Avalanche can hoist Stanley Cup with Game 5 win

The Colorado Avalanche may end Friday night’s Stanley Cup Finals. And when that happens, the NHL hopes it’s free of controversy.

Colorado was just one game away from the title with a 3-2 overtime win in Game 4. Nazem Kadri’s decisive goal came when Colorado was in the middle of a line change and six players were on the ice. Nathan McKinnon still had his feet on the ice when Kadri’s goal came — NHL rules say a player has to be within five feet of the bench and not in game to avoid being counted as a skater.

Tampa, of course, believed that Colorado’s goal shouldn’t have counted. The NHL has said none of the on-ice officials saw a violation. The penalty is not verifiable.

There is no over/under at BetMGM for the number of skaters on the ice at the time of a game-winning goal on Friday night. But we can tell you that the Avalanche has -175 to win game 5 straight and only +150 to win by 1.5+ goals.

TAMPA, FL - JUNE 22: Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog (92), Colorado Avalanche right wing Mikko Rantanen (96), Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (8) and Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) celebrate a goal by McKinnon against Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) in the second half during game four of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals at the Amalie Arena on June 22, 2022. (Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

TAMPA, FL – JUNE 22: Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog (92), Colorado Avalanche right wing Mikko Rantanen (96), Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (8) and Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) celebrate a goal by McKinnon against Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) in the second half during game four of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals at the Amalie Arena on June 22, 2022. (Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Colorado has a +5 goal difference in their first four games of the series, despite two of their three wins coming in overtime. Those overtime wins in Game 1 and Game 4 earned blowout wins from each team. The Avalanche won Game 2 7-0 and The Lightning 6-2 in Game 3.

It’s six goals in total and the over feels like another safe bet here as three of the four games have crossed that threshold and the only under was within a goal of a push.

If you want the Blitz to extend the streak, Tampa Bay sits at +145 to win straight and -185 to cover the 1.5 goal spread.

Rory McIlroy has low odds on travelers

Rory McIlroy fired an 8-under 62 in the first round of the Travelers Championship to share the lead. Milroy’s hot start means he’s now just +225 to win the tournament ahead of Patrick Cantlay at +450 and Xander Schauffele at +500. Schauffele hit a 63 to open the tournament and Cantlay hit a 64.

No other golfer has better odds than +1600, although these three golfers aren’t the only ones to hit 64 or better. McIlroy leads with JT Poston (+2000) while Schauffele has shot back with Martin Laird (+3300). Charles Howell III (+3300) and Webb Simpson (+1600) are tied with Cantlay.

A big PGA favorite for women in Gee Chun

In Gee Chun on Thursday, she attempted to single-handedly win the Women’s PGA Championship in the first round. Chun fired an 8-under 64 in the Congressional to take a five-shot lead.

Thanks to that lead, Chun now has +190 to win the tournament after just 14 golfers broke par in the first round. One of them is defending Women’s PGA champion Nelly Korda. She shot a 71 and is the #2 favorite at +800 thanks to her popularity.

A NASCAR tripleheader weekend

The Nashville Superspeedway hosts three NASCAR races this weekend after the Cup Series’ only off-weekend of the year.

John Hunter Nemechek (+400) is the favorite for Friday night’s Truck Series race ahead of Zane Smith (+500) and Chandler Smith (+650). Josh Berry is the favorite for Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at +450 while Kyle Larson (+500) is the favorite for Sunday’s Cup race.

Who redeemed tickets on Thursday?

Bettors who had picked Paolo Banchero as the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft with relatively good odds were thrilled by the Magic’s fakeout on Thursday night. Jabari Smith was long considered No. 1, but the magic went with Banchero as Smith dropped back to No. 3.

The New York Yankees beat the Houston Astros 7-6 thanks to a walk-off RBI from Aaron Judge, and the Minnesota Twins comfortably made the under with a 1-0 win over the Cleveland Guardians.

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