Vegas Golden Knights right wing Mark Stone (61) and Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog (92) battle for the puck during the third period of an NHL hockey game Monday, May 10, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
- Vegas and Colorado play Game 1 of their second-round playoff series on Sunday, May 30th
- The two West Division powerhouses split the regular-season series 4-4
- Read below for the odds, best bets and start times for Game 1
The Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights are set to clash in the second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Game 1 is scheduled for Sunday, May 30th (8:00 pm EST) at Ball Arena and will be broadcasted on NBC.
Colorado is listed as heavy favorites for Game 1 after sweeping the Blues in Round 1. The Golden Knights required seven games to get past Minnesota in the opening round.
Will the Avalanche keep their momentum going against Vegas, or should you bet the Golden Knights to steal Game 1?
Golden Knights vs Avalanche Game 1 Odds
|Team||Moneyline||Spread at DraftKings||Total|
|Vegas Golden Knights||+160||+1.5 (-175)||O 5.5 (-110)|
|Colorado Avalanche||-186||-1.5 (+143)||U 5.5 (-110)|
Odds as of May 29th
Avs Are Scorching Hot
It’s no wonder the Colorado Avalanche are heavy favorites in the 2021 Stanley Cup odds considering just how impressive they’ve been lately. Jared Bednar’s team has won nine straight games heading into Round 2, including a sweep against the Blues in Round 1. Nathan MacKinnon led the way with six goals, while goalie Philipp Grubauer posted a .936 save percentage.
The @Avalanche complete the sweep. #GoAvsGo | #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/kk3heuWM5L
— NHL on NBC Sports (@NHLonNBCSports) May 23, 2021
The Avalanche dominated the Blues in every area and look like a true Stanley Cup contender. Colorado is averaging five goals per game and their power play is operating at 50%. The Avs have incurred some heartbreaking playoff exits over the last couple years and are looking to make it out of the second round for the first time since 2002.
The only blemish for Colorado in Round 1 was a suspension to top-six forward Nazem Kadri. The former Maple Leaf was suspended eight games for his hit to the head of Blues’ defenseman Justin Faulk in Game 2. Kadri has served two of those games, which means he’d be eligible to return for a potential Game 7 in Round 2.
Golden Knights Eager To Take Next Step
Much like the Avalanche, the Golden Knights are also a team looking to take that next step in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Vegas has made the Conference Finals in two of their first three years in the league, but have failed to capture hockey’s ultimate prize. They were up 3-1 over Minnesota in Round 1, before blowing their lead and requiring a Game 7 victory to advance.
Always Advance. Never Retreat. #KnightUp pic.twitter.com/9XKD0wQoFw
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) May 29, 2021
The Golden Knights are also a top contender in the Cup odds because they’re loaded at every position. They don’t have a Nathan MacKinnon type superstar, but rather three scoring lines that can step up any given night. Captain Mark Stone was a beast in Round 1 with four goals and strong defensive play. Not to mention, goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (.931 SV%) is drawing early Conn Smythe buzz with his incredible play.
Golden Knights vs Avalanche Series Odds
|Team||Odds at DraftKings|
|Vegas Golden Knights||+186|
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Analyzing The Season Series
Analyzing the season series between Colorado and Vegas tells us that these are two very evenly matched teams. Each team won four games against another, but Colorado gets the edge as they took one of their losses to overtime. Both VGK and Colorado showed an ability to dominate one another, as Vegas won a game 5-2 and Colorado won one 5-1.
What’s interesting about the season series is MacKinnon was limited to only six points in eight games. Colorado’s first line also featuring Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Ranten exploded for 24 points against the Blues, so keeping them in check will be the key to Vegas winning the series. They’ve taken two of the last three meetings with Colorado.
Golden Knights vs Avalanche Game 1 Best Bet
This should be a very tight series that has strong potential to go seven games. Each of these teams had 82 points during the regular season and are favorites in the Cup odds for a reason. While we’re likely in for a long series, you should ride the hot hand in Game 1.
🧢 NATHAN MACKINNON HAT TRICK 🧢#ItsOn pic.twitter.com/lnRW1k00tm
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 20, 2021
Not only has Colorado won nine straight games, but they’re 18-0-1 at Ball Arena since March 8th. The increased fan capacity has injected newfound life into the building and makes the powerhouse Avalanche almost unbeatable in their own barn. Vegas’ offense (2.86 GF/GP) hasn’t fully clicked yet and won’t keep up with this explosive Avs’ offense in the series opener.
Pick: Avalanche ML (-186)
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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.