Golden Knights vs Avalanche Picks, Predictions February 20

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Updated: February 20, 2021

The NHL will host a pair of outdoor games this weekend on the shores of Lake Tahoe with the Vegas Golden Knights taking on the Colorado Avalanche in the first game on Saturday afternoon.

The Avs and Knights will be meeting for the third time in seven days. Each team has skated away with a victory, and they’ve been low-scoring contests for NHL betting fans as the Under has gone 2-0.

NHL odds have the Avalanche (featured as the home team) as a tight -110 favorite with the total opening at 5.5 and shading to the Over.

Here are our free NHL picks and predictions for Vegas Golden Knights vs. Colorado Avalanche for Saturday, February 20 (3:00 p.m ET).

Vegas Golden Knights vs Colorado Avalanche betting preview

Weather

Located at nearly 6,300 feet in elevation, Lake Tahoe will be the backdrop for Saturday’s outdoor game. Temperatures are expected in the low-30s at game time with a near-zero precipitation factor and low winds of 5 mph with gusts up to 13 mph.

Injuries

Golden Knights: Brayden McNabb D (Out), Robin Lehner G (Questionable), Tomas Nosek F (Out).
Avalanche: Cale Makar D (Questionable), Sam Girard D (Questionable), Erik Johnson D (Out), Gabriel Landeskog F (Probable).
Find our latest NHL injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The underdog is 7-0 SU in the last seven meetings. Find more NHL betting trends for Golden Knights vs. Avalanche.

The line opened at Colorado -120/Vegas +100 but early action on the Golden Knights has shifted this to a flat -110 either way, with the 5.5 total shading to the Over. Check back later for a full report from Patrick!

Check out the full line movement for this game

Moneyline pick

The Avalanche will look for their first outdoor win in three tries over the last five years, as they previously lost to the Kings last year and the Red Wings at Coors Field in 2016. Saturday’s game will be unique in its own right as it will be the first time that fans will be excluded.

Since Colorado restarted its season after missing 11 days with COVID protocols, the club has only played two matches—both against the Golden Knights. Vegas took the first game thanks to a 30-save shutout by goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (also today’s starter) while a Colorado goal in the final minute of the third gave the Avs a 3-2 win in Game 2.

Fleury will be a tough task for the Avs in the rubber match. The Vegas goalie has stood on his head all year and has played even better with fellow netminder Robin Lehner banged up. On the year, Flower is 7-2 SU and leads the league with a 1.56 goals-against average and .937 save percentage. If Vegas’ early-season offense returns, the Knights could need just three goals to walk away with two points.

The West Division is divided into two groups: the good and the bad. The Avalanche have taken care of business against the bad, going 6-2-1 against the Coyotes, Kings, Ducks, Wild and Shark, but against the division’s best, Colorado is playing .500 hockey.

The elevation could be a big factor as the thin air of Lake Tahoe could have some skaters sucking wind. The Knights are in much better condition as they’re playing their eighth game in 16 days following a COVID break of their own.

Colorado could be affected the most as it has just two games under its belt after sitting for nearly two weeks. A few important Avalanche players may also be making their first appearances since February 2. Those include team captain Gabriel Landeskog, defenceman Sam Girard, forward Tyson Jost and reigning rookie of the year Cale Makar (who is a game-time decision). At nearly 6,300 feet, getting back to game speed may be even more difficult for these key Colorado skaters.

Vegas is 10-3 SU on the year and getting a point in 75 percent of its games, which is the third-best mark in the league. The only other game the Knights weren’t favored this year was last Sunday (-105) and they blanked the Avs 1-0.

PREDICTION: Vegas moneyline (-110)

Covers NHL betting analysis

Over/Under pick

The Avalanche and Knights are the hardest teams to score against this season, as they rank No. 1 and No. 2 in goals allowed per game. The previous two matchups yielded just under 10 expected goals but with the play in the creases, both clubs are going to need more higher-quality chances if they want to hang some crooked numbers on the scoreboard.

The Golden Knights have rattled off four straight Unders thanks to Fleury, who is 3-6 O/U on the year and has held his opponent to one or zero goals in five of those games. The Vegas goalie, who is easily in early Vezina considerations, will be playing his third career outdoor game.

Last year, Colorado goalie Philipp Grubauer had to exit the outdoor game against the Kings early in the third period in the middle of a 1-1 game. This year he will look to carry over that strong outdoor play as the Avalanche netminder has numbers similar to Fleury’s and finds himself with the league’s second-best peripherals in most important goalie statistics.

Neither teams’ power play has been clicking of late, with both clubs a combined 1-for-11 with the man advantage over their last two games. A lot of that may have to do with the strengths of each teams’ penalty killing: The Avs own the league’s No. 2 PK unit with the Golden Knights sitting in the seventh spot.

Across the last 12 outdoor games, the total has been an even 6-6 O/U split. With elevation and a lack of oxygen, we could see some shorter shifts and each coach using all four lines. These conditions could make an already tight-checking matchup even tighter.

PREDICTION: Pick (Odds)

Golden Knights vs Avalanche betting card

  • Vegas moneyline (-110)
  • Under 5.5 (-105)

NHL parlays

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Use our NHL parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

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