The St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche play the second game of a back-to-back set in NHL betting action Saturday night after the Avs took the first game 3-2 yesterday.
Both clubs have a lot to play for, as the Avs are battling the Knights for the No. 1 seed, while the Blues are struggling to hold onto the fourth and final playoff spot in the West Division.
Here are our free picks and predictions for St. Louis Blues vs Colorado Avalanche for Saturday, April 3 (9:00 p.m. EST).
Blues vs Avalanche odds
NHL sharp money and line movement reportBy Patrick Everson
Colorado hit the PointsBet USA odds board as solid -235 chalk this morning and stretched to -260, where the moneyline rests at 5:45 p.m. ET. The Avalanche are attracting 88 percent of bets and 76 percent of money. The total is stable at 5.5 (Over -125), with 73 percent of bets/85 percent of cash on the Over.Check out the full line movement for this game
St. Louis Blues at Colorado Avalanche betting preview
Blues: Oskar Sundqvist F (out), Colton Parayko D (out).
Avalanche: Dennis Gilbert D (out), Bowen Byram D (questionable), Matt Calvert F (out). Valeri Nichushkin F (questionable).
Find our latest NHL injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Avs are 9-1 SU in their last 10 home games. Find more NHL betting trends for Blues vs. Avalanche.
The Blues limped into this series having lost nine of their previous 11 games, as the offense had managed to score three goals or more just once in its last eight games. The schedule doesn’t get easier for the former champs as 16 of their remaining 20 games are against the division’s Top 3 teams, per Moneypuck.
The Avalanche have the second-most wins on home ice this year and are scoring 3.96 goals per home match, which is the second-highest mark in the NHL. Their defense and goaltending have also been on-point at Ball Arena, as opponents have scored just 2.14 goals per game there this season.
Luckily for Saturday bettors, the Avs started back-up goalie Jonas Johansson yesterday, meaning we get Philipp Grubauer for tonight’s match. Grubauer is one of the best goalies in the league now, sporting Top-3 numbers in goals saved above average and high-danger save percentage and winning nine of his last 10 starts.
This is not a great spot for the Blues, who have shown us nothing with only a pair of wins versus the seventh-place Sharks since March 6. This is a hard team to get behind.
No team is scoring fewer goals than the Blues over the last four weeks, at 1.91 per match. Conversely, the Avs have the hottest offense over the same stretch and are potting an absurd 4.5 goals per match. Keeping pucks out of the net may be difficult if Colorado’s Top-10 PP gets a few chances against a St. Louis penalty kill that has a 75 percent success rate over the last month. The Avs went 2-for-6 on the PP last night and it was the difference in the game.
Even at even strength, the Avalanche are much better than their opponents. The Blues are an average team defensively and a bottom-10 team offensively at 5x5, but Colorado is on another level when it comes to even-strength play. Only the Capitals have scored more 5x5 goals per game than the Avalanche (2.4/gm), while defensively they sit in the Top 6 in 5-on-5 goals allowed per match (1.6).
Colorado is better in almost every department than the Blues and comes into this series in top form. The home team is 15-17 ATS this year, which is a great record for NHL pucklines. Excluding last night’s one-goal win, the Avs had covered nine straight times over their previous nine wins.
PREDICTION: Colorado-1.5 (+115)
Team total pick
The St. Louis Blues have dealt with goaltending struggles this year. Jordan Binnington is playing some of the worst hockey of his career and has won just once in his last nine starts. Over that stretch, he has posted a .910 save percentage or better just once and sits in the bottom-10 in high-danger save percentage, per Natural Stat Trick. Binnington started Friday and will likely give way to Ville Husso tonight.
Husso has been the better of the two goalies of late but still owns a 3.40 GAA to go along with a putrid .885 save percentage. Husso also sports a GSAA of -6.48, indicating he is well below a league-average goalie and has a high-danger save percentage worse than Binnington’s. Colorado has a chance to run things up on Saturday.
The motor behind the Colorado offense is Nate MacKinnon, but as good as he has been this year, Mikko Rantanen has been just as good. The Finnish forward has 43 points this year, leads the Avs with 21 goals, and sits third in the league in tallies behind Toronto’s Auston Matthews and Edmonton's Connor McDavid. In the 8-0 Colorado win vs STL back in January, Nate Mac and Mikko Suavé registered five combined points and chased Binnington from the crease.
This would be a no-brainer if Colorado started a backup, but with Johanson playing yesterday, Grubauer will likely see the start barring an injury. With how good Grubes has played, we have to deviate from the total and hit the Over on the Avalanche team total of 3.5 — a number they have topped in nine of their last 11 games.
PREDICTION: Colorado team total Over 3.5 (-120)
Blues vs Avalanche betting card
- Colorado -1.5 (+115)
- Colorado team total Over 3.5 (-120)
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