The Colorado Avalanche set the tone in Game 1 versus the Nashville Predators in their 7-2 thumping on Tuesday.
Now, the Predators might be starting third-string goalie Connor Ingram in a game as +325 underdogs.
Can the Predators make this a series or is the loss of Juuse Saros too big to overcome? Find out in free NHL picks and predictions for Predators vs. Avalanche.
Predators vs Avalanche odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
The Avs opened as -375 home favorites and have steamed to -425 as of this morning. The total sits at 6.5 but is as high as -130 to the Over at certain books. Colorado closed as -305 favorites in Game 1 with a total of 6.5 that closed at -125 to the Over.
Predators vs Avalanche predictions
- Prediction: Avalanche -1.5 (-150)
- Prediction: Over 6.5 (-120)
- Best bet: Rantanen Over 0.5 asts (-104)
Predictions made on 5/05/2022 at 10:30 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Predators vs Avalanche game info
• Location: Ball Arena, Denver, CO
• Date: Thursday, May 5, 2022
• Puck drop: 9:30 p.m. ET
• TV: TNT
Predators vs Avalanche series odds (COL leads 1-0)
Predators vs Avalanche betting preview
Predators: Juuse Saros G (Out).
Avalanche: Andrew Cogliano F (Questionable).
Find our latest NHL injury reports.
Predators vs Avalanche head-to-head record since 2018-19
Predators: 4-6 SU, 36 goals for.
Avalanche: 6-4 SU, 45 goals for.
Betting trend to know
The Avalanche are 53-11 SU in their last 64 games as a home favorite. Find more NHL betting trends for Predators vs. Avalanche.
Predators vs Avalanche picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
Puck line analysis
We expected the Avalanche to have their way with the eighth-seeded Predators in Game 1 but the early dominance on display from the home side certainly surprised us.
The Avalanche already had a 2-0 lead before the three-minute mark of the first period and owned a 5-0 lead after that first frame. The Preds were outshot 17-6 and were forced to move to their second goalie. It was as one-sided as it gets and the Avs got a lot of help from their big guns.
Nathan MacKinnon continued his first-round dominance with two goals and a helper. He now has 25 points over 10 first-round games dating back to the 2019-20 season. His linemate, Mikko Rantanen, finished with three assists while Cale Makar showed his brilliance with a first-period goal. He had three points in the game’s first 12 minutes.
Colorado has been unstoppable at home this season and has lost just five games in regulation over its last 42 home games this season. They have a plus-1.59 goal differential per game at Ball Arena.
Savvy bettors will look at the line adjustment from Game 1 to Game 2 and feel like the current -425 Colorado ML price might be an overreaction after the Avs closed at -305 in Game 1. We feel this adjustment might be warranted.
It’s safe to say that the -305 ML price in Game 1 might have been 30-40 points short. Now, the Predators have a giant question mark in net after No. 2 David Rittich was pulled 15 minutes into the game and No. 3 Connor Ingram took over. Ingram was decent stopping 30 of 32, but the game was already over at that point and if the Preds turn to him in Game 2, they’ll be riding a rookie goalie who has just three career NHL starts under his belt.
Ingram posted a 3.71 GAA and a .879 SV% over those three starts this season and could face a Colorado offense that scored 4.15 goals per game at home during the regular season. It won’t take much to be better than Rittich who had a -3.71 goals saved above expected in 15 minutes of action, but this goalie situation is worth the line movement that we’re seeing on this moneyline.
Saros might be able to suit up in Game 3 but without him, we’re happy to ride the Avs at home where they are 23-3-3 over their last 29 games.
Prediction: Avalanche -1.5 (-150 at bet365)
The Avalanche did the heavy lifting for the Over 6.5 in Game 1 and we’re looking for similar results in Game 2.
Even after scoring five goals in the first period of the opener, the Colorado offense continued to get pucks on the net and finished with 27 shots in the final two frames despite only scoring twice. Now, they could face a 25-year-old rookie goalie who has given up nine goals over his last two starts.
We also wouldn’t be surprised to see the Predators chip in offensively to help this total that is bordering on 7. The Preds netted two goals in Game 1 and showed a little fight over the final two frames that saw both clubs score a pair of goals.
Matt Duchene finished with two goals and the Preds found their offense through some likely characters; mainly their top six that they rely heavily on. Nashville had a Top-10 offense over the final two months of the regular season at 3.48 goals per game.
Darcy Kuemper will get the nod for the Avs in Game 2 after stopping 23 of 25 shots. He wasn’t fantastic down the stretch with a 3.28 GAA and a .910 SV% since February 1 and now he’ll have to slow down a desperate Nashville team that also had seven power-play opportunities and capitalized on one of them.
The Predators were the best Over team in hockey on the season with a 49-33 O/U mark on the season and with Rittich or Ingram in net, they know they have to score tonight to be competitive.
With the top dogs in Colorado feasting and the Preds desperate and weak in net, we’re backing the Over 6.5 again in Game 2 as it’s getting real close to 7.
Prediction: Over 6.5 (-120 at bet365)
Riding shotgun with Nathan MacKinnon is a great place to be in the first round of the playoffs for Mikko Rantanen, who finished with three assists in Game 1.
Nate Mac has 43 points in 26 playoff games over the last three seasons with 25 of those points coming in the first round. Rantanen has been involved in many of those points as the winger has 26 assists over his last 25 playoff games.
The Colorado power play should also get some more action tonight after going 2-for-9 in Game 1. The Preds take the most penalties in hockey and the Avs' top unit looked impressive on Tuesday.
There are a lot of great player props to take advantage of today but getting MacKinnon’s winger to record a single assist is our favorite.
Pick: Mikko Rantanen Over 0.5 assists (-104)
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