The Tampa Bay Lightning staved off elimination on Friday and have forced a Game 6 back at Amalie Arena. For a team that was supposedly banged-up and was counted out by many, Tampa looked good in Game 5 and is going back home where it’s 8-2 this postseason, allowing just 2.10 goals per game.
Can the Avalanche play with the lead for the first time in over eight periods or is Andrei Vasilevskiy and his 1.82 home GAA ready to force a Game 7?
Find out in our free NHL picks and predictions for Avalanche vs. Lightning.
Avalanche vs Lightning Game 6 odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
The opening odds for Game 6 are not very consistent. Colorado is as short as -120 (PointsBet) and as long as +100. Shortly after opening, the Avs settled at -115 on the moneyline at most books. Game 4 in Tampa closed as a pick ‘em while the Avs closed as -210 home favorites in Game 5. The total opened at 6.0 for the sixth straight time and each game in Tampa has landed at 5.5 by puck-drop.
Avalanche vs Lightning Game 6 predictions
Predictions made on 6/25/2022 at 10:00 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Avalanche vs Lightning Game 6 info
• Location: Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL
• Date: Sunday, June-xx, 2022
• Puck drop: 8:00 p.m. ET
• TV: ABC, Sportsnet
Avalanche vs Lightning series odds
Avalanche vs Lightning Game 6 betting preview
Avalanche: Andre Burakovsky F (Questionable).
Lightning: Brayden Point F (Doubtful).
Find our latest NHL injury reports.
Avalanche vs Lightning head-to-head record since 2016-2017
Avalanche: 7-8 SU, 47 goals for.
Lightning: 8-7 SU, 48 goals for.
Betting trend to know
The Under is 9-1 in the Lightning’s last 10 games when playing on one day’s rest. Find more NHL betting trends for Avalanche vs. Lightning.
Avalanche vs Lightning Game 6 picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
The Colorado Avalanche had a chance to win the Cup on home ice Friday night but played from behind (again) and failed to eliminate a tired, injured and worn-down Tampa team that was coming off a crushing Game 4 overtime loss.
The Avs’ struggling offense now heads to Amalie Arena where the Bolts are 17-5 SU over the last two playoffs with a plus-1.86 goal differential per game. The Bolts were on the ropes and Colorado failed to put them away. That’s a dangerous thing for a team with as much experience as Jon Cooper’s group and heading into Game 6, as the Lightning haven’t trailed in regulation since the first period of Game 3.
Since their one-sided loss in Game 2, Tampa has trailed for just five minutes — a stretch of over 190 minutes. The Lightning might also be in the heads of the Colorado offense. Colorado is averaging 36.2 shots per game and has outshot Tampa in every game, but the Bolts have weathered the storm of late as Colorado has managed just two regulation goals in three straight contests.
Nathan MacKinnon is firing a ton of shots on net, but has just a single goal in the series and it was one that deflected off his skate. Meanwhile, Andrei Vasilevskiy can still be the difference in this series and is currently the No. 2 betting favorite for the Conn Smythe at +600. His play at home in the playoffs has been a thing of legend as the reigning Conn Smythe winner is 25-11 SU with a 1.88 GAA and a .934 SV% over the last three playoffs.
The Bolts are 8-0-1 in their last nine home games in these playoffs and their opponents have been held to two or fewer goals in regulation in seven straight games. For a team that was a -210 home favorite in Game 5, this Colorado offense is cooled off significantly since Game 2 and has relied heavily on the power play for its offense.
With the officials naturally calling fewer penalties as the series goes on, Colorado’s lack of success at even strength is becoming an issue and Vasilevskiy is showing no cracks. We saw how Colorado played when they had a chance to go up 3-0 in the series in Game 3 and it wasn’t pretty, as the defensive breakdowns were glaring and Darcy Kuemper was unreliable.
With Vasilevskiy’s success at home, Tampa outscoring the Avs 9-4 at even strength over the last three games, and Colorado lacking a high gear to close things out, we’re riding the Bolts at home and think this game closes at a pick ‘em.
Even with a multitude of injuries, the Bolts looked just as good as the Avs in Game 5 and they should only get healthier heading into Sunday’s elimination game.
Prediction: Lightning moneyline (+100 at PointsBet)
The series opened with three straight Overs, but since then, we’ve seen the Under hit in back-to-back games. Late goals have been few and far between with just five third-period goals through five games.
Penalties are not being called and things have been tightening up late in the games. Vasilevskiy is his dominant self while Kuemper has settled in after a rough Game 3. The Colorado offense is getting a ton of shots on the net, but they aren’t getting the quality chances that they got in the first two games of the series.
Tampa is adjusted to the speed and transition game of the Avalanche and is given up very few odd-man rushes which were a problem in both Game 1 and 2. Just like we saw in their third-round series with the Rangers, it sometimes takes Cooper and the Bolts a couple of games to adjust, but when they do, they can frustrate their opponents and we’re seeing that here late in this matchup.
If this game is going to be played heavily at 5-on-5 — and the later the series goes, the fewer penalties will be called — it has to favor the Under. Neither team has found much success at even strength, injuries are stacking up, and each bench is getting a little longer.
We’ve also seen teams collapse defensively more in the final minute of the game when the other team has the extra attacker on the ice, as opposed to breaking the zone and looking for the empty-netter. In games with so much on the line, empty-net goals are as frequent.
At Under 6 (-120), this is the best price we’ll get and we wouldn’t be surprised to see this hit 5.5 by Sunday. Vasilevskiy’s track record at home is too consistent to expect the Avalanche to win big against the Bolts.
Prediction: Under 6 (-120 at bet365)
Nathan MacKinnon might not be scoring in the series, but he sure is stacking shots on net. He topped his Over 4.5 shots before the third period for a second straight game on Friday and as he’s already proven, playing on the road isn’t slowing down his SOG production.
In the two games at Amalie Arena this series, MacKinnon recorded eight and six shots. He has 110 shots through 19 games (5.79 per game) which is 35 more than the next guy who has 75 in three more games played.
With Nate unable to get one solidly past Vasilevskiy, we think that will make the forward want to shoot even more. His Over 4.5 was -135 in Game 5 and -125 in Game 4 in Tampa. The 10-point increase isn’t worrying us either with MacKinnon continually cashing this prop late in the second period.
Prediction: MacKinnon Over 4.5 shots (-145 at Caesars)
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