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Best NHL Bets Today: Lightning vs. Avalanche Game 1 Picks & Stanley Cup Final Predictions

The long-awaited arrival of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final is here as the Tampa Bay Lightning — the league’s two-time defending champions — take on the offensive juggernaut that is the Colorado Avalanche. This series should bring together everything people love about the NHL with goaltending, uber-talented defenseman, and offensive talent for days. All of the sports betting eyes will home in on tonight’s matchup, so locating the best NHL bets will be more difficult than usual. But with the help Stokastic’s OddsShopper with projections, expected ROI and win percentage, that task is made much simpler. It’s going to be a great two weeks of hockey, so let’s find the best NHL picks today, and give a Lightning vs. Avalanche Game 1 prediction.

Bet $10, Win $200 if either team scores a goal!

Best NHL Bets Today: Game 1 Picks & Predictions

Lightning vs. Avalanche Game 1 Prediction

Value will always side with the dogs in the series when two teams of this caliber go up against each other, so finding the very best value is a necessity. At +140, the Lightning get a great number coming off four straight wins in this year’s playoffs, 11 straight playoff series wins and winning the last two Lord Stanley Cups. The perfectness of a team’s roster from coaches to fourth-liners is extremely difficult to tangibly judge, but no organization in hockey knows what they are doing more so than this team. The combative style of these two teams will most certainly come down to the Lightning’s ability to slow down the Avalanche’s non-stop offense, which is averaging 4.64 goals per contest in the playoffs. Thankfully for bettors, this is what the Lightning have done best, thus far shutting down the league’s top two offenses during the regular season in Florida and Toronto in their first two series wins. Much of that credit can be given to their all-world goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (.924 save percentage), but it can also be attributed to their possession and quality of chances, which has their 2.84 expected goals for nearly even with the homestanding Avalanche.

This series will be a fantastic matchup of style versus talent every single game, but as has been the case the last two years, having the world’s most clutch goaltender is a humongous edge for the defending champions. Along with that, they are facing a team that hasn’t played in eight days and will most presumably carry some rust. Plus, Colorado has arguably not faced a single team with any kind of defense or goaltending along the way, and they will not be ready for the traction the Lightning will lay down.

Best NHL Bet Today: Tampa Bay Lightning Moneyline (+140, Caesars)

Ben Rasa gives you his best Lightning vs. Avalanche NHL picks and predictions for Game 1 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final today.

Artturi Lehkonen O/U 2.5 Shots on Goal (-132, FanDuel)

Surely betting the unders in the biggest game of the year is not the excitement viewers wanted, but then again, who doesn’t enjoy cashing bets? With a projected shot total of just two, there is only one NHL prop bet on the board with a higher expected win percentage than the Avalanche’s Artturi Lehkonen. Lehkonen is without a doubt a volume shooter when given the opportunity, averaging just over two shots per game during the regular season. But as it is now the biggest stage, depth lines will take a seat more often than not, especially in close games like tonight is expected to be, with the Lightning coming in at -190 to cover +1.5 on betting sites.

Only one prop bet carried a higher win percentage than Lehkonen’s, but in comparison to that bet, the 15% xROI is nearly double the 8% return. That bet also involves one of the league’s best snipers in Nikita Kucherov. Situational play is just a bonus to this bet, as the Avalanche will be forced to run out their big guns more often than not. This game should stay close, and even if that isn’t the instance, with a projected output 80%, there is room for variance to still land on the under.

Best NHL Bet Today: Artturi Lehkonen UNDER 2.5 Shots on Goal (132, FanDuel)

Bet $10, Win $200 if either team scores a goal!

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