2022 Stanley Cup Final: Avalanche vs. Lightning odds, NHL picks, Game 2 prediction from proven hockey model

It’s likely to be another back-and-forth affair Saturday night when the Colorado Avalanche host the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 2 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final. The Avalanche took the upper hand in Game 1 on Wednesday with a 4-3 overtime victory after Tampa Bay stormed back from a two-goal deficit. Andre Burakovsky tallied the winning goal just 1:23 into the extra period to give the Avs the series lead. The Lightning are seeking a third straight NHL championship, while Colorado is trying to win its third all-time. The Avalanche have prevailed both times they have reached the Final, beating Florida in 1995-96 and New Jersey in 2000-01. The Lightning have won three of its four appearances, beating Calgary in the 2003-04 Final and falling to the Blackhawks in 2014-15. Colorado is the top seed from the Western Conference, while Tampa Bay is the East’s No. 3 seed.

Opening faceoff at Ball Arena in Denver is set for 8 p.m. ET. Colorado is the -160 favorite (risk $160 to win $100) on the money line in the latest Avalanche vs. Lightning odds from Caesars Sportsbook. Tampa Bay is a +140 underdog, and the over-under for total goals scored is set at six. Before making any Lightning vs. Avalanche picks, check out the NHL predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.

The model simulates each NHL game 10,000 times. It enters the 2022 Stanley Cup Final on a 23-18 run on its top-rated NHL side picks. Anybody who has followed it has seen profitable returns.

Now, the model has its sights on Avs vs. Lightning. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the NHL odds and betting trends for Lightning vs. Avs: 

  • Avalanche vs. Lightning money line: Colorado -160, Tampa Bay +140
  • Avalanche vs. Lightning over-under: 6 goals
  • Avalanche vs. Lightning puck line: Colorado -1.5 (+175)
  • Avalanche vs. Lightning tickets: See tickets at StubHub
  • COL: C Nathan MacKinnon has at least one point in 13 of the 15 playoff games.
  • TB: D Mikhail Sergachev has two goals and two assists in the past three contests.

Featured Game | Colorado Avalanche vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Why the Avalanche can win

Colorado was buzzing and got the crowd fired up quickly Wednesday night, scoring three times in the first period. Colorado was flying through the neutral zone, and it had fresh legs from its layoff following the sweep against Edmonton in the Western Conference Finals. MacKinnon and defenseman Cale Makar are the big names, but wingers Gabriel Landeskog, Artturi Lehkonen and Mikko Rantanen all provide punch to the offense. Rantanen led the team with 92 points in the regular season, while MacKinnon had 88 despite missing 15 games.

MacKinnon has 11 goals in the playoffs, while Landeskog scored his ninth Wednesday and Lehkonen notched his seventh. Makar has a team-high 22 points (17 assists) in the postseason. Colorado scored 22 goals in sweeping the Oilers series and has 69 in the 15 playoff contests (4.6 per game). The Avalanche had a 38-23 advantage in shots in Game 1 and had 17 takeaways while the Lightning had just four. Goalkeepers Darcy Kuemper and Pavel Francouz have a 90 save percentage and 2.87 goals-against average. Colorado is 38-6-5 at home this season. 

Why the Lightning can win

Tampa Bay has superstars on offense and defense, and goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy is a big reason it has come this far. He has a 2.36 goals-against average and 92.6 save percentage in the playoffs. He is 17-1 in games following a postseason loss, with the Game 2 setback to the Rangers in the Eastern Conference Final the only blemish. Perennial Norris Trophy finalist and 2018 winner Victor Hedman’s size and awareness make him tough to beat. He got his 13th assists of the playoffs in Game 1 and has 56 shots and 33 blocked shots in this postseason.

Sergachev scored the tying goal in the third period Wednesday and has 29 blocked shots and 38 hits in the playoffs. The Lightning have plenty of firepower up front, with Ondrej Palat coming on strong and Brayden Point getting healthy after missing the last two series. They join sharpshooter Steven Stamkos and playmaker Nikita Kucherov in a dangerous attack. Stamkos and Palat share the team lead with nine postseason goals, while Kucherov leads the team with 24 points on the strength of 17 assists. Point has five points in eight starts.   

How to make Lightning vs. Avalanche picks

SportsLine’s model is leaning over on the total, as the simulations have the teams combining for seven goals. It also says one side of the money line has all the value. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Lightning vs. Avalanche in Game 2 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final? And which side of the money line has all the value? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Avalanche vs. Lightning money line to jump on, all from the advanced model that has simulated this matchup 10,000 times.

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