We made it, the Stanley Cup Final is finally here and the matchup couldn’t be any better. We have the most recent dynasty in the Tampa Bay Lighting looking for their 3rd consecutive Stanley Cup in what will be their stiffest test in a Final yet against the Colorado Avalanche. The game’s best offense in Colorado goes up against the best goaltender in hockey: Andrei Vasilevskiy. This is the first showdown in what feels like could be multiple going forward. I went a little deeper into my predictions and preview in yesterday’s blog and video, as well as on Brown Bag Bets. I’m on FanDuel for my Game 1 odds today, sign up with them HERE and get $200 in free bets when you make your initial deposit and make a $5 wager. Onto the picks.
Avalanche 3-Way Moneyline (+105)
Game 1s have been two different stories for these two teams so far in these playoffs. The Avalanche are 3-0 and have outscored opponents 18-10. The Lightning are 1-2 and have been outscored 12-6. Throughout their run, the Lightning have been a team that has gotten better as series have gone on and they’ve been able to make adjustments. Colorado starts fast and plays full speed from the jump. Not to say they aren’t capable of making adjustments and improving as a series goes on, but they just haven’t really had to do that yet. Colorado will face by far the best goaltender they’ve seen so far, but I still expect a fast start from them tonight.
Cale Makar Anytime Goal Scorer (+250) & 2+ Points (+182)
Really just looking at the goal scoring odds for tonight’s game, +250 is really good value on Makar. He’s the front-runner for the Conn Smythe. He’s got 5 goals in 14 postseason games. He’s got a goal in 2 of the 3 Game 1s that he’s played so far in this postseason. In 3 Game 1s in the postseason he’s got 6 points, so he’s averaging 2 a game. Early on in the Eastern Conference Final, the Rangers power play had a lot of success against Tampa. Makar quarterbacks the Avs power play which is among the league’s most dangerous and he should get looks there. I love the value on the league’s best and most dynamic defenseman.
Brayden Point Anytime Goal Scorer (+210)
Brayden Point is expected back in the lineup tonight after missing most of the Florida series and all of the Rangers series. He should have the freshest legs of anyone on the ice. He’s so important to Tampa’s game both offensively and in terms of all around game. He’s scored a ton of big goals for the Lightning over the last few playoff runs and at over 2/1 I don’t mind taking a shot on him making an immediate impact when he returns to the lineup.
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