Two teams that split their head-to-head series (two wins apiece) a year ago, the Minnesota Wild and the Colorado Avalanche take the ice at the Pepsi Center. This divisional matchup will get started at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, December 27 and it’ll be televised live on NBC Sports Network.
Minnesota Wild at Colorado Avalanche Odds
Minnesota (+165) is entering this one as the underdog to Colorado (-190). If you want to put some action on the matchup’s Over/Under (O/U) total, you’ll be looking at -120 for over 6 goals and +100 for under under..
The Avalanche are 23-14 straight up (SU) and have earned moneyline bettors 8.3 units this year. That winning percentage, the league’s fourth-strongest so far this season, is a welcomed improvement compared to how the team performed during the 2018-19 season (38-44). Through 37 regular season outings, 18 of the team’s games have gone over the total, while 17 have gone under and just two have pushed. Thus far, the team’s 10-7 SU at home.
Colorado has converted on 19.0 percent of its power play chances this season, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 21st overall, and it’s successfully killed off 79.3 percent of all penalties.
Colorado, as a collective unit, has been penalized 3.9 times per game overall this season, and 3.2 per game over its last five home outings. The team’s had to kill penalties for just 7.0 minutes per game over its last 10 outings, overall.
Averaging 27.9 saves per game with a .913 save percentage, Philipp Grubauer (11 wins, 10 losses, and two OT losses) has been the top option in goal for the Avalanche this year. If head coach Jared Bednar chooses to give him a breather, however, the team may go with Pavel Francouz (12-4-4 record, .932 save percentage, 2.22 goals against average).
Nathan MacKinnon and Joonas Donskoi will each lead the offensive attack for the Avalanche. MacKinnon (55 points) is up to 21 goals and 34 assists and has recorded multiple points 15 times this year. Donskoi has 13 goals and 15 assists to his name and has recorded at least one point in 15 games.
In the other locker room, Minnesota is 18-20 straight up (SU) and has lost 1.9 units for bettors taking the moneyline this year. Through 38 regular season contests, 19 of its games have gone over the total, while 15 have gone under the total and just four have pushed. As the visiting team this season, Minnesota is 8-15 SU.
Minnesota has converted on 17.4 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 23rd overall and it’s successfully defended 77.1 percent of all penalties.
Minnesota’s players have been whistled for penalties 3.6 times per game this season, 3.4 per game over their last five match ups total, and 3.6 per game over their last five on the road. The team has had to defend opponent power plays just 8.4 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Alex Stalock (25.1 saves per game) has been the primary option in the net for Minnesota. Stalock owns a 10-10-2 record, and has registered a .901 save percentage and 3.02 goals against average this year.
Eric Staal (14 goals, 17 assists) will pace the offensive counter for the visiting Wild.
Minnesota Wild at Colorado Avalanche Free Picks
NHL Prediction: SU Winner – Avalanche, O/U – Over
For both of these clubs, the total has gone over in three of their past five outings.
Minnesota has managed 26.0 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Colorado is averaging 31.0 shots per game over its last five at home.
The extra-man advantage may be even more key than usual in tonight’s matchup. The Wild are 8-7 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 14-12 in games where they’re in the penalty box for fewer than 10 total minutes. The Avalanche are 13-6 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 17-7 when they’re in the box for less than 10 minutes.
Colorado is ranked 9th in the NHL this season with 8.3 takeaways per game. That figure has trended down, however, as it has created 7.7 takeaways over its last 10 games and 6.2 takeaways over its last five.
Minnesota skaters have created 7.4 takeaways per game over its last five road games, its season average of 6.8 takeaways per game (ranked 24th in the league).