NHL dog of the day: Colorado should roll against depleted Vegas

·4-min read

The NHL season marches on with a seven-game slate on Tuesday. There's some intriguing matchups and there's only one big favorite on the card. The rest of the games present some potential betting opportunities. All lines are courtesy of BetMGM as of Tuesday afternoon.

Dog of the day

Year-to-date record: 6-2-0
Year-to-date units: +6.0 units

Entering the season, both the Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights were expected to compete for the Stanley Cup. Currently, both teams have played five games each and they've combined for just three wins. 

The Avs have been inconsistent in their play, but I'm not overly worried about them. They were without Nathan MacKinnon for two games due to COVID, but he has since returned to the lineup. They've also played some high level competition in the Panthers, Capitals, Blues and Lightning. My worry-meter for Colorado is low. 

On the other hand, Vegas has a 1-4-0 record and hasn't won since opening night. In four games since the season opener, Vegas has scored just six goals. The Golden Knights were shutout in their most recent game on Sunday by the New York Islanders

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 23: Colorado Avalanche Celebrates scoring a goal during the NHL Hockey match between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche on October 23, 2021 at Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL. (Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Colorado has had a slow start to the season, but don't expect that to last. (Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Golden Knights are currently playing without their top two forwards in Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty. They are also likely without Alec Martinez, Alex Tuch, Zach Whitecloud and Nolan Patrick. It's no surprise to see them struggling to score. 

Both teams have gotten mediocre goaltending to begin the season, but at this point, Colorado is much more likely to outscore that issue. With the Avalanche at home against a depleted Vegas team, I'm backing them to win this game by at least two goals and cover the puck-line at +135. 

Rest of the slate

Calgary @ New Jersey: The Devils are likely without their top two goaltenders due to injury. Their best player in Jack Hughes is also out due to a shoulder injury. Calgary is playing well, but played Monday and will likely start back-up goaltender Dan Vladar. Two teams not at full strength, but I'd lean toward Calgary on the moneyline at -105.

Tampa Bay @ Pittsburgh: Tampa Bay is playing the second half of a back-to-back after being embarrassed by Buffalo last night. At -125 on the moneyline, I'm willing to risk getting burned by the Lightning here with Vasilevskiy in net. Tampa Bay has not been good to begin the year, but it's going to snap out of it eventually. 

San Jose @ Nashville: A match-up between two mediocre teams, but San Jose has come out firing this season. I'm willing to ride the hot team as an underdog here at +110.

Winnipeg @ Anaheim: Anaheim is lucky to be 2-3-1 with its underlying numbers to begin the year. With Hellebuyck in net, I'd take the Jets as a -135 favorite on the road.

Montreal @ Seattle: The Kraken has opened their franchise with a 1-4-1 record, but Tuesday they'll host one of the few teams in the league that have gotten off to a worse start. I'll take the home Kraken at -130, but I'm not sure how long of a leash I have left with the expansion team. 

Minnesota @ Vancouver: Minnesota has played to a 62% expected goal rate through five games, winning four of those. Vancouver has the second worst underlying metrics through the first few games of the season. I'm once again playing a road favorite here, and backing the Wild at -120.

Goaltending situation

Back-up goaltenders are in bold. 

Calgary Flames (likely Dan Vladar) vs. New Jersey Devils (likely Nico Daws)

Tampa Bay Lightning (likely Andrei Vasilevskiy) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (Tristan Jarry)

Vegas Golden Knights (likely Robin Lehner) vs. Colorado Avalanche (Darcy Kuemper)

San Jose Sharks (James Reimer) vs. Nashville Predators (likely Juuse Saros)

Minnesota Wild (Cam Talbot) vs. Vancouver Canucks (Thatcher Demko)

Winnipeg Jets (Connor Hellebuyck) vs. Anaheim Ducks (likely John Gibson)

Montreal Canadiens (likely Jake Allen) vs. Seattle Kraken (likely Philipp Grubauer)

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