Avalanche vs. Predators Pick
The Nashville Predators completed the regular season with the most points in the entire NHL and won their last two games to enter the playoffs in good form. Is Nashville going to continue rolling tonight when it begins its postseason journey in Game 1 of the Western Conference quarterfinals versus the Colorado Avalanche?
Thursday, April 12, 2018
Bridgestone Arena at 9:30PM ET
TV: NBC Sports Network
Public Betting Information
According to oddsmakers at YouWager, the Predators are a -280 favorite to win on the moneyline. The Avalanche are a +230 underdog, while the total sits at 5.5 goals. As of Thursday afternoon, 76 percent of public bets are pouring in on host Nashville. Check out our NHL Public Betting Page for all the latest information.
Predators strong in all areas
It's virtually impossible to find a weakness in Nashville, one of the favorites to hoist the Stanley Cup trophy. The Predators are seventh in goals scored per game (3.2), second in goals allowed (2.5), 12th on the power play (21.2 pct.) and sixth on the penalty kill (81.9). Perhaps they could be slightly better when on the power play, but that's the only criticism you will get here. Nashville enjoys a balanced offense led by the likes of Filip Forsberg (26G, 38A in 67 games) and Viktor Arvidsson (29G, 32A in 78 games). The Predators go six deep with strong defensemen as P.K. Subban (16G, 43A in 82 games) Roman Josi (14G, 39A in 75 games) highlight things. And of course, Pekka Rinne (2.31 GAA, .931 save pct) continues to be an elite goalie. People might not take the Predators as seriously as teams like the Lightning or the Bruins in the Eastern Conference or maybe even the surprising expansion Golden Knights, but you should. This team could be hoisting the Stanley Cup in early June.
Colorado just happy to be here?
It's been a long and sometimes painful rebuild for the Avalanche, which included former head coach Patrick Roy deciding to quit before the 2016-17 season. Jared Bednar took over as head coach and the first season was rocky, but a corner was turned this season and it was enough for Colorado to qualify for the final playoff spot. This team has next to zero chance of winning a seven-game series against Nashville, but maybe the Avs will steal a game or two early to make it interesting. Sports is always surprising us. The young collection of Colorado talent is led up front by Nathan MacKinnon (39G, 58A in 74 games), Mikko Rantanen (29G, 55A in 81 games) and Gabriel Landeskog (25G, 37A in 78 games). The biggest blow to the Avalanche is the fact that goalie Semyon Varlamov (2.68 GAA, .920 save pct.) won't be available for the entire series due to a knee injury. Starting goaltender responsibilities will fall to Jonathan Bernier (2.85 GAA, .913 save pct.). It seems like a recipe for disaster. Colorado has lost all four meetings against Nashville this season.
NHL Betting Trends
The Avalanche are 7-20 in their last 27 meetings in Nashville. Colorado is 1-4 in its last five games against teams with a winning record. The Avalanche are 1-5 in their last six games on a Thursday.
The Predators are 6-0 in their last six conference quarterfinals games. The over is 13-3-1 in the last 17 games versus the Avs in Nashville. The under is 3-0-3 in the last six Predators conference quarterfinals games.
I believe Nashville is going to make a statement right off the bat against a Colorado team that lacks playoff experience. While the moneyline bet is a bit too much to stomach, I have enough confidence in the Predators on the -1.5 puck line which is currently at +105 on YouWager. Nashville grinds opponents to a pulp and I can't see Colorado keeping up in Game 1.
NHL DAILY PREDICTION: NASHVILLE PREDATORS PL +105