the Avs. In their last 30 games as a favorite, Colorado has won 23 times (+7.03 units). The Avalanche’s success as a favorite can be traced back to 2008 with a combined record of 46-17 (.730) +11.96 units in eight playoff appearances. No team rivals the Avalanche in the NHL playoffs standings in the role of a favorite making our game three decision an easy choice.

Oddsmakers Giving Dallas Credit

Sometimes we think the oddsmakers are brilliant, other times we think they don’t watch hockey. In the case of game three it’s easy to slap a -130 number on the game, the equivalent of home-field advantage in other sports, and call it a day. For us who watch expected Colorado to be in the -150 plus range, leaving us more than happy to take advantage of the generous number.

Until we see fatigue in the Avalanche top line playing 21 minutes a game, we’ll bet Colorado at that range. Time off benefits the home team after taking down the Winnipeg Jets in five games in round one.

The Stars had their chance to grab the air from Colorado to open the series, but they failed to protect a three-goal lead, handing the Avalanche a 1-0 lead in the best of seven. It’s fair to say that if the Avalanche had just a few more minutes of game time in their two postseason, they would have recovered to win those games too.

Our official NHL prediction for Game 3 is the Colorado Avalanche -130.

That does it for our Stars vs Avalanche preview, all the best with your NHL picks and parlays this weekend.

Stars vs Avalanche Odds

For NHL best bets today, odds analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.


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