CO Sportsbooks Keeping The Faith In Avalanche As 2021 NHL Playoffs Begin

Written By Derek Helling on 05/17/2021
Colorado Avalanche playoff odds at legal sportsbooks around the state haven't moved much because the Avs are simply meeting expectations.

No spring letdowns in Denver this year, as far as the 2020-21 NHL regular season went, anyway. That’s the story as the 2021 NHL postseason begins and Colorado Avalanche playoff odds come into view for bettors in CO.

Preseason favorites to win the President’s Trophy and NHL division titles actually living up to those expectations can be a double-edged hockey skate for Colorado sports betting companies. While bettors like clear favorites, especially in-state ones, the short odds limit the liability for CO sportsbooks. The short odds are still on the Avs moving forward.

A look at Colorado Avalanche playoff odds

Colorado did what CO sports betting apps like PointsBet Sportsbook expected it to do since the end of the 2020 Stanley Cup Final. The Avalanche not only won the West division but also brought the President’s Trophy to CO with 82 regular-season points.

That likely made for some satisfied bettors in CO. PointsBet senior sports content analyst Andrew Mannino divulged to PlayColorado how much bettors have liked the Avs all year. According to Mannino, about 1/3 of the bets that PointsBet has taken across the country on Stanley Cup champion futures staked Colorado.

The Avalanche’s recent clinching of the President’s Trophy didn’t move that line. It’s +420 at PointsBet to open the playoffs. Other CO sports betting apps are around that number, too.

For the Avs’ first-round series against the St. Louis Blues, Mannino offered his insight into how he expects bettors to act.

“They’ve [the Avalanche] really just done what we all expected them to do,” Mannino explained. “I think the people who were already in on them will kind of just pile on now. Obviously, if you’re a fan, you’re happy to see St. Louis as the matchup.”

First-round calendar and odds

PointsBet has Colorado a -200 favorite to eliminate the Blues. It also offers a Correct Score market for the series. The shortest odds there (+275) are on the Avalanche winning the series 4-1 while the Avs winning in seven games would payout +500.

That series gets going Monday night at Ball Arena in Denver, with the puck set to drop at 8 p.m. MT. NBC Sports Network will broadcast the contest. The current schedule for the rest of the series looks like this:

  • Game 2: Ball Arena, Wednesday, May 19, 8:30 p.m. MT, CNBC
  • Game 3: Enterprise Center, St. Louis, MO, Friday, May 21, 7:30 p.m. MT, USA Network
  • Game 4: Enterprise Center, St. Louis, MO, Sunday, May 23, time and channel to be determined
  • Game 5 (if necessary): Ball Arena, Tuesday, May 25, time and channel TBD
  • Game 6 (if necessary): Enterprise Center, St. Louis, MO, Thursday, May 27, time and channel TBD
  • Game 7 (if necessary): Ball Arena, Saturday, May 29, time and channel TBD

In other futures, PointsBet has Colorado +200 to reach the Stanley Cup Final. That book also hasn’t moved Nathan McKinnon from the shortest odds to win the Conn Smythe Trophy. Mannino spoke about what he sees as the biggest threats to those bets winning.

Could fans already be looking ahead to Vegas?

The Vegas Golden Knights also accumulated 82 regular-season points but lost out on the President’s Trophy due to losing the season series with the Avalanche 3-4-1. With those two teams set to meet in the next round of the playoffs – should both advance – the prospect has bettors watching the first-round series with great interest.

“It’s very difficult to say right now,” Mannino said about putting a line on a potential Colorado-Vegas series. “Really before the season even began, these were two teams that everyone was excited to see. They played each other so many times during the season and it was close. It’s going to come down to how the teams perform in these first-round series. If one team sweeps and the other has to play six or seven games, that’s going to affect the odds a lot.”

Mannino is right about the lack of separation between the two teams. The Golden Knights actually outscored the Avs across their eight regular-season meetings, but by a mere goal. Of the seven teams that Colorado faced during the season, Vegas held the Avalanche to the lowest scoring average of 2.13 goals per game.

Could Vegas hamper McKinnon’s Conn Smythe hopes? Mannino thinks there’s only one factor that might deny McKinnon that hardware. It doesn’t have much to do with McKinnon, Colorado, or the Golden Knights.

“Really, the only thing I see potentially getting in the way is if Auston Matthews just goes crazy here in the playoffs,” Mannino stated.

Last October, the odds on the Avalanche to win the Stanley Cup this season sat around +600. The movement down to the current position has been the result of the Avs’ performance and public betting. Because they continue to meet the high bar set for them, the action on them now might be the best you’ll see through the postseason.

Photo by AP / Jack Dempsey
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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