The Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche will have to meet one more time to decide who’ll make it to the 2020 NHL Playoffs Western Conference Finals. The third-seeded Stars blew a 3-1 lead in this series, so Game 7 at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Friday night will be a true nail-biter.
The second-seeded Avs search for their first conference finals since 2002, while the Stars haven’t been there since 2008.
We’re taking a closer look at Friday’s Central Division showdown, bringing you all need-to-know betting tips and trends along with our top NHL betting pick.
The Avs miss their starting goalie Philipp Grubauer, while his understudy Pavel Francouz is doubtful to play. They have some serious concerns, as defensemen, Erik Johnson and Conor Timmins, and wingers Gabriel Landeskog, Matt Calvert, and Joonas Donskoi are all questionable and dealing with injuries.
The Stars won’t count on their starting goaltender Ben Bishop, while defenseman Stephen Jones is listed as doubtful.
The Avalanche opened this series with a couple of losses as -165 and -150 favorites. They split the next two as -150 and 135 favorites, while the Avs won the previous two contests as slight -115 favorites.
Colorado is a -130 moneyline fave to win Game 7 on BetAmerica. Dallas sits at +120, while the totals are set at exactly six goals on the vast majority of online sportsbooks for the fourth straight time. Five of six games in this series went in the over.
What’s at Stake?
I’ve mentioned for how long these two teams haven’t played in the conference finals. The stake couldn’t be bigger at the moment.
The Stars had a 3-1 lead and blew a couple of chances to proceed which I’ve mentioned, too. That could really damage their morale, while the Avs’ confidence is probably going through the roof.
The bookies expected to see some low-scoring encounters between the Stars and Avs. Before the start of this series, seven straight matchups between Dallas and Colorado have gone in the under.
The Stars owned the Avs this past regular season, winning all four H2H duels. The Avalanche bounced back with a 4-0 victory in the seeding phase.
Colorado entered the bubble as the fourth-most efficient team in the NHL, scoring 3.37 goals per game. The Avs have the highest-scoring offense in the 2020 Stanley Cup, averaging 4.00 goals over 14 outings.
The Stars have surprised many, tallying 3.20 goals per game this postseason. They had the fifth-worst offense in the league last regular season, averaging only 2.58 goals per game.
Dallas had the second-best defense in the regular season, allowing just 2.52 goals per contest, but the Stars conceded 25 goals in six games of this playoff series. They’ve netted 23 in a return.
Anton Khudobin will guard the cage for Dallas in Game 7. He’s surrendered three goals on 23 shots in Game 6, while Khudobin is 7-5 with a 2.88 GAA and .909 save percentage this postseason.
Michael Hutchinson has patrolled the crease for Colorado in the previous two games, making his Stanley Cup debut. He’s allowed three goals on 34 shots in Game 5 and just a goal on 28 shots last time out.
Betting on Game 7 is always a tough job, especially when two divisional foes take on each other. I think the Avs will continue with a strong offensive performance despite all their injury problems, so I’m going with the over on the totals, hoping to see the Stars bouncing back after they’ve scored just once in Game 6.
Considering a massive stake, I won’t be surprised by a cautious approach on both sides, but whoever scores will force the other team to push forward. The Stars took a 1-0 lead in Game 6 last Wednesday and then allowed four unanswered goals. They will have to do a much better job this time.