The 2022 Stanley Cup Final starts Wednesday, June 15, so we bring you the best Lightning vs. Avalanche betting pick and odds. According to BetOnline Sportsbook, the Tampa Bay Lightning are +150 underdogs to win their third straight championship, while the Colorado Avalanche sit at -170 to grab their first title since 2001.
The Avs are -160 home favorites to win Wednesday’s opening clash of the series. The Bolts are listed as +135 moneyline dogs, while the totals are set at 6.0 goals.
The Lightning lean on Andrei Vasilevskiy
After sweeping the second-round series against the Florida Panthers, the Tampa Bay Lightning erased a two-game deficit in the 2022 Stanley Cup Eastern Conference Finals and eliminated the New York Rangers in six games. They’ve outscored the Rangers 12-5 over their last four meetings and fully deserved a chance to fight for a three-peat.
Andrei Vasilevskiy had a rough first round, allowing 22 goals across seven games against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Still, the 27-year-old netminder turned aside 30 of Toronto’s 31 shots in Game 7. Vasilevskiy was a monster in the semis (.981 save percentage) and nothing short of spectacular in the final four games of the conference finals.
Winger Nikita Kucherov leads the way for skaters with seven goals and 16 assists this postseason. Center Steven Stamkos added nine goals and six assists, while winger Ondrej Palat has eight goals and eight assists on his playoff tally. Palat has found the back of the net in six of his previous eight appearances.
The Avalanche had an easy job in the West
The Colorado Avalanche have been on cruise control through the 2022 NHL Western Conference Playoffs. They swept the Nashville Predators in the first round and did the same with the Edmonton Oilers in the conference finals. The Avs also needed six games to eliminate the St. Louis Blues in the second round.
Darcy Kuemper is struggling with injuries this postseason, so Pavel Francouz got four starts and a couple of relief appearances, tallying a 6-0 record with a 2.86 GAA and .906 save percentage. Kuemper has missed the previous three games against the Oilers and should return for Game 1 against the Bolts. Darcy is 6-2 with a 2.65 GAA and .897 save percentage in the 2022 Stanley Cup.
The Avs have dropped 22 goals on Edmonton in just four games. Center Nathan MacKinnon has accounted for six goals in his last six games and leads the way for Colorado with 11 goals and seven assists this postseason. Keep your eyes on defenseman Cale Makar and winger Mikko Rantanen, who have combined for ten goals and 29 assists over the previous 14 games.
- 10-2 in the last 12 games overall
- 6-3 in the last nine games against Colorado
- 6-1 in the last seven games against the Western Conference
- 1-5 in the last six home games against Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Colorado Avalanche Pick
I like the Lightning’s chances to get one of the first two games at Ball Arena, but Andrei Vasilevskiy has to start the series on the right foot. Over the previous three series openers, Vasilevskiy has allowed 12 goals, and I’m expecting a much better performance from the 2021 Conn Smythe Trophy winner this time around.
Colorado is arguably a better offensive team than Tampa Bay. The Avs swept a two-game series against the Bolts this past regular season (3-2 at home and 4-3 in a shootout at Tampa), and the bookies are backing them to win the championship. I’m looking for a tight battle in the opener which could easily go either way if Andrei Vasilevskiy and Tampa’s defense show up.
Pick: Take Tampa Bay Lightning at +135
The Lightning have plenty of experience and should know how to slow down the Avs, who’ll certainly try to speed up things and take a lot of shots toward Andrei Vasilevskiy early in this game. Colorado is capable of playing tough defense, too, so I’m taking the under on the totals.
The under is 5-0 in Tampa Bay’s last five outings, 5-1 in the Bolts’ last six showings on the road, and 4-2 in Colorado’s previous six outings on the home ice.
Pick: Go under 6.0 goals at +104