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Betting On Wild Avalanche – Colorado Completes Home-And-Home Sweep Of Struggling Wild

Posted by Don Melrose on 3/5/2012 3:16:39 PM
peter-mueller

Online betting players are getting ready for the stretch run to the NHL betting players, and things are tight in the West as Colorado hosts Minnesota after shutting out the Wild on Sunday on the road. The Wild have been having major issues with their offense as of late, and while the Avalanche are no goal-scoring juggernaut, they’ll do enough to pile more pressure on Minnesota.

What: NHL Betting
When: Tuesday, March 7, 9:00 PM ET
Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, CO
Pick: Colorado Avalanche

Why Bet On Minnesota Wild (28-28-10, 66 points)

The Wild are quickly falling out of the playoff race in the Western Conference after a 2-0 loss at home to the Avalanche on Sunday and during this current four-game skid, Minnesota has been blanked three times. Matt Hackett made 34 saves for the Wild, who managed 30 shots on goal themselves, but they could never breach the Avalanche and that isn’t surprising, considering that they’re 30th in the league in goals scored and 25th on the power play. The problem is, the Wild had an issue scoring goals before they lost Mikko Koivu, Guillaume Latendresse and Pierre-Marc Bouchard were injured. It also doesn’t help when you allow two goals in the first 8:25 of the game; Minnesota obviously doesn’t have the firepower to play catch-up if they get behind.

Not only are the Wild without Koivu (undisclosed), Lantendresse (concussion) and Bouchard (concussion), out, but goalie Niklas Backstrom (groin) will be out for at least another two weeks, which means the Wild have to depend on Hackett and Josh Harding to carry the team from the back and it also puts extra pressure on Dany Heatley, Devin Setogouchi, Matt Cullen and Kyle Brodziak. Minnesota is only seven points out of a playoff spot, but that seems like a huge deficit to make up if you can’t score goals and are depending on a pair of suspect (at best) goalies. These last few games will be a test of Minnesota’s mental resolve; they can either stay and fight, or check out and head for the lottery.

Why Bet On Colorado Avalanche (34-29-4, 72 points)

The 2-0 win in Minnesota halted a two-game losing streak for the Avalanche, who are only six points ahead of the Wild, but NHL betting players know that these are the games that Colorado have to win in order to make it to the postseason. Jamie McGinn tallied both markers, including one on the power play, while Peter Mueller and Stefan Elliot notched assists for the Avalanche, who also got a 30-save performance from Semyon Varlamov. Overall, the Avalanche have been playing like a team who is reaching for the postseason with five wins in their last seven games and they’ll need to continue that drive down the stretch, as well as hope for a few breaks. This game was almost a must-win for the Avalanche, who had been outscored 7-1 in home losses to Columbus and Pittsburgh, and even though a team that is 23rd in the league is still having issues scoring goals, at this point in the season, they just have to get one more than the opposition.

However, the Avalanche will be without Steve Downey (shoulder), whom they just picked up from Tampa Bay, while Chuck Kobasew (back) and Ryan O’Byrne (knee) will also be out for Colorado. The Avalanche need McGinn, who was just acquired from San Jose, to keep lighting the lamp as they need all the help they can get on offense. It would also help if Varlamov would be able to keep up his current run as the goalie has won four of his last five starts, allowing four goals during that time. You would have to think that Varlamov has the No.1 job down the stretch, but his problem has been a lack of consistency and now would be a good time to find some if the Avalanche are going to reach the postseason. 

How It Will Play Out

Colorado will be the NHL betting favorites at home in this crucial NHL betting Western Conference affair, even though they’ve dropped four of their last five at home against the Wild with two games going over the posted total (along with a push). You should never expect a shootout when these two get together, although they did combine for 11 goals five games ago.

Look for the Avalanche to come away with the home-and-home sweep as the Wild just can’t muster enough offense to compete, and Colorado looks like a team that has more motivation. It is probably a lost season in Minnesota anyway after their hot start, and the lottery is a better place for them anyway. Take Colorado to snatch an important victory in your sports betting picks.

Wild Avalanche Betting Pick: Colorado Avalanche

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