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NHL Picks: Avs on the road vs. Canucks
Updated January 20, 2023
What: 2022-23 NHL Regular Season – Colorado Avalanche vs. Vancouver Canucks When: Friday, January 20, 2023, at 10:00 p.m. EST Where: PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The Colorado Avalanche and Vancouver Canucks are set to face off on January 20 in an important Western Conference matchup. The Avs will head north to Vancouver for the road matchup as the defending champs look to turn around a disappointing season. The game should be plenty exciting, and we’re going to dive into some Avalanche-Canucks NHL picks for Friday night’s clash.
Heading into the matchup, the Colorado Avalanche are favored, despite playing on the road. The Avalanche (-160) is believed to be the superior team over the Canucks (+135), who will look to pick up the upset on their home ice. The spread is set at Avalanche -1.5 (+150), while the goal total sits at 6.5.
Avalanche Best Bets
Last year’s Stanley Cup champions got off to a disappointing start to the season in 2022-23. Much of that is due to injuries, as they’ve seen a handful of key players sidelined throughout the year, including captain Gabriel Landeskog, who still has yet to feature for the team. On the year, the Avs limped to a 23-17-3 record, sitting fourth in the Central Division.
This season, Colorado has scored 135 goals across 43 games, good for 3.13 goals per game. Defensively, they’ve been excellent, surrendering just 122 goals (2.83 per game). The offseason acquisition of Alexandar Georgiev from the New York Rangers has been a major addition for the Avs, and reigning Norris Trophy winner Cale Makar continues to be an outstanding presence in the defensive zone.
Mikko Rantanen is off to a historic start for the Avalanche, one of the few players to remain healthy. He set the franchise record, previously held by Joe Sakic, becoming the fastest player to 30 goals in a single season. Rantanen leads the team in scoring with 56 points (31 G, 25 A), but Nathan MacKinnon is on a hotter pace despite missing some injury. MacKinnon has 49 points in just 32 games, putting him on a 125-point pace for the year.
In terms of injuries, the Avs have been getting reinforcements back of late. Valeri Nichushkin, Evan Rodrigues, MacKinnon, and a few others have returned to the lineup in recent weeks. Unfortunately, Makar is considered day-to-day, which could be a problem for the Avs on Friday.
The Avs’ offense is on a tear right now. They’ve scored four-plus goals in their last three games, including a 7-0 shutout of the Ottawa Senators and a 6-3 win against the Detroit Red Wings. Most recently, they took down the Calgary Flames 4-1.
For their matchup vs. the Canucks, there are two Avs bets I’m targeting. The first is Avalanche’s 60-minute Money Line (-105). Simply put, I’m expecting the Avs to beat the Canucks, and I don’t think they’ll need overtime to do it.
Avalanche 60-Minute Money LineAvalanche vs. Canucks
The second bet I’m targeting for the Avs in this game is their team total. With the offense on a heater right now, I think the Avs will continue to rack up goals. My second pick is Avalanche Team Total Goals OVER 3.5 (-120).
Avalanche Total Goals OVER 3.5Avalanche vs. Canucks
The Vancouver Canucks have a difficult matchup on their home ice on Friday night. The Avalanche appear to be getting hot again, winners of three in a row. As for Vancouver, they’re trending in the opposite direction, losing eight of their last ten games, with none coming in overtime.
On the year, the Canucks have an 18-23-3 record. They’ve been disappointing on their home ice, logging an 8-11-1 record. The Canucks offense is capable of running up the score in a hurry. They have one of the NHL’s highest-scoring offenses in the year, registering 151 goals in 44 games. Despite that, their defense is abysmal. Vancouver has conceded 175 goals on the year, the second most in the Western Conference.
Bo Horvat and Elias Pettersson lead the charge offensively, with 49 and 52 points, respectively. Horvat is having a career year with 30 goals in 44 games, almost eclipsing his previous high already. Despite their efforts, the defense hasn’t done them any favors, and that’s a trend that’s continued of late. In the calendar year of 2023, during which Vancouver has played eight games, they’ve held opponents under four goals twice and under three goals once.
That has me anticipating a high-scoring game between these two teams. While their previous matchup only saw six total goals, the Avs have since gotten red-hot, and the Canucks offense will have to play catch-up if they want to keep things close. Because of that, I’m taking the Total Goals OVER 6.5 (-130).