Avalanche Stanley Cup Run Boosts Colorado Sports Betting

Early indications are that the historic run to a Stanley Cup title by the Colorado Avalanche led to big sports betting numbers in Colorado. According to the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission, $127.3 million in sports betting handle was reported in the state during the postseason.

Last year, Colorado sports betting operators reported $27.7 million in hockey bets for May-July. The $127.3 total in 2022 represents a $99.6 million increase in NHL bets placed in Colorado compared to the previous year.

Colorado defeated the two-time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning on June 26 to win its first Stanley Cup since 2001. Following a Game 5 loss at home, team captains gathered their teammates for a players-only meeting that galvanized the Avalanche to a triumph in Game 6. The resulting win removed the bad taste of second-round exits in the previous three years.

With a dominating franchise-record 119-point season, the Avalanche are seen as strong favorites to repeat as the champions of the NHL for the 2022-23 season.

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Avalanche Odds for 2022-23 NHL Season

BetMGM is the only app I could find odds for the Western Conference champion for the 2022-23 season, and the sportsbook lists the Avalanche at +175. The next lowest odds in the conference are +650 for the Las Vegas Golden Knights.

It appears the Avs will dominate their conference for a few years, though fortunes in the National Hockey League can be as slippery as the ice before a Zamboni sweep.

Avalanche Odds to Repeat as Stanley Cup Champions

Odds to win the 2023 Stanley Cup from four Colorado sports betting apps:

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How the Avalanche Can Repeat

Nazem Kadri, a 31-year-old free agent, is a key offseason project for the Avalanche, who need to sign the center. He had 15 points in 16 postseason games, sparking the Avs’ offense at key moments.

Similarly, Valeri Nichushkin, who had 52 points in the regular season, will also be a free agent, and the Avs should make it a priority to sign the 27-year-old Russian. His best years seem right ahead of him, and the Avs should secure his services as soon as they can.

It’s time for the Avalanche to break up with goalie Darcy Kuemper. Sure, his time in the Mile High City was brief, and he was 37-12-4 in his first season in the Avs sweater, but the veteran netminder sagged at the end of the season. He’ll be a free agent, which is a perfect time for the team to elevate backup Pavel Francouz to the No. 1 goaltender for the upcoming season.

General Manager Joe Sakic should use the salary saved by jettisoning Kuemper to sign a No. 2 goalie to serve as a caddy for Francouz, whose emergent play in the Conference Finals is the reason the Avalanche got to the Stanley Cup Final.

Lastly, Nathan MacKinnon is underpaid. He’s also the most crucial person in the Colorado franchise and the key to the future of this team. The front office should negotiate to extend MacKinnon in a multi-year deal that makes him one of the best-paid players in the league, which he deserves.

The former Lady Byng and Calder Memorial Trophy winner is 26 years old and could be the centerpiece of the Avs’ offense for another 10-12 years.

AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

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