The Daily Sweat: After trading blowouts, Avalanche and Lightning have big Game 4

·3 min read

It didn't make a whole lot of sense to bury the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Yes, Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, the 7-0 win by the Colorado Avalanche, was shocking. The Avs are very good and have been for a couple seasons. But the Lightning are a two-time reigning champ and they weren't going away quietly. Besides, everyone seemed to forget that Game 1 in Denver went to overtime.

Tampa Bay struck back with a 6-2 win in Game 3. That sets up a pivotal Game 4 in the Stanley Cup Final.

The Avs still could take control of the series with a win, or the Lightning could let the world know that everyone gave up on them a little too soon, and we're in for a classic series. The Avalanche and Lightning are both -110 odds at BetMGM for Wednesday's game.

Tampa Bay got on a roll in Game 3, chased Colorado goalie Darcy Kuemper (it was a reminder that goaltending is still heavily in Tampa's favor, regardless of what happened in Game 2) and perhaps took back momentum in the series. Or, it was a predictable loss for the Avs. The Lightning had just been embarrassed and it was obvious we'd get their best effort in Game 3. Combine that with the jolt from the Lightning home crowd and it was a tough spot for the Avs.

The teams will settle in for Game 4, which should be a lot more competitive. The odds tell you that. The emotional rush from Game 3 won't be quite as strong for the Lightning. And the Avalanche are a really good team, even on the road.

Colorado is 14-3 in the playoffs and at some points has looked like an all-time great team. The Avalanche are loaded. Just like Tampa Bay in Game 3, Colorado will rebound from an embarrassing game. And the Avs know with a win on Wednesday, they'll be on the doorstep of a championship.

Steven Stamkos (91) of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates a goal against the Colorado Avalanche . (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Steven Stamkos (91) of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates a goal against the Colorado Avalanche . (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Here's the first look at the sports betting slate on Wednesday:

College World Series has two games

We could see the College World Series final series set on Wednesday. Oklahoma and Ole Miss will advance to the final series with another win. Neither one has lost yet in Omaha. Texas A&M and Arkansas need to win on Wednesday to avoid elimination, then again to make the final.

In the first game Wednesday, Oklahoma is a small favorite over Texas A&M. Ole Miss faces Arkansas and the odds are about even. We're down to four teams in the CWS, and it might be two by the end of Wednesday.

MLB has a full day

There are four afternoon games on Wednesday as some series wrap up. Included in that is the New York Mets against the Houston Astros in a meeting of division winners. Houston is a -145 favorite.

We also get the New York Yankees as -155 favorites after losing to the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday, and Shohei Ohtani on the mound as the Los Angeles Angels face the Kansas City Royals. The Angels are heavy -225 favorites.

What's the best bet?

I'll take the Avalanche, now that they've had their wake-up call. I'll also be playing the Toronto Blue Jays (-120 over the Chicago White Sox) and the Philadelphia Phillies (-145 with white-hot Zack Wheeler against the Texas Rangers) in a couple afternoon baseball games.