NHL Picks: Avalanche vs. Canucks

David Schwab

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 1:03 PM GMT

The Colorado Avalanche will look to stop a two-game skid this Wednesday night when they make their first trip of the season to Rogers Area to face-off against the Vancouver Canucks.

NHL Picks- Colorado Avalanche vs. Vancouver Canucks

Year-to-Date NHL Record: 6-2-1

The puck is set to drop on this Northwest Division clash at 7 p.m. (PT) and the game will be broadcast locally.

Avalanche Betting Overview

Colorado has opened the new NHL season 2-3 with a pair of wins at home wrapped around three straight losses on the road. It has been outscored 8-1 in its last two road games against San Jose and Edmonton, so it is looking to turn things around on this trip to Vancouver. The total has now stayed UNDER in its last four games.

The Avalanche’s offensive attack got off to a promising start with nine goals in their first three games but they have had trouble finding the back of the net ever since. PA Parenteau leads the team in scoring with three goals and Matt Duchene leads in total points with two goals and three assists. The other main area of concern has been the play of goalie Semyon Varlamov. He has looked brilliant at home but a few breakdowns on the road have resulted in a less than stellar save percentage of .919.

Canucks Betting Overview

Vancouver opened the season as the favorite to win the Western Conference this season the NHL odds boards, but has stumbled out of the gate to a 2-4 start that already includes a 1-2 record in shootouts. This past Monday it dropped a 3-2 shootout to Los Angeles as 129 underdogs on the road. The total ended as a PUSH after staying UNDER in its previous four games.

Consistency on offense has been an issue of the Canucks as well. They routed Anaheim 5-0 on the road last Friday only to post a total of three goals in their last two outings. The Sedin brothers, Daniel and Henrik have combined for two goals and eight assists and Zack Kassian has already tallied four goals but the scoring has come in bunches as opposed to when they need a goal the most. Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider have split time in goal but right now Luongo has been far more effective with a goals-against-average of 2.20 as opposed to Schneider’s inflated 3.13 GAA.

Avalanche vs. Canucks- NHL Betting Odds and Trends

BetOnline has opened the Canucks as -162 home favorites on the money line with the Avalanche a +147 road underdog. The total line is set at 5.5.

The Avalanche are 9-2 in their last 11 games against a team with a losing record but just 1-6 in their last seven games on the road. The total has stayed UNDER in nine of their last 15 division games.

The Canucks are 1-5 in their last six home games and 3-8 in their last 11 Western Conference games. The total has stayed UNDER in six of their last 11 games against the Northwest.

Head-to-head in this matchup, Colorado is 0-6 in its last six trips to Vancouver and the total has stayed UNDER in three of the last four games. Overall, the Avalanche are 4-18 in the last 22 meetings.

[gameodds]7/218183/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

It may take a few more games for Colorado to figure out its problems on the road and Vancouver is not the easiest place to start. In a division where an extra win or two separates first from last place, stick with the Canucks as the free sports pick in this matchup to start their accent to the top with a win.

Free NHL Pick: Vancouver 4 - Avalanche 2 (lines provided by BetOnline)