Avalanche’s Makar operating on a different planet

It’s being billed as a clash of the titans. And rightfully so.

The 2022 Stanley Cup Final is set to kick off in Denver tonight as the Colorado Avalanche host the Tampa Bay Lightning for Game 1.

On one side, you have the Lightning, who are coming off a hard-fought six-game series victory against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Final. They’re trying to become the first team since the early 80s to go back-to-back-to-back. Meantime, the Avalanche have been off for nine days since sweeping the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Final. Colorado is in search of its third Stanley Cup in franchise history and its first since 2001.

Now that you’re up to speed, here are some prop bets to consider for tonight’s opener:

PROP #1: Cale Makar Over 0.5 Assists (-160)

Entering the series, the 23-year-old is the betting favourite to take home the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. Through 14 games, he’s tallied 17 assists — including six in seven home games. On top of that, Makar’s well-rested following a monster five-point (one goal, four assist) performance in the series clincher against the Oilers. This dude’s operating on a different planet right now.

PROP #2: Andrei Vasilevskiy over 32.5 Saves (-120)

Andrei Vasilevskiy has entered the chat.

Through 14 total playoff games, the Avalanche have averaged 40.7 shots per game. Additionally, they’ve averaged 43.1 over seven home games. It goes without saying, but considering who they’re facing, it would be in Colorado’s best interest to pepper Vasilevskiy as much as they can. Indisputably, the 27-year-old is firmly in the running for a second straight Conn Smythe Trophy, he’s been tremendous.

PROP #3: Artturi Lehkonen Over 2.5 SOG (+100)

Assuming the winger retains his second line and first power-play duties, there’s tons of value to potentially uncover with this play — especially at plus-money. Over his past three outings, the 26-year-old has cleared the 2.5 number all three times and has mustered a total of 13 shots on goal.

PROP #4: Anthony Cirelli Over 1.5 SOG (-160)

Over the past seven games, Cirelli has racked up a total of 23 shots on goal, good for an average of 3.3 per game. Additionally, the 24-year-old two-way forward has cleared the 1.5 number in four straight and six of seven. Simply put, even with Brayden Point returning tonight, ride the hot hand.

Betting odds listed above via the Bet365 Sportsbook as of Wednesday afternoon.