Avalanche can hoist Stanley Cup with Game 5 win

The Colorado Avalanche can close out the Stanley Cup Final on Friday night. And if that happens, the NHL sure hopes it comes without controversy.

Colorado put itself a game away from the title with a 3-2 overtime win in Game 4. Nazem Kadri’s game-winning goal came as Colorado was in the midst of a line change and had six players on the ice. Nathan McKinnon still had his feet on the ice when Kadri’s goal went in – NHL rules state a player has to be within five feet of the bench and not a part of the ongoing play to not be counted as a skater.

Tampa, of course, believed Colorado’s goal shouldn’t have counted. The NHL has said that none of the officials on the ice saw an infraction. The penalty isn’t reviewable.

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 are -175 to win Game 5 straight up and are just +150 to win by more than 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 period during game four of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals at Amalie Arena June 22, 2022. (Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Colorado has a +5 goal differential across the first four games of the series, though two of its three wins have come in overtime. Those overtime wins in Game 1 and Game 4 sandwiched blowout wins by each team. The Avalanche won 7-0 in Game 2 and the Lightning won 6-2 in Game 3.

The total is six goals and the over feels like another safe bet here given that three of the four games have crossed that threshold and the only under came within a goal of a push.

If you like the Lightning to extend the series, Tampa Bay is at +145 to win straight up and is -185 to cover the 1.5 -goal spread.

Rory McIlroy has low Travelers odds

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

No other golfer has odds better than +1600 to win even though those three golfers aren’t the only ones who shot 64 or better. McIlroy is tied for the lead with JT Poston (+2000) while Schauffele is a shot back with Martin Laird (+3300). Charles Howell III (+3300) and Webb Simpson (+1600) are tied with Cantlay.

In Gee Chun a huge Women’s PGA favorite

In Gee Chun tried to singlehandedly win the Women’s PGA Championship in the first round on Thursday. Chun shot an 8-under 64 at Congressional to take a five-shot lead.

Chun is now +190 to win the tournament thanks to that lead after just 14 golfers broke par in the first round. One of those is defending Women’s PGA champ Nelly Korda. She shot a 71 and is the No. 2 favorites at +800 thanks to her popularity.

A NASCAR tripleheader weekend

There are three NASCAR races at the Nashville Superspeedway 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 the Xfinity Series race on Saturday at +450 while Kyle Larson (+500) is the favorite for Sunday’s Cup race.

Who cashed tickets on Thursday?

Bettors who had Paolo Banchero at relatively long odds to be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft were thrilled with the Magic’s fakeout on Thursday night. Jabari Smith was long considered a lock to be the No. 1 pick but the Magic went with Banchero as Smith dropped 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 hit the under with a 1-0 win over the Cleveland Guardians.

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