The January 6th NHL free betting pick has the makings of a trap game with Colorado listed as just a -130 favorite on the road vs. the Islanders. The Avalanche have won two in a row and are 5 points back from 1st place St. Louis in the Central. New York has dropped back-to-back games and 5 of 7. Public bettors really aren’t hammering Colorado though – but why?
Avalanche Have Too Much Offense Here?
Colorado has the #1 goal scoring unit in the league and it seems like all their major parts are clicking at the right moment. Mikko Rantanen netted a hat trick Saturday, Nathan Mackinnon has 8 points the last three games, Gabriel Landeskog has 4 points in 6 games, and defenseman Samuel Girard has 8 points in the last three as well. By the way, the Islanders have scored one goal total their last two games.
Colorado has netted 4+ goals in 4 of their last 5 games and will be facing an old teammate in net in the January 6th NHL free betting pick. Semyon Varlamov, who was with Colorado for 3 seasons, has lost two in a row but also while allowing just 2 goals in each game. Varlamov has still been impressive with a 2.40 GAA and a .920 save percentage meaning the Islanders likely do have the goaltending advantage here.
Avalanche brass essentially chose Philipp Grubauer over Varlamov. The Avs goaltender will thus have some extra pressure on him Monday night trying to prove that the team has made the right choice. Grubauer is perfect so far in 2020, allowing 3 goals and 2 goals in wins over the Blues and Devils. With that potent offense in front of him, there’s a bigger margin of error for Grubauer.
Can Islanders Keep Up?
New York is up against the #1 scoring team in the league tonight, a tall order to keep up for an Islanders team that generates the second fewest shots in hockey. NYI has been held to 2 goals or less in 4 of their last 6 contests. That includes a 1-2 loss to New Jersey last Thursday as -214 favorites.
The Islanders are at home on Monday which should give them an edge. Not only has New York gone 0-3-1 in their last four at Nassau Coliseum, they are up against one of the better road teams in the league. Colorado has gone 7-1-1 their last 9 road games and lead the Western Conference with a 14-6-2 record going away. Can Varlamov keep this one low scoring? The total is just 5.5.
January 6th NHL Free Betting Pick
The Avalanche have gone 1-10 in the last 11 in New York and have lost 4 of the last 5 overall. The Islanders just have no offense right now – especially not enough to keep up with Colorado’s scorers. The ‘over’ has gone 10-0-1 in the last 11 in New York and it’s interestingly enough dropped to 5.5 for Monday. Varlamov has been good, but there’s just too many red hot Colorado skaters right now and the Avs have also excelled on the road.
Pick: Colorado Avalanche -130