Pick Avalanche +100 over Penguins

Ross Benjamin

Sunday, April 6, 2014 3:37 PM UTC

Sunday, Apr. 6, 2014 3:37 PM UTC

Colorado hosts Pittsburgh tonight in a game that can possibly be an early preview of the Stanley Cup Finals. Our resident NHL betting odds guru analyzes this matchup, and then culminates the article with a NHL free pick.

Tale of the Tape
The Avalanche host the Penguins on Sunday at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado with the opening face-off slated for 8:05 PM ET. According to NHL betting odds the Penguins are a -120 money line road favorite and the posted total is 5.5. Pittsburgh has won 4 of their last 5 meetings with Colorado. 

Still Plenty to Play For
Colorado is 2nd in the Central Division, 5-points behind the 1st place St. Louis Blues. Both teams have 5-games left to play in the regular season. The Avalanche is also 4th overall in the Western Conference, just 1-point behind the next best team the San Jose Sharks. However, Colorado has 2-games in hand on San Jose.

Red-Hot Avalanche
Colorado enters tonight having won their last 6-games in a row, and has gone under the total in their last 5 contests. They're coming off a 4-0 win at St. Louis on Saturday afternoon. Semyon Varlamov earned his first shutout of the season by stopping all 31 Blues shots on goal. Varlemov is having a terrific year going 39-19 versus the money line in 58 starts, with a 2.42 GAA and a .927 save percentage. Following tonight's contest the Avalanche will finish the season on a 4-game in 6-day road trip. 

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Getting to the Playoffs Healthy
The Pittsburgh Penguins are coming off a 4-0 loss at Minnesota last night. The Penguins have gone over the total in just 1 of their last 8-games. Following tonight's game the Penguins will close the regular season out with 3 consecutive home games. Pittsburgh has already clinched the Metropolitan Division, and will finish 2nd overall in the Eastern Conference. Marc-Andre Fleury will be in goal for Pittsburgh this evening, after backup Jeff Zatkoff got the nod on Saturday in Minnesota. Tonight will be the Penguins 3rd road game in the last 4-days. They've gone under the total in their last 4-games in that exact situation.

Final Analysis
The Penguins will be a bit road weary heading into tonight. They will also be looking to avoid any injuries prior to the playoffs, especially with nothing to play for over their last 4-games. Colorado still has plenty at stake,and with this being their final home game of the season, they will surely have the motivational edge. I look for the Avalanche to make it 7-wins in a row after it's all said and done this evening.

Free Pick: Colorado +100 over Pittsburgh


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