Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Zach Whitecloud (2) celebrates with right wing Mark Stone (61) after Whitecloud scored a goal against the Minnesota Wild during the second period of Game 7 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series Friday, May 28, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Joe Buglewicz)
- Colorado and Vegas play Game 3 of their NHL playoff series on Friday, June 4th
- The Avalanche have jumped out to a 2-0 lead as the series shifts to Vegas
- Read below for the odds, game preview and best bets for Game 3
The Colorado Avalanche are listed as -112 favorites to take a 3-0 lead over the Vegas Golden Knights in their second-round playoff series. Game 3 is scheduled for Friday, June 4th (10pm ET) at T-Mobile Arena. The action will be broadcast on NBCSN.
The Avalanche have taken a commanding 2-0 series lead and remain undefeated in the 2021 playoffs. Vegas is excellent on home ice, however, and could shift the series momentum with a big performance at T-Mobile Arena.
Are the Avalanche a good bet to keep rolling, or should you back the Golden Knights as Game 3 underdogs?
Avalanche vs Golden Knights Game 3 Odds
|Team||Moneyline||Spread at DraftKings||Total|
|Colorado Avalanche||-112||-1.5 (+210)||O 5.5 (-103)|
|Vegas Golden Knights||-104||+1.5 (-265)||U 5.5 (-120)|
Odds as of June 3rd
Knights Fall Short in Game 2
After getting blown out by the Avalanche in Game 1, the Golden Knights turned in a much-better effort in Game 2 on Wednesday evening. Vegas outshot Colorado 41-25 and took the Avs to overtime before losing on a power-play goal. If it weren’t for a costly OT penalty by Reilly Smith, we might be looking at a 1-1 series.
Right over the shoulder and Mikko Rantanen called game!
That’s your Shot of the Night.
NHL x @JagermeisterUSA pic.twitter.com/Jpj9923Rws
— NHL (@NHL) June 3, 2021
While Vegas was much better in Game 2, there’s still some concerns with this team. Marc-Andre Fleury wasn’t all that impressive in Game 2, and the Knights’ offense has been held to two or fewer goals in four of their past five games. The Golden Knights are also getting decimated by the Colorado power play, which is operating at an insane 43.5%.
Vegas Dominant at T-Mobile Arena
The main reason to consider backing Vegas as underdogs for Game 3 is because it will be their first home game of the series. T-Mobile Arena will be operating at full fan capacity for this series and is one of the toughest road environments to play in. Vegas went 21-5-2 in their own building during the regular season.
This is what a Game 7 win looks like at T-Mobile arena. #VegasBorn pic.twitter.com/3YfoV223tg
— Ryan The Hockey Guy (@RyanHockeyGuy) May 29, 2021
Home-ice advantage will be important Friday, but the Avalanche are no strangers to winning on the road. Colorado won two of four meetings in Vegas during the regular season, and were 17-9-2 away from Ball Arena. The Avalanche have scored the first goal in each playoff game so far, so the key for the Knights will be capitalizing on the crowd energy and jumping out to an early lead.
Will VGK Snipers Show Up?
If the Golden Knights hope to have any chance of coming back against Colorado, the team’s big guns will need to step up. Bottom-six forward Mattias Janmark is leading the team in scoring this postseason with six points (three goals). That’s great for Janmark, but it spells trouble for Vegas. The team needs more out of guys like Mare Stone and Alex Tuch, who have been held scoreless by the Avs.
what he said 🗿 pic.twitter.com/p6gEXlD4uR
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) May 29, 2021
If the Vegas offense doesn’t start to gel, we’re looking at a quick series. The Avalanche are averaging a whopping five goals per game and boast the Conn Smythe Trophy favorite in Nathan MacKinnon. Vegas got five goals past Philipp Grubauer in one of the regular-season meetings, so there’s potential for an offensive explosion in Game 3.
Golden Knights vs Avalanche Series Odds
|Team||Odds to Win Series|
|Vegas Golden Knights||+550|
Colorado only opened at -200 to defeat Vegas, but the line quickly shifted after the Avs’ opening two victories.
Game 3 Best Bet
It’s going to be very hard for Vegas to come back and win this series, but there’s value backing them as underdogs in Game 3. They were the better team in Game 2 and got shafted by a questionable penalty call in overtime. They’ll be hungrier and more desperate, and the fans should make a difference.
“Just a soft call. But I can’t even blame the refs. They’re fighting through the embellishment of grabbing your face or falling down or dropping your stick every period. I can’t even blame the ref. They fool them on it.”
— @GoldenKnights coach Pete DeBoer on OT slashing call.
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) June 3, 2021
Aside from out-chancing Colorado in Game 2, another positive for Vegas was how they got their defensemen involved in the offense. Vegas generated 19 shots on goal from their blueline and should have better luck converting those opportunities Friday. Colorado showed some defensive vulnerability Wednesday, and the Knights are in a prime spot to take advantage for Game 3.
Pick: Golden Knights ML (-104)
Brady is a passionate hockey fan and sports writer with over five years of experience specializing in digital media, plus a degree in Broadcast Journalism. His work has been published by outlets such as ESPN, CBS Sports, Yahoo! Sports and Fox Sports.