Banged-Up Champs Bruise Under in Battle of Stanley Cup Scars

Wednesday, January 10, 2024, 10:00 PM ET | Ball Arena, Denver, CO

The puck drops tonight in Denver as two recent Stanley Cup champions, the Colorado Avalanche and the Vegas Golden Knights, renew their rivalry on the ice. This showdown, far from a predictable duel, is shrouded in a fog of injuries and recent struggles, prompting savvy bettors to seek refuge in the under on the totals (6.5).


  • Vegas Golden Knights (ML: +122)
  • Colorado Avalanche (ML: -145)
  • O/U: 6.5

Model Predictions

Model Vegas ML Colorado ML O/U
MoneyPuck 32% 68% Under
QuantHockey 27% 73% Under
Arcana Hockey 25% 75% Under
The Action Network 30% 70% Under
NHL Model 35% 65% Under
BetQL 40% 60% Under
SportsLine 33% 67% Under
Average 32% 68% Under

Combined Prediction

  • Winner: Colorado Avalanche (68% confidence)
  • Final Score: Colorado 3, Vegas 2 (average of models and Pythagorean)
  • O/U: Under 6.5 (strong consensus due to strong defenses)

Additional Notes

  • This is a close matchup with two excellent teams. However, Colorado’s strong home record, recent form, and Vegas’ road struggles give them the edge.
  • The under is heavily favored due to tight defenses and strong goaltending on both sides.
  • Injuries to key players for Vegas could be a factor, but Colorado remains the more reliable pick based on current trends and matchups.

Avalanche vs. Golden Knights: A Clash of Champions, a Feast for Under Bettors

Let’s dissect the state of both teams and unveil why the under should be the flavor of the night.

Vegas Golden Knights: Champions Battling Adversity

The reigning champs, who once waltzed through the season with an 11-0-1 record, find themselves bruised and battered, their recent dominance fading into a distant memory. Since December, they’ve stumbled on a 3-7-0 skid, their once impenetrable fortress breached by seven losses in ten games. This downswing can be attributed, in part, to a plague of injuries plaguing key players.

Theodore, their rock-solid defenseman, has been absent since November, leaving a gaping hole in their backline. Forwards Karlsson and Carrier, crucial cogs in their offensive machine, are also sidelined, hindering their scoring prowess. And to top it all off, goaltender Hill, often a source of stability, has been sidelined since late November, casting doubt on their netminding.

Despite these setbacks, the Knights have shown flickers of resilience. The recent addition of young talents like Cormier and Bjornfot has infused the team with fresh energy, while established stars like Marchessault and Stone continue to carry the scoring load. However, their road woes persist, with five consecutive losses away from T-Mobile Arena.

  • 3.18 – GF AVG
  • 2.73 – GA AVG
  • 21.80 – Power Play

Colorado Avalanche: Home Ice Advantage and Youthful Sparks

The Avalanche, meanwhile, haven’t been entirely unscathed. They’ve had to plug young guns like Malinski and Polin into the lineup due to injuries to key players like Manson and Wood. But unlike the Knights, they’ve navigated these challenges with grace, emerging victorious in seven of their last ten games.

Their home ice advantage has been a fortress, with MacKinnon’s 22-game point streak at Pepsi Center a testament to their dominance within friendly confines. MacKinnon, the league’s scoring beast, is a force to be reckoned with, and his potential record-tying performance tonight adds another layer of intrigue to the matchup.

  • 3.62 – GF AVG
  • 3.11 – GA AVG
  • 24.40 – Power Play

Bonus: Injury Report

The full extent of the injury bug can make a significant impact on the game. Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of key players sidelined for each team:

Vegas Golden Knights
  • Robin Lehner (G): Hip (out until at least Feb 6)
  • Shea Theodore (D): Upper Body (out until at least Jan 18)
  • William Carrier (LW): Upper Body (out until at least Jan 13)
  • William Karlsson (C): Lower Body (out until at least Jan 13)
  • Ben Hutton (D): Upper Body (out until at least Jan 10)
  • Adin Hill (G): Undisclosed (out until at least Jan 10)
  • Logan Thompson (G): Illness (out until at least Jan 11)
  • Zach Whitecloud (D): Upper Body (Day-to-Day)
  • Kaedan Korczak (D): Lower Body (out until at least Jan 10)
Colorado Avalanche
  • Gabriel Landeskog (LW): Knee (Expected to be out until at least Apr 1)
  • Chris Wagner (RW): Achilles (Expected to be out until at least Feb 5)
  • Josh Manson (D): Undisclosed (Day-to-Day)
  • Miles Wood (LW): Illness (Day-to-Day)
  • Artturi Lehkonen (LW): Neck (Expected to be out until at least Jan 24)
  • Pavel Francouz (G): Groin (Expected to be out until at least Sep 15)
  • Bowen Byram (D): Lower Body (Expected to be out until at least Jan 13)

The Verdict: A Night for Defensive Grit

While the history between these two powerhouses promises an exciting battle, the current landscape suggests a defensive stalemate rather than an offensive shootout. The under at 6.5 appears to be the safer bet, where caution and defensive acumen trump offensive fireworks. So, settle in, hockey fans, and prepare for a gritty, low-scoring affair where every goal might carry the weight of gold.


O/U: Under 6.5 WINNER