Banged up Defenses Make 'Over' Our NHL Pick for Wild vs. Avalanche

Bruce Webster

Monday, December 7, 2015 12:03 PM UTC

Monday, Dec. 7, 2015 12:03 PM UTC

Minnesota Wild visit the Colorado Avalanche on Monday, December 7, at 9:00 PM EST at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado, and we are ready to win money with our free NHL picks.

Minnesota Wild (14-7-4 SU, 10-15 PL, 9-11-4 OU) vs Colorado Avalanche (11-15-1 SU, 16-11 PL, 14-12-1 OU)
Lines: -105/-115
Total: 5.5

This is game two of a home-and-home and in game one at Minnesota, it was the Wild that won 3-0. Minnesota now comes in on a three game win streak, while the Colorado Avalanche come home off a four game road trip in which they went 2-2 on. Let's analyze the NHL odds and pick a side for Monday's game.


Wild Beat Avs, But Lose Dubnyk
The good news for the Minnesota Wild was that they beat Colorado by a 3-0 score, for their second shutout in a row, but the bad news is that their lead goaltender Devan Dubnyk left the game with a lower body injury. Dubnyk is 13-9 on the year with a 2.30 GAA and it is unclear how long he will be out. When he left the game it was tied at 0-0, so picking up the win in the game was Darcy Kuemper, who is now 1-2 with a 3.41 GAA on the year. In his first and only two starts this year, he allowed four goals in each and also took the loss in both games. Kuemper is now 3-0 with a 1.30 GAA in his career vs the Avs. 

Minnesota really had chances to blow the game wide open as they outshot the Avs 44-20 in the game. Mathew Dumba (4th), Justin Fontaine (2nd) and Jason Pominville (3rd) each scored for the win in the win, with Pominville’s being an empty net goal near the end of the game. The Wild are now 9th in the league in scoring, putting up 2.8 gpg, while ranking 16th in power play conversions.   


Avs Get Blanked By Dubnyk/ Kuemper 
The Colorado Avalanche faced two goalies in their Saturday night meeting with Minnesota and couldn’t score anything off neither in the 3-0 loss. The Avs couldn’t get a whole lot going vs the Minnesota defense in general as they were able to get off just 20 shots in the game. The offense seems to be struggling overall for the Avs of late as they have scored just four total goals in their last three games. Let’s note though that those three games came on the road and the Avs have averaged a solid 3.3 gpg at the Pepsi Center this year. 

Taking the loss in the game vs Minnesota was Semyon Varlamov, who is now 6-9 with a 3.04 GAA on the year, while vs Minnesota he has gone 8-11 with a 2.43 GAA in his career. No matter who has been in there for Colorado, this just hasn’t been a good defensive team as they come in ranked 26th in goals allowed (3.0 GPG) 2oth in shots allowed (30.1 spg) and 19th in penalty kill (17.9%). On offense they have been very solid for the most part, as they rank 6th in scoring (2.8 gpg), but they are just 23rd in shots taken (28.6) and 15th in power play conversions (18.8%).    


Trends for Minnesota:
The Over is 9-3-6 in their last 18 road games
The Over is 2-0-2 in their last four in the second game of a home-and-home situation


Trends for Colorado:
The Over is 17-5-1 in their last 23 home games vs. a team with a road winning percentage of less than .400
The Over is 5-1 in their last six games at home

Yes, Kuemper has had solid success vs the Avs in his career, but the relief appearance was at home and he has struggled in his two starts this year, allowing four goals in each start and the Avs are a much better offensive team at home than on the road. The Avs are also a worse defensive team at home as hey have allowed 3.6 gg at the Pepsi Center this year and the Wild have put up a solid 2,64 GPG on the road this year. With Colorado home games averaging 6.9 gpg I will look for at least seven in this one. Consider this for your NHL picks.

Free NHL Pick: Over 5.5 at BetOnline

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