NHL Betting Guide: Thursday 6/10/21

The Vegas Golden Knights versus Colorado Avalanche is the last remaining second-round series after the New York Islanders knocked off the Boston Bruins in six games. The Knights have stormed back after dropping the first two games, winning three straight and putting the Avs on the brink of elimination. There’s only one edge in tonight’s Game 6 and it is on the total.

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Vegas Golden Knights vs. Colorado Avalanche

Under 5.5 (-124): 1-Star Rating Out of 5

For a team as gifted offensively as the Knights are, they sure do rely on defensive structure. The Knights have flown under the radar this postseason as one of the better defensive teams, especially on home ice. They’ll have to rely on that again in Game 6 if they hope to limit the dangerous Avs’ attack.

Vegas has been dominant at the T-Mobile Arena, executing their line matchups to perfection to limit their opponents’ chances. Opponents have been limited to eight or fewer high-danger chances across all strengths in four straight home games for the Knights, for an average of 6.3 chances per game.

This is directly related to output, as Vegas has limited their opponents to one goal from high-danger areas in every game this postseason. Scoring chances and shots are also at a premium, coming in with averages of 20.0 and 18.0, respectively. That has helped them limit their opponents to two or fewer goals in five of six games this postseason.

From an analytics perspective, the Knights play fundamentally strong hockey. They drive possession, creating chances, consequently limiting their opponents’ opportunities. As we’ve seen this postseason, that makes them a tough out, particularly on home ice.

But the Avs’ offensive woes on the road haven’t been limited to their series against the Knights. Across all strengths, Colorado has been limited to eight or fewer high-danger chances and 23 scoring chances in three of four games as the visitors. That didn’t impact output through their first three road games though, as the Avs scored on 15.0% of their shots.

That puts them in danger of further regression, as their road shooting percentage comes back down towards average. There is a drop-off in offensive metrics when the Avalanche are on the road and output should continue to fall.

The Knights don’t get enough credit for their defensive abilities and the Avs’ road output remains inflated this postseason, implying that further correction is probable. That should result in a low-scoring game, as the Avs cling to their fading playoff lives. The under 5.5 at -124 or better is a one-star play, as per our projections.