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Andrei Vasilevskiy has accomplished quite a bit in the NHL since making his debut with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2014. The 27-year-old Russian goaltender is a four-time All-Star who won the Vezina Trophy in 2019 and took home the Conn Smythe Trophy while backstopping Tampa Bay to its second straight Stanley Cup championship last year. Vasilevskiy begins the final step toward a third consecutive crown when the Lightning visit the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday for Game 1 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final. 

Opening face-off at Ball Arena is set for 8 p.m. ET. Colorado is the -150 favorite (risk $150 to win $100) in the latest Avalanche vs. Lightning odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over-under for total goals scored is six. Before making any Lightning vs. Avalanche picks, check out the NHL predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.

The model simulates each NHL game 10,000 times. It enters the 2022 Stanley Cup Final on a 23-18 run on its top-rated NHL side picks. Anybody who has followed it has seen profitable returns.

Now, the model has its sights on Avs vs. Lightning. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the NHL odds and betting trends for Lightning vs. Avs: 

  • Avalanche vs. Lightning money line: Colorado -150, Tampa Bay +130
  • Avalanche vs. Lightning over-under: 6 goals
  • Avalanche vs. Lightning puck line: Colorado -1.5 (+170)
  • Avalanche vs. Lightning tickets: See tickets at StubHub
  • COL: The Avalanche are 37-7-4 at home this season, including the playoffs
  • TB: The Lightning are 13-3 in their last 16 playoff games as underdogs
Featured Game | Colorado Avalanche vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Why the Avalanche can win

There's no shortage of offensive firepower on Colorado's roster as 16 of the 21 players who have appeared in the playoffs have scored at least one goal. Nine different members of the Avalanche have netted game-winning tallies, and the two that have done so multiple times were midseason additions. Artturi Lehkonen, who was acquired from Montreal on March 21, shares the league lead with three game-winners, while Andrew Cogliano, who came over from San Jose on the same day, has notched a pair.

Lehkonen has had a knack for coming up big in the postseason as half of his 12 career playoff goals have been game-winners. The 26-year-old Finnish left wing recorded two during Colorado's four-game sweep against Edmonton in the Western Conference final and is tied for third on the team with six overall tallies this postseason. Nathan MacKinnon is among the league leaders with 11 goals and has been held without a point in only two of the Avalanche's 14 playoff contests.

Why the Lightning can win

Vasilevskiy was far from his usual postseason self against Toronto in the first round, allowing three or more goals in each of the first six games. But the 19th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft returned to form as he held the Maple Leafs to one goal in Game 7 victory and proceeded to limit Florida, which was first in scoring during the regular season with 337 tallies, to three during a four-game sweep in the second round. The New York Rangers beat Vasilevskiy nine times in taking a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference final, but the netminder yielded just five goals the rest of the way as the Lightning won the next four contests.

Another member of the team that appears to be in his usual playoff mode is Nikita Kucherov. The 28-year-old Russian right wing was the league's leading scorer each of the last two postseasons and enters Wednesday tied for fourth with 23 points in 17 games. 

How to make Lightning vs. Avalanche picks

SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, as the simulations have the teams combining for 7.1 goals. It also says one side of the money line has all the value. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Lightning vs. Avalanche in Game 1 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final? And which side of the money line has all the value? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Avalanche vs. Lightning money line to jump on, all from the advanced model that has simulated this matchup 10,000 times.