Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:00 PM EST.
3:00 PM EST. OT included. The Avalanche are one of the great stories this season, as they were projected to be at the bottom of the standings, yet here we are, just prior to the All-Star break and Colorado is two points out of a playoff spot with two games in hand. The Avs are on fire with six wins in a row but a lot of those victories were luck driven so the market isn’t exactly buying this team’s success just yet. While Colorado has been lucky with a high PDO (Shot % + Save %), they’ve also been good and continue to move up the analytical rankings in several categories. Sitting in the bottom 10 in the league for the first 10 weeks of the season, Colorado is in the top 15 in 5v5 Score and Venue Adjusted Corsi For % over the past month. They have also created a high number of scoring chances. Finally, the Pepsi Center has once become a difficult venue for the opposition and this looks like a great spot for the Avs to run their winning streak to seven.
The Ducks are warm and getting warmer with six wins in their last nine games and they played well enough to win the other three so we could easily be discussing a team on a major role right now. Remember, Anaheim endured some injuries to key personnel but they are now fully healthy and playing like it. This team is truly legit with one of the best goaltenders in the NHL in John Gibson. However, situational handicapping is a big part of our criteria and this looks like one of those trouble spots for the Ducks. Anaheim played on Saturday in Los Angeles and that was a feisty game with several scraps throughout. The Ducks earned a satisfying 4-2 victory against its biggest rival. That win in L.A. on Saturday was also the Ducks fourth straight on the road, as they played three in frigid Western Canada prior. This will now be its fifth straight on the road before they return home to play the Stanley Cup champions Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday, thus, this game is sandwiched between the Kings and Penguins. Finally, this is also a matinee game in Colorado and the Ducks are rarely asked to play in such so they are completely out of routine too. Even if Anaheim isn’t caught out of sorts here, Colorado still has a great chance of winning.
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COLORADO +107 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.14)