Bettors think hockey season ends Friday night

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Nazem Kadri scored a bizarre and somewhat controversial overtime goal in Game 4 to put back-to-back NHL champion Tampa Bay Lightning on the brink of elimination. The Colorado Avalanche are now one win away from being the preseason favorite to win the Stanley Cup. Colorado is a -185 favorite to win Game 5 on home ice and wrap things up. Overall, the Avalanche now have -1,400 favorites to win the Stanley Cup as owners of a 3-1 series lead.

Tampa Bay’s quest to become the first team since the 1980-83 New York Islanders to win three consecutive Stanley Cups is officially on life support. They would need Colorado to lose three straight, which the Avalanche have only done twice this season. The first time this happened was in games 2-4 of the regular season. The only other time this happened was the final stretch of the season, when the Avalanche clinched their positioning and were just playing string.

Bettors believe Colorado wraps things up Friday

The Colorado Avalanche started with -150 favorites on the finance line to win Game 5 and skate off the ice with the Stanley Cup. Since Friday afternoon, the Avalanche have gone down to -185 favorites. Currently at BetMGM, 70% of the bets and 88% of the money backs Colorado to conclude on Friday. Bettors also expect the Avalanche to win comfortably, as 87% of bets back Colorado to cover the puck line and win by at least two goals.

The two games in Tampa Bay were much closer, with Colorado holding a 4.64–4.45 advantage in expected goals at 5-5. However, the first two games of the series were dominated by the Avalanche. Overall in the series, the Avalanche outscored Tampa Bay 16-11, while maintaining a 144-111 shooting advantage and an expected 5-for-5 8.8-6 goal advantage. While two Overtime games might suggest a razor-thin separation between these teams, Colorado clearly controlled the game for most of the series.

The NHL season will end Friday night if Colorado wins at home. (Andrew Bershaw/Icon_Sportswire)

The Avalanche are 15-3 in this playoffs, and only the second time in four series that they even needed a Game 5. Colorado went home with a 3 -1 in the series in its second-round game against St. Louis, but failed to close that series at home. Tampa Bay is hoping history repeats itself, but bettors aren’t expecting it.

Bettors also like overs

The first three games of the Stanley Cup Finals all went over the total, leading 88% of bettors to bet Game 4 would go over the total by six goals. Unfortunately for those bettors, Game 4 ended 3-2 in overtime, cashing in a ticket for the underdogs. While we finally saw a match fall in the last contest, bettors are lining up to bet on match 5 again.

Currently at BetMGM, 84% of the bets and 92% of the money is on Game 5 to go over six goals. This series has averaged 6.75 goals per game and, as mentioned above, the over bet is 3-1 in four games.

Betting more in Avalanche games makes a lot of sense. They can get you there some nights on their own. They’ve already scored six or more goals in six playoff games, including Game 2 of this series. On average, they score 4.5 goals per game in these playoffs.

If there was ever a question mark about this Colorado team in this playoffs, it would be their goalie. Darcy Kuemper stops less than 90% of the shots he faces in the playoffs and he’s allowed nearly seven more goals than expected from an average goaltender. Kuemper was taken out in Game 3 and there was speculation if he would even start Game 4. Coach Jared Bednar trusted his No. 1 keeper, and Kuemper rewarded him with a solid performance, stopping 37 of the 39 shots in his last outing.

MacKinnon is a popular bet

Nathan MacKinnon is Colorado’s most dynamic forward, and that’s a testament to the quality and depth of this team who have a 3-1 series lead despite MacKinnon having only one goal in this series. MacKinnon finally got the schneid in Game 4, when a pass was deflected off his skate and into it. Bettors are hoping that means MacKinnon is ready to burst.

The three most popular props before Game 5 all include MacKinnon. MacKinnon has +900 to score the first goal of the game and +115 to score anytime. With bettors expecting a Colorado win, it would make sense for MacKinnon to be involved. Overall, MacKinnon has 12 goals in 18 playoff games, but he’s only scored in nine games.

Bettors also like that MacKinnon topped 4.5 shots on goal in Friday’s game. MacKinnon has 22 shots in four games this series, averaging 5.5 shots per game. He’s had at least five shots in three of four games, and he’s shot eight on the net in Game 4. Overall, MacKinnon has topped 4.5 shots in six of his last seven games.

MacKinnon currently has the second-best odds to win the Conn Smythe as playoff MVP at +550. His teammate, Cale Makar, is a massive -550 favorite to claim the honor.

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