Stanley Cup Game 4 Picks and Preview

In Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals, the Tampa Bay Lightning flipped the script on the Colorado Avalanche and triumphed 6-2 at home. Following a 7-0 thrashing, Jon Cooper and the Bolts chased goalie Darcy Kuemper in the blowout victory, turning this into a series.

Can the Avalanche make up for the few defensive errors they made on Monday, or will their poor goaltending continue to cost them?

Game 4 started with the Avalanche as -115 moneyline favorites. The game on Monday in Tampa started as a pick ’em, but late betting changed the line to Tampa Bay -120. Even though the Over has gone 3-0 in the series thus far, the total started at 6 for the fourth straight game.

Game 4 odds provided by Caesars Sportsbook:

June 22 – 8:15 PM ESTMoneylinePuck LineTotal Goals
Avalanche-110-1.5 +220O 6.0 +105
Lightning-110+1.5 -270U 6.0 -125

Avalanche vs Lightning Breakdown

Colorado outperformed the Bolts, and the Avs won Game 1 in overtime due to Darcy Kuemper, who was perhaps the only player that kept Tampa Bay in it. Game 2 was a great game from the Avs, who didn’t let any pressure be put on Kuemper. Game 3 was a different thing altogether, as the Avs had the same goaltender difficulties as the first game but also played its worst game defensively with many breakdowns in its own end.

One thing was clear after Game 1: Kuemper will be a problem for the Avs moving forward. In Game 2, Colorado made adjustments and prevented the Bolts from ever having the puck in their possession, but on Monday, it was challenging to play that well while traveling to Tampa.

On Monday, Kuemper was replaced by Pavel Francouz after only 31 minutes. Despite the fact that his defense didn’t aid him, he let up five goals and didn’t help his team in any way.

Who will start in goal for the Avs is unknown at this time. Francouz played great in the Edmonton series and is our first pick for the position, but for the sake of betting, we’re hoping for the best and anticipating the worst. That circumstance puts Kuemper back between the pipes in Game 4.

The Bolts controlled Game 3, but it was due to a few of defensive errors from Colorado, and Bednar’s strong remarks for Kuemper and the squad should be motivating even if Francouz receives the start.

Colorado is the quicker team, with a power play that is 5-for-11 in the series, and will come out lot better Wednesday after a bad performance on Monday. Our degree of certainty makes this more of a lean than a play, but Colorado will make up for the errors it committed in Game 3.

Picks for Game 4 (odds provided by Caesars Sportsbook):

Colorado Avalanche Moneyline: -110

Over 6.0 goals scored: +105

Over 1.5 goals scored 1st period: -130

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