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Who is favored in Lightning-Avalanche Stanley Cup Final?

We break down the series line on DraftKings Sportsbook for Tampa Bay vs. Colorado in the 2022 Stanley Cup Final.

Gabriel Landeskog #92 of the Colorado Avalanche celebrates a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Ball Arena on February 10, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

The 2022 Stanley Cup Final will be between the defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning and the Colorado Avalanche. The Cup Final is set to begin on Wednesday, June 15 with Game 1 in Denver. Here we’re going to go over the series odds on DraftKings Sportsbook for the Cup Final with some analysis.

Lightning vs. Avalanche: Stanley Cup Final odds

Lightning: +155
Avalanche: -180

Let’s break down the series before looking at this line. The defending champions had to claw out a six-game series win against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Final. It’s what the Bolts do. They just win in those spots. Andrei Vasilevskiy wasn’t challenged much but only let a power-play snipe by Frank Vatrano go by him. Other than that, Game 6 was domination. The rest of the series was up and down with Tampa Bay winning four in a row after going down 2-0.

Lightning C Brayden Point is expected to return from injury in the Cup Final, but perhaps not in Game 1. Point’s absence hasn’t hurt the Lightning too much. This could be the series where we see it if the Lightning can’t keep up with the Avalanche offense. If Point comes back and isn’t 100%, that could hurt the Bolts rather than help. If Point is healthy, it will go a long way and we could see the line on the series shift. Chances are he’ll be back for Game 2 or 3. If that’s the case, we could get an edge.

As for the Avs, they’ve looked like the best team all season. Nazem Kadri’s injury could be a snag on Cup hopes. Like the Lightning, Colorado should be able to overcome Kadri’s absence. The Avalanche come at you in waves and are averaging close to 5.00 goals per game in the postseason. Colorado’s power play has scored at a goal-per-game clip. That is where this series will be decided — on special teams. The Bolts are tough to play against and will feature one of the tougher penalty kills the Avs have seen this season.

In net, the edge obviously goes to Andrei Vasilevskiy over Darcy Kuemper. That isn’t a knock on Kuemper, more of a testament to Vasilevskiy’s ability in the playoffs. Outside of Jake Oettinger, the Bolts have had the best goaltending all playoffs. Kuemper and Pavel Francouz have been solid, but you wonder if that’s the difference in this series: Vasilevskiy being able to steal a game (especially on the road).

This line is a bit egregious. While the Avalanche are clearly the better team, this is the two-time defending champs. The Lightning know what it takes to win. This is the first time we’re seeing this Avs team reach this round. How will they handle it? How will they respond? We don’t know yet. The leadership is there on both side and the Avalanche may have the best player on the ice with Cale Makar, which is an X-Factor.

Still, getting the Lighting at +155 on the series line knowing this should be way closer feels like a gift. If I’m making any bet on the series, it’s Tampa Bay. You can also see how Game 1 goes. If the Avs go down, the line shifts and you’re still in a similar spot. Getting Colorado at -180 isn’t value. They shouldn’t be this big a favorite. Or maybe we’re missing something with the Lightning? Who knows.

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