Colorado Avalanche will be looking to close out the Stanley Cup Finals after beating Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 in overtime in Game 4 on Wednesday night. The Avalanche, who are now up 3-1 in the best-of-seven series, could potentially hoist the Stanley Cup for the third time in franchise history with a win on home ice later tonight.
Tampa Bay, who rebounded with a strong 6-2 win in Game 3, blew a 2-1 lead heading into the third period of Game 4. The loss at Amalie Arena snapped the Lightning’s eight-home playoff win streak and dropped the club to 13-8 in postseason play.
After the victory, Colorado improved to both 8-1 on the road while enhancing their impressive 15-3 record overall in the playoffs.
The series returns to Ball Arena, where Colorado dominated Tampa Bay in the first two games, outscoring the defending champions 11-3. Overall, the Avalanche, who have won four consecutive games on home ice, is 7-2 in front of the Colorado faithful.
Be sure to check out our full Stanley Cup Series betting breakdown!
Oddsmakers at SI Sportsbook have installed Colorado as strong -175 favorites to win Game 5 with a total goals market currently sitting at 5.5 juiced to the over at odds of -133.
Let’s dive in and look deeper at a pivotal Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals and see where the respected early money in Vegas has arrived!
2022 Stanley Cup Finals Game 5 Betting Odds
Tampa Bay Lightning (+145) at Colorado Avalanche (-175)
PUCK LINE: Tampa Bay +1.5 (-188) / Colorado -1.5 (+138)
TOTAL: 5.5 OVER (-133) / UNDER (+105)
CAN COLORADO FINISH OFF THE CHAMPS ON HOME ICE?
Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper, who was pulled midway through Game 3 after surrendering five goals on 22 shots, bounced back with a monster effort in Game 4, stopping 37 of 39 shots. Kuemper, who sports a 9-3 record with a 2.66 GAA in the playoffs, heads back home where he is 5-2 with a 2.45 GAA and .901 save percentage.
Forward Mikko Rantanen leads all players in scoring (8 points) after registering an impressive eight assists through four games. If Colorado were to end the series on Friday, it would be interesting to see if Cale Makar or Rantanen—who are separated by just two points in postseason scoring—would earn the Conn Smythe Award. Cale Makar, who leads the club in scoring in the playoffs, also leads all defensemen in scoring with 2 goals and 3 assists in the Finals.
Meanwhile, top-line center Nathan MacKinnon, who leads the club with 22 shots on goal, finally scored his first goal of the series in Game 4.
Colorado received a massive boost with the return of second-line center Nazem Kadri in Game 4. Kadri, who had been out since Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals following thumb surgery, scored the game-winner in overtime.
CAN TAMPA BAY STAY ALIVE?
Andrei Vasilevskiy, who surprisingly surrendered 11 goals in the series’ first two games, has kept Tampa Bay alive by stopping 71 of 76 shots (.934 save percentage) in the last two games. Overall, the two-time Stanley Cup Champion has compiled a 13-8 record with a 2.57 GAA and with a .920 save percentage in the postseason.
The biggest concern is the home/road splits involving the star goalie. Shockingly, Vasilevskiy is an impressive 8-2 with a 1.82 GAA at home but a disappointing 5-6 with a 3.29 GAA on the road.
In Game 4, three of Tampa Bay’s top offensive players, Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat, were held off the stat sheet combining for just five shots on goal. If the star trio fails to produce in Game 5, Tampa Bay’s quest for a three-peat will likely end.
MAJOR INJURY IMPACTING LIGHTNING
While Colorado enjoyed the return of Kadri in Game 4, Tampa Bay continues to suffer from the loss of Brayden Point. The star center, who was able to play in Games 1 and 2 after missing 10 consecutive games, is doubtful to return in the playoffs. Although the Lightning beat Florida and New York without Point, losing the club’s best two-way player is proving to be much to overcome against the high-powered Avalanche.
Colorado’s Andre Burakovsky (hand) was injured in Game 2, missed Games 3 and 4 and is doubtful for Game 5.
MASSIVE POWER PLAY EDGE
Colorado’s power-play unit continues to give the Western Conference Champions a decisive edge in the series. The Avalanche, who lead all teams in the playoffs converting at 34.5%, are 6 for 12 (50%) playing with the man advantage in the Finals. On the flip side, Colorado has only allowed one goal in 14 (0.07%) power play attempts by the Lightning. In the series, Colorado has scored at least one power-play goal in every game, which is easily the biggest factor why the Avalanche have a commanding 3-1 lead heading into Game 5.
The respected money from Las Vegas split their player proposition wagers in Game 4. Our investment in Mikko Rantanen surpassing at least one assist cashed on Colorado’s first goal of the game. However, our wager involving Ondrej Palat to register at least one point came up short when the star winger saw his consecutive home-game point-scoring streak snapped at nine.
Colorado is 29-6 (82.8%) at Ball Arena since the start of 2022, and respected money in Vegas is backing the series to end in five games on Friday night. However, due to the sizable juice on the moneyline, their play is on the puck line at plus-odds of +138. If Tampa Bay is down in the third period, the potential for an empty-net goal looms large. Upon a deeper dive, we discover that Colorado has covered the puck line in three of their last four home games.
2022 Stanley Cup Finals Game 5 Bets
Colorado Puck Line -1.5 (+138)
PLAYER PROPOSITION WAGERS
Nathan MacKinnon - Over 4.5 Shots (-130)
After hearing all the talk about his lack of production in the Finals, Colorado’s star center finally scored his first goal of the series in Game 4. MacKinnon leads all players in the Stanley Cup Finals with 22 shots on goal. In Game 4, he posted a game-high eight shots on goal, and a deeper look reveals that he has surpassed this projection of 4.5 shots in three of the four games in the Stanley Cup Finals. Overall, the talented winger exceeded this posted total in 12 of 18 (66.7%) games in the postseason, including six in nine (67%) home games at Ball Arena. Playing in the slot on the league’s best power-play unit—only enhances the chances of MacKinnon getting at least five shots on Vasilevskiy.
Mikko Rantanen - Over 0.5 Assists (-125)
Colorado’s star forward has notched at least one assist in all four games of the Stanley Cup Finals and now sits with 20 assists in Colorado’s 18 playoff games. Rantanen has registered at least one assist in 13 of 18 (72.2%) postseason games, including 10 in the last eight games. The versatile winger, playing on the league’s best power-play unit, including Norris Trophy winner Cale Makar, has resulted in five of his eight assists in the series. Respected money is 2-0 investing in his player proposition market, and this play appears even stronger after discovering Rantanen has at least one assist in eight of the nine (88.9%) playoff games on home ice.
Stanley Cup Finals Betting (Series-to-Date): 5-5 +0.37 Units
Frankie Taddeo is a successful high-stakes fantasy football player who created the first-ever DFS program ever offered in a Las Vegas sportsbook. Frankie is SI Betting's Senior Analyst and provides his significant experience and resources in the sports betting scene. You can follow Frankie on Twitter @Frankie_Fantasy for his latest betting and fantasy insights from Las Vegas.
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