Colorado’s Cale Makar (8) celebrates with teammates Nathan MacKinnon (29) and Samuel Girard (49) after scoring a goal in the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Minnesota Wild, Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)
- The Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights square off on Sunday, February 14th 2021
- The Avs are returning to game action for the first time since Feb. 2 due to COVID-19 protocols
- Read below for the odds, game preview, and betting pick
The Colorado Avalanche are finally returning to action after a long layoff due to COVID-19. The Avs are listed as +120 underdogs against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena on Sunday. The game will be broadcasted at 7:00 PM EST on NBCSN.
The Avalanche were catching fire before having their season paused, while the Golden Knights have won three of their past four games.
With Nathan MacKinnon set to make his return from injury, is there value backing the Avs as road underdogs?
Colorado Avalanche vs Vegas Golden Knights Odds
|Colorado||+115||+1.5 (-235)||O 6 (+100)|
|Vegas||-132||-1.5 (+190)||U 6 (-121)|
Odds taken Feb. 13 at DraftKings
Avs Back In Action
Colorado is finally playing an official NHL game after having their season paused on February 2nd due to COVID-19 protocols. Colorado went into quarantine following a 2-1 win against the Wild and had five total games postponed. Prior to the pause, the Avs were on an impressive on a 4-0-1 run.
A few reasons to be happy today:
Hockey. That’s it. That’s the reason. #GoAvsGo pic.twitter.com/qkQxIseYaN
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) February 12, 2021
The big news for Colorado is that they’re getting their superstar forward back from injury. Nathan Mackinnon is expected to play against Vegas after sustaining a lower-body injury on January 31st. The 25-year-old is the centerpiece of this lethal Avalanche offense and has recorded two goals and 14 points in his first 10 games.
The Avs enter this matchup with the seventh-ranked offense (3.45 GF/GP) and third-best defense (2.18 GAA). One of the main reasons the Avs are having success of late is the play of goaltender Philipp Grubauer, who owns a .934 save percentage in nine starts this season.
Knights Have Been Golden
The Vegas Golden Knights enter Sunday’s game having won four of their last five games. While they were shutout in a recent contest against Anaheim, Vegas scored at least four goals in the four other games. The Golden Knights are also shining defensively with the fourth-ranked defense in the NHL (2.36 GAA).
if you look closely you can see your future in our helmet
…and it’s looking gold 😉 pic.twitter.com/h6Bay3act9
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) February 12, 2021
Vegas has been getting contributions from all over their lineup, including from youngsters on both offense and defense. Keegan Kolesar and Cody Glass have been providing some depth scoring, while Nicolas Hague and Dylan Coghlan are stepping up on defense. The team’s offense still goes through its top two lines, as Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone are both averaging over a point per game.
There are some injury concerns for Vegas however, as blueliner Shea Theodore and goaltender Robin Lehner are day-to-day. Marc-Andre Fleury has been so good this season that Lehner’s status won’t have much of an impact on the odds, but the Golden Knights clearly miss Theodore whenever the two-way pivot is out of the lineup.
2021 NHL Divisional Odds Tracker
Colorado has had its way with Vegas since the expansion franchise entered the league in 2017. The Avalanche have taken four of the last five meetings and five of nine overall. The last game between the two clubs was a round-robin seeding marchup in the 2020 Return-to-Play in which Vegas won 4-3 in overtime.
While the round-robin seeding game was close, the prior two matchups saw Colorado exert its dominance and win by at least four goals in each of them. Avalanche blueliner Cale Makar is rising in the Norris odds but has only faced Vegas once in his career to date. With one goal and six assists in his past seven games, expect the youngster to be a difference maker Sunday.
What’s The Best Bet?
It’s rare that this Avalanche team is available at plus-money, so there’s value backing them as road underdogs despite the long layoff. Colorado has been getting in practices and will benefit from getting a few injured players back to full health. Not only is Mackinnon returning, but blueliner Devon Toews and forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare are now healthy.
Jared Bednar says on @AltitudeSR that Nathan MacKinnon, Devon Toews and Pierre Edouard Bellemare are all expected to be back on the ice tomorrow. #GoAvsGo
— Mile High Hockey (@MileHighHockey) February 10, 2021
These are two titans in the West Division, but the stellar play of Grubauer and the return of Mackinnon makes the Avalanche at +120 odds too good to pass up.
Pick: Avalanche Moneyline (+120)
Brady is a passionate hockey fan and sports writer with over five years 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.