Avalanche vs Stars Game 3 Odds & Picks

Stars goalie Anton Khudobin battles to make a save

The Dallas Stars beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-2 in Game 2 thanks to another strong performance from Anton Khudobin. Photo by @stars_fanly (Twitter).

  • The Dallas Stars lead the Colorado Avalanche 2-0 in their second-round playoff series
  • Backup goalies Anton Khudobin & Pavel Francouz are expected to start again in Game 3
  • With injuries mounting, it could be a good decision to shift your focus from the moneyline to the total

Life in the NHL bubble is weird.

Iโ€™m not talking about the literal bubble where players hang out doing who-knows-what between games. Iโ€™m talking about on the ice, where the Dallas Stars just stole another game from the Colorado Avalanche and now hold a 2-0 series lead.

Oddsmakers are starting to recognize the volatility and have set the odds for Game 3 on Wednesday, Aug. 26 (10:30 pm ET) much closer than the first two.

Stars vs Avalanche Game 3 Odds

Team Puck Line Over/Under Moneyline at DraftKings
Colorado Avalanche -1.5 (+205) O 5.5 (-107) -127
Dallas Stars +1.5 (-250) U 5.5 (-113) +108

Odds as of August 24th.

The Avalanche were a trendy Stanley Cup pick after the opening round and suddenly find themselves in a deep hole. Would I count out Colorado? No. Are the Stars playing great hockey? Yes. This is all to say Iโ€™d avoid picking a winner in Game 3 and, instead, focus on the value being presented with the Over.

Joe Pavelski Turns Back the Clock

Stars forward Joe Pavelski is now tied for the postseason lead with seven goals. Heโ€™s tied with Nathan MacKinnon who could also help your bet on the over, but letโ€™s focus on Pavelski for a minute. He signed a three-year deal worth $21-million as a free agent and hadnโ€™t lived up to it at all. Heโ€™s about as surprising a leader atop the goals list as there could have been in the playoffs.

Pavelski had recorded eight straight seasons of at least 60 points prior to this year, not including the lockout shortened season. He arrived in Dallas and promptly tallied 31 points. Any hopes of Pavelski winning a first Stanley Cup after 13 years of misery in San Jose seemed to be unlikely with him chewing up so much of the cap while offering so little.

Things have changed and now Pavelski is playing more minutes than the top line of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and Alexander Radulov, and for good reason: heโ€™s been the most dangerous Stars forward by far.

2020 Stanley Cup Odds Tracker

Avalanche Defense Hurt by Injuries

Defenseman Erik Johnson played over 21 minutes per game in the regular season and has been ruled out indefinitely by Colorado. Goaltender Philipp Grubauer joins him in the press box after his injury in the opening game of the series.

With the depth being tested both on defense and in goal, it appears too much pressure is being placed on those incapable of stepping up to the plate.

The issue in net is obviously the most pressing concern. Pavel Francouz is now 1-3 in the postseason and allowed four straight goals in this one after his team had spotted him a two-goal cushion. The scoreline may look worse than it was with the empty netter, but the fact remains, in his first chance to prove himself capable of being a playoff starter, Francouz was underwhelming at best.

Expect a High-Scoring Affair in Game 3

The Avalanche vs Stars odds have changed dramatically from the odds in Game 2. Colorado is getting less love and betting Dallas to win as an underdog would be less profitable. That is the main reason why I focused on the total and I ended up falling in love with the Over.

The two highest-scoring players in the postseason are going head to head against two backup goalies. In addition to seeing both Anton Khudobin and Francouz again, youโ€™ll continue seeing a depleted Colorado defense allowing more scoring chances than they have all season. Bet the over.

The Pick: Over 5.5 Goals (-107)

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Ryan Bolta

NFL NHL NCAAF Sports Writer