The Colorado Avalanche dominated Wednesday night's opener statistically, and now they will try to dominate on the scoreboard Saturday in Game 2 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final. The Avs had 15 more shots and almost twice as many scoring chances, and they looked to be cruising after one period. They held a 3-1 lead at intermission, but Tampa Bay clawed back to force overtime. Andre Burakovsky finished it off with a goal just 1:23 into the extra period to give the Avalanche a 4-3 victory. Now, Colorado will try to hold on to its home-ice advantage with another win in Denver, but the two-time defending NHL champs have shown they won't go quietly. The Lightning rallied from a 2-0 deficit with four straight wins against the Rangers in the East final while the Avalanche were resting following a sweep of Edmonton in the West.

Opening face-off is set for 8 p.m. ET at Ball Center. Colorado is a -150 favorite (risk $150 to win $100) on the money line in the latest Lightning vs. Avalanche odds from Caesars Sportsbook. Tampa Bay is a +130 underdog, and 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: C Nathan MacKinnon has at least one point in 13 of the 15 playoff games.
  • TB: D Mikhail Sergachev has two goals and two assists in the past three contests.
Featured Game | Colorado Avalanche vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Why the Avalanche can win

The favorite is 16-5 in the past 21 meetings, and Colorado has won four of the past five matchups. The Avalanche are 38-6-5 at home this season, while the Lightning are 29-19-3 in road games. Colorado looked like the clearly fresher team in Game 1, with the likes of MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen buzzing through the neutral zone and testing Vasilevskiy. It had 38 shots to Tampa Bay's 23. MacKinnon had five of those shots, while Valeri Nichushkin had a team-high six. Nichushkin scored his sixth goal of the playoffs.

MacKinnon has a team-high 11 playoff goals, while Landeskog scored his ninth in Game 1. MacKinnon, Landeskog and Rantanen all have 19 points, while star defenseman Cale Makar leads the team with 22 points (17 assists). The Avalanche are 13-2 in the postseason, and they scored 22 goals in the sweep of the Oilers in the West final. They have 69 goals in the 15 games (4.6 per contest). Teams that win Game 1 of a best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final have won 62 of 82 series (75.6 percent). Home teams are 49-10 (83.1 percent) after winning Game 1. 

Why the Lightning can win

Tampa Bay has won five of the past seven meetings between the teams in Denver. It hasn't lost any significant pieces from its back-to-back Cup-winning team. That means stars Andrei Vasilevskiy and Victor Hedman remain to prevent the goals and Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov to score them. And those stars get plenty of help. Stamkos had 42 goals in the regular season as eight players scored at least 18. He shares the team lead with Ondrej Palat with nine in the playoffs. Kucherov leads the team in postseason points with 24 (17 assists).

The Lightning should have confidence after rallying in Game 1, and they bounced back from big opening-night losses in two of their three playoff series. They lost 5-0 to Toronto to start their postseason run and were blown out 6-2 by the Rangers in Game 1 of the East final. Having Vasilevskiy in net gives the team a margin for error, and he is 17-1 in games following a loss in his last 18 such playoff games. The reigning Conn Smythe winner has a 92.6 save percentage in this postseason. Hedman has blocked 33 shots, and the team has 298 blocks in 18 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 2 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.