Tampa Bay Lightning at Colorado Avalanche odds, picks and prediction

The Tampa Bay Lightning (30-10-6) travel to meet the Colorado Avalanche (32-8-4) Thursday at Ball Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET. Below, we look at the Lightning vs. Avalanche odds and lines, and make our expert NHL picks, predictions and bets.

The Lightning posted a 3-2 overtime win against the San Jose Sharks Feb. 1 in their last action prior to the All-Star break. It was the third straight game for Tampa Bay decided by a 3-2 score, two of which it’s won.

The Avalanche posted a 4-3 shootout victory against the Lightning at Amalie Arena Oct. 23 behind G Darcy Kuemper. The Avalanche had won 10 of their last 11 games prior to the All-Star break, but they had a 10-game win streak snapped in a 3-2 in a shootout loss against the Arizona Coyotes in a giant upset last time out.

Lightning at Avalanche odds, spread and lines

Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 6:51 a.m. ET.

Money line: Lightning +105 (bet $100 to win $105) | Avalanche -130 (bet $130 to win $100)
Against the spread (ATS): Lightning +1.5 (-260) | Avalanche -1.5 (+185)
Over/Under (O/U): 6.5 (O: +105 | U: -130)

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Lightning at Avalanche projected goalies

Andrei Vasilevskiy (25-7-4, 2.23 GAA, .922 SV%, 2 SO) vs. Darcy Kuemper (21-5-2, 2.55 GAA, .915 SV%, 1 SO)

Vasilevskiy turned aside 19 of the 21 shots he faced in a 3-2 overtime win against the Sharks Feb. 1. He is 8-3-1 across his last 12 starts since the start of the new year and has allowed 2 or fewer goals in eight of those outings.

Kuemper was on the short end of that stunning 3-2 shootout loss to the Coyotes Feb. 1 although he stopped 22 of 24 shots. He was 8-0-1 with a 2.23 GAA and .928 SV% and a shutout in 11 January starts.

Lightning at Avalanche odds, lines, picks and predictions

Prediction

Avalanche 3, Lightning 2

Money line

The AVALANCHE (-130) are a decent value on home ice against the visiting Lightning as they go for the season sweep in this potential Stanley Cup preview. Colorado has outscored the opposition 25-14 across its last seven contests.

Against the spread

The Lightning +1.5 (-260) are way too expensive if you’re looking for some insurance in this road outing. Tampa Bay did lose by 1 goal in the first meeting, and each of their past three outings has been decided by one goal. However, there is just too much risk with not enough reward here.

PASS.

Over/Under

UNDER 6.5 (-130) is the best play on the board in this one.

Yes, you have two outstanding offensive units and two rested teams, however, you also have a couple of rested goaltenders who are top notch. This won’t be a defensive slog but a 6.5 number is rather high.

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Author: Naomi Berry