NHL Picks: Skills Between the Pipes Point to 'Under' for Wild vs. Avalanche Game

Ross Benjamin

Thursday, October 8, 2015 3:33 PM GMT

Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015 3:33 PM GMT

We’re going to examine tonight’s NHL clash between Minnesota and Colorado. Go inside to read our insightful betting preview article which culminates with a NHL pick on the total.

Central Division Rivals collide in Season Opener
The Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild will meet on Thursday in what will be a season opener for both teams. The opening faceoff at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado is slated for 9:05 PM ET, and it will be aired by the NBC Sports Network. Current NHL odds at BetOnline shows Minnesota as a -114 money line road favorite, and the posted total as 5.0. These Central Division rivals met five times last season, and Minnesota won four of those encounters. As a matter of fact, Minnesota shutout Colorado in three of those four wins, and four of five meetings went under the total.

 

Big Expectations for the Wild
Minnesota fans have huge expectations, and there’s been plenty of excitement regarding their team’s chances for this upcoming season. After all, they finished last season with 100 points, and advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals where they fell short against eventual Stanley Cup champion Chicago. One of the keys to their success last year was the trade acquisition of goaltender Devan Dubnyk. After being acquired this past January 14th, Dubnyk made 38 consecutive regular season starts for Minnesota, and went a spectacular 27-8-3 with an excellent .938 save percentage. Needless to say, Dubnyk is expected to be in goal for tonight’s season opener.

 

Avalanche in Rebound Mode
What a difference a year makes. Colorado headed into last season coming off a sensational 112 point 2013-2014 campaign which saw them win the Central Division title, finished second in the Western Conference standings, and amass the third most points in the NHL. Their turnaround was remarkable, considering the year before, they finished last in the West, and were 29th overall in a 30 team league. Unfortunately last year they regressed, missed the playoffs, and finished last in the Central Division. One player that didn’t regress will be tonight’s starting goaltender Semyon Varlamov. The 27 year old Russian backstop went 28-28 against the money line with a stellar .921 save percentage, and he posted five shutouts.

 

Final Analysis
I’m calling for both goaltenders to dominate tonight, and like a low scoring affair for one of my NHL picks.

NHL Pick: Minnesota & Colorado Under 5 (+115) at 5Dimes

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