The most anticipated playoff series of the 2021 playoffs kicked off with a dud. We underestimated just how tired Vegas was going to be after a brutal seven-game series against Minnesota and how fired up a well-rested Colorado team was going to be after a week off following its sweep of St. Louis.
Let’s take a look at the Game 2 matchup between Vegas and Colorado from a betting perspective in our Golden Knights vs. Avalanche betting preview with odds, picks and predictions.
We got the winner right. We even gave you a great bet on Cale Makar that made you money, but we expected a much lower score in Game 1 than the 7-1 drubbing the Avalanche put on the Golden Knights.
After two days off for both teams, and a chance for everyone to recalibrate, we expect a much closer and lower scoring affair in Game 2.
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Golden Knights vs. Avalanche Game 2 Betting Pick (June 2, 2021)
Another thing that went awry in Game 1 is that we didn’t see the clash of Vezina Trophy finalists between Colorado’s Philipp Grubauer and Vegas’ Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury needed a game off after the series with Minnesota, so Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer turned to Robin Lehner, who hadn’t played since May 3. It showed.
Fleury, now well-rested, should be good to go for the remainder of the series, and we’ll finally get to see two top goalies on display.
The question is, can a well-rested Fleury steal a game from Colorado, which is 25-4-2 at Ball Arena this season?
Meanwhile, all the offensive stars were out for Colorado in Game 1. Cale Makar had a four-point game. Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog had three points apiece. Mikko Rantanen had a goal and an assist. Slowing these guys down, especially at home, is a tall task, but there might be only two teams in the NHL who can do it.
One is the defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning, the other is these Golden Knights.
The smart bettor will see that a 7-1 outcome in Game 1 is a real anomaly and that there will be great value in a close, low-scoring game in Game 2.
Golden Knights vs. Avalanche Game 2 Odds
Here are the lines for Golden Knights vs. Avalanche at DraftKings Sportsbook:
|Avalanche||+1.5 (-235)||+118||O 5.5 (+102)|
|Golden Knights||-1.5 (+190)||-137||U 5.5 (-124)|
Bets We Like With an Avalanche Win
Nathan MacKinnon over 1.5 points (+130, FanDuel)
We know from the regular season, when MacKinnon gets hot – bet him. Ride him. Take him to the bank. He’s been great in the playoffs so far. In just five games, he has EIGHT goals and four assists for 12 points. It’s truly bonkers. If Colorado is going to win and take a 2-0 lead, it’s going to be done by riding MacKinnon.
Can he keep up the over two points per game pace throughout the playoffs? Unlikely. Still, if you think his team is going to win Game 2, he’s got value at keeping that pace going for at least one more home game.
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Bets We Like With a Golden Knights Win
Golden Knights to win and UNDER 6.5 goals (+295, DraftKings)
We might be tipping our prediction a little bit here, but we like Vegas to bounce back with a much better effort in Game 2 than they had in Game 1. Things also go chippy at the end of the game with Golden Knights enforcer Ryan Reaves suspended two games for excessive roughing on Avalanche defenseman Ryan Graves.
Although you never like to see actions like that go too far – and they did, it was definitely intended as a calling card as Vegas knew they were basically gift-wrapping a Game 1 victory to Colorado because of the quick turnaround and the need to start Lehner.
The truth is, Vegas can match Colorado’s speed. And these teams averaged just 4.8 goals per game combined in eight regular season contests. Vegas doesn’t want to get down 2-0 in this series and should bring their best game. Colorado has really yet to be tested in these playoffs, so the first hard push from a good team could knock them off balance just a bit.
You can get great odds on the Knights at FanDuel just to win the game (+172) or win it in regulation (+270). Both are highly recommended as well. But if you bump the over/under up a puck (we don’t think you’ll need it, but just to be safe) and pick the upset, that +295 provides tremendous value.
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Bets We Like Independent of Outcome
First period UNDER 1.5 goals (-110, FanDuel)
The defense and goaltending will be on display in Game 2. In fact, we also like UNDER 1 goal (+225, DraftKings) and UNDER 0.5 goals (+350, DraftKings). The difference in the latter two bets is that you can push at Under 1. We believe in Fleury and Grubauer and for the start to this game being completely different from Game 1. Get the value in a defensive-minded start to the game as both teams look to play system hockey.
Golden Knights vs. Avalanche Game 2 Prediction
Vegas knows what it is up against. It also knew that if Game 1 was going to be a longshot coming in, then they were going to push all their chips to the center of the table in Game 2.
Expect a different Golden Knights team tonight, one that will remind Colorado just how well it had to play down the stretch just to catch secure the top spot in the standings. Vegas isn’t going to just roll over in this series, so they’ll have a lot of fight and will reverse the outcome of Game 1 in the sequel tonight.
Pick: Golden Knights 3, Avalanche 2.