Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:15 PM EST.
3:00 PM EST. OT included. We’re always stressing how final scores in this league are more misleading than any of the other major sports and the Avs recent plight is another great example of that. Corsi is the total shots at the net for and against at even strength. The higher the Corsi differential or ratio, the more dominant the team. Colorado was out-Corsied by Chicago two games ago by an incredible count of 72-52 and won 5-1. The very next game, the Avs and Kings Corsi was tied at 42-42 and Los Angeles won 7-1. There is not a person on this planet that can predict how the puck will bounce but what we can do fairly accurately now because of all the advanced stats is predict which team will dictate pace, create more opportunities and ultimately have a better chance of winning providing there is no distinct advantage in goal. Semyon Varlamov was in goal for both of Colorado’s above mentioned games. He was tremendous against Chicago and awful against Los Angeles, which has been his M.O. for years. Dude is inconsistent meaning the Avs are a much better dog than they are a favorite. Just like nobody can predict how the puck will bounce, nobody can predict how these inconsistent goaltenders will perform and there are plenty of those around besides Varlamov. If we look at the under the hood numbers, we can ascertain that Vegas is very likely going to outplay the Avs and create more opportunities to score. That makes the Golden Knights a live pooch.
Thus, we’ll reiterate that the Avs are a metrics mess that has gotten very fortunate this year. The luck driven stats are what is fueling this team, as they rank first in penalty killing percentage, fourth in power-play % and 3rd in PDO (save % + shooting %). We cannot overstate how fortunate the Avs are to be top four in all three luck driven stats. In Score and Venue Adjusted Corsi For % over the past five weeks, Colorado ranks 29th in the league, ahead of only Buffalo and the New York Rangers. They are winning a lot of games without the puck these days. Defensively it’s even worse, as Colorado ranks 29th over those same 14 games in 5-on-5 Score and Venue Adjusted Corsi Against/60. That puts them ahead of only the Rangers and Senators over that span. In xGF/60 and xGA/60 over the past five weeks during 5-on-5 play, Colorado ranks 29th and 25th respectively. It’s not just the past five weeks either. Colorado’s metrics all season have been bottom five at both ends of the ice. They should be in the same points range as Ottawa, Rangers, Islanders and Buffalo, four other teams that are all a metrics mess. By contrast, the Knights have been strong in all key metrics for the entire season at both ends and while Vegas has been mostly overpriced since the end of November, this is a rare chance to get them at a bargain against the league’s biggest imposters. Remember, with virtually the same team last year, Colorado had the worst record in the NHL with 22 wins in 82 games.
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Vegas +111 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.22)