NHL Betting Guide: Wednesday 6/15/22

Andrei Vasilevskiy is stopping 95.5% of shots over his past four starts. Can he help the Lightning keep things close in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals?

Puck drops on the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday as the Western Conference-winning Colorado Avalanche host the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning.

Both teams are riding win streaks into tonight's series-opener; the Avs have won five in a row after sweeping the Edmonton Oilers out of the Western Conference Final and getting past the St. Louis Blues in Round 2.

After dropping their first two matchups of the Eastern Conference Finals, Tampa is on a four-game winning streak after skating past the New York Rangers in six games. That sets the stage for Game 1 as the NHL crowns their champion of the 2021-22 season.

These are the picks for tonight's contest from our daily projections!

Colorado Avalanche vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning +1.5 (-210): 1-Star Rating Out of 5
Under 6.0 (-105): 1-Star Rating Out of 5

The Bolts are coming off some assertive performances against the Rangers, outplaying them in all six games but flat-out dominating the last four. The wild card finalists posted a cumulative 65.1% expected goals-for rating at five-on-five, out-chancing their opponent in high-danger chances 60-21.

Improved defensive zone coverage was at the forefront of their efforts and is a prerequisite for getting past the Avs. New York attempted no more than six quality chances in any of those contests, and they also limited opponents to 18 or fewer scoring chances in all four.

Those robust defensive efforts made life easy on Andrei Vasilevskiy; the reigning Conn Smythe award winner allowed just five goals and posted a 95.5% save percentage over that stretch. More impressively, he allowed just one goal at five-on-five for a combined 98.8% save percentage.

We've seen less convincing efforts from the Avalanche over their recent sample. Colorado has been limited to seven or fewer high-danger chances at five-on-five in two of their past three outings. Conversely, they've seen an influx of quality chances against, allowing 12 or more in three of their past four. That bodes well for a Lightning attack that has attempted at least 13 high-danger chances and 23 scoring opportunities in four straight games.

The betting market has landed on the right price on the moneyline, but there are implied advantages on the puckline and total. Based on our projections, backing the Lightning as +1.5 underdogs (-210) is rated as a one-star play.

There's a similar edge backing under 6.0 goals, which we rate as a one-star play as well.