The Nashville Predators at the Pepsi Center in Game 3 of the opening round of the NHL Playoffs. The first puck will drop at 10 p.m. ET on Monday, April 16, and it can be viewed live on NBC Sports Network.
Nashville (-165) is currently the favorite over Colorado (+145) and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals (-120 over, +100 under).
Nashville is 55-29 straight up (SU) and has earned 16.3 units for moneyline bettors this season. Through 84 regular season contests, 43 of its games have gone over the total, while 40 have gone under and just one has pushed. This 2017-18 Predators team is 25-16 SU on the road.
The Predators’ offensive attack attempted 32.2 shots per game in the regular season, resulting in 3.3 goals per contest (ranked seventh overall in the NHL). In the playoffs, the team is managing an average of 32.0 shots on goal ( 5.0 goals per game).
After accounting for the 14th-ranked power-play unit in the regular season (scoring on 21.4 percent of all chances), the Predators have connected on 28.6 percent of their postseason power plays.
Averaging 28.8 saves per game with a .926 save percentage, Pekka Rinne (44-17-4) has been the top option in goal for Nashville this year. If Nashville decides to rest him, however, the team could roll with Juuse Saros (12-14-7), who has a .925 save percentage and 2.45 goals against average this year.
Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson will both be relied on to facilitate things for the visiting Predators. Forsberg has 66 points on 28 goals and 38 assists, and has recorded two or more points 19 times. Arvidsson has 30 goals and 33 assists to his credit (and has logged at least one point in 44 games).
On the other side of the rink, Colorado is 43-41 straight up (SU) and has earned 7.3 units for moneyline bettors this season. 44 of its matches have gone over the total, while 33 have gone under and just seven have pushed. This year, the team is 28-13 SU as the home team.
The Avalanche have converted on 21.8 percent of their power play opportunities this season, a mark that places it in the top-10 among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked fourth overall, and it’s successfully killed off 83.0 percent of all penalties.
Avalanche players have been penalized 4.0 times per game in total this season, and 1.8 per game over their last five home outings. The team’s had to stave off opponent power plays just 7.3 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Semyon Varlamov has stopped 28.8 shots per game as the primary option in goal for the Avalanche. Varlamov has 26 wins, 25 losses, and six overtime losses to his name and has maintained a pedestrian 2.68 goals against average and a .920 save percentage this season.
The Avs will be led on offense by Nathan MacKinnon (40 goals, 60 assists).
Nashville Predators at Colorado Avalanche Free Picks
Pick: SU Winner – Avalanche, O/U – Over
Six of Colorado’s last ten games have been decided by two or more goals, and the team is 2-4 overall in those games.
The Predators are 20-6 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 26-15 when they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes.
Two of Nashville’s last ten games have been decided by a shootout. The team is 1-1 in those games and 6-7 overall in shootouts this season.
Nashville may hold the upper hand if this one comes down to the wire. The team’s an impressive 25-15 in games decided by one goal, while Colorado is 11-16 in such games.
The total has gone over in four of Colorado’s last five outings.
Colorado has averaged 5.6 giveaways over its last five home games, its season average of 6.2 giveaways per game (ranked 2nd).
Nashville has averaged 6.6 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 9.7 giveaways per game (ranked 16th in the league).
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