NHL Tuesday best bets: Avalanche to take flight in Winnipeg
The NHL has nine games scheduled for Tuesday night's slate, including some mouthwatering matchups.
Let's focus on a couple of them with our best bets.
It would've been fair heading into the season to assume this would be a matchup between two contenders sitting at or near the top of their respective conferences. Things haven't exactly played out that way.
While there's plenty of reason to believe both underachieving sides can right the ship, I favor the Flames in this game.
Calgary has played very well at home this season, controlling better than 54% of the high-danger chances at five-on-five. The Flames are a tough team to beat in that game state.
That's problematic for the Panthers because they struggle to win the special teams battle due to their inability to stay out of the box. On the year, only four teams have spent more time shorthanded per game than Florida.
Even though the Panthers have largely done a good job of limiting shots and chances on the penalty kill, they've still allowed more power-play tallies than all but four teams. They spend so much time undermanned that it's hard for them to prevent goals no matter how effective their PK is.
There are a couple of other key factors working against the Panthers. First and foremost, Aleksander Barkov is out. He's one of the league's best two-way pivots, and his absence really thins out Florida's center position. That's not ideal when going up against the likes of Elias Lindholm, Nazem Kadri, and Mikael Backlund.
Additionally, Sergei Bobrovsky (-5.2 goals saved above expectation) is expected to get the nod in goal over Spencer Knight (+1.1 GSAE), who's clearly been better this season. Bobrovsky isn't as likely to turn in a quality start behind a Panthers team that'll need one to get two points in a road back-to-back.
Bet: Flames (-150)
I really like the Colorado Avalanche in this spot. Despite all the injuries they continue to face, the Avs have won eight of the last 10 games.
Although the Winnipeg Jets are a nice story that's played legitimately well this season, I like Colorado to get two points in this game.
Even without so many key players, the Avalanche sit seventh in high-danger chance share at five-on-five over the last 10 games. Plus, we know how lethal they can be on the man advantage.
The Avs have also gotten fantastic goaltending from newcomer Alexandar Georgiev. He's saved 9.6 goals above expectation thus far and, on a per-game basis, ranks fourth among starters. Jake Oettinger, Andrei Vasilevskiy, Igor Shesterkin, and, yes, Connor Hellebuyck are just a few of the stars behind Georgiev in that regard.
I expect the Avalanche to control the run of play at full strength in this game. They seem more likely to get production from the power play, too, and Georgiev appears more than capable of stepping up in goal when needed.
The Avalanche closed at -240 when these teams faced each other last month. The game was in Colorado, but nothing that's happened since warrants this large of a swing. Take the value and back the Avs.
Bet: Avalanche (-130)
Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.