NHL betting for the 2021 season gets underway Wednesday and the final game of the night will likely be the best, as the 2019 Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues face off against the early-season Cup favorites in the Colorado Avalanche.
NHL odds have the Avs installed as -140 home favorites with the Over/Under set at at 5.5.
We break down the hockey odds with as we bring you our best free Blues vs. Avalanche picks and predictions for Wednesday, January 13, with the puck dropping at 10:30 p.m. ET.
St. Louis Blues at Colorado Avalanche Betting Preview
Blues: Vladimir Tarasenko RW (Out)
Avalanche: Bowen Byram D (Out)
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Betting Trend to Know
The Over is 9-1 in Colorado's last 10 games overall. Find more NHL betting trends for Blues vs. Avalanche.
With empty stadiums, it might not seem like home-ice advantage will matter much this season, but the Avalanche will almost always have an edge in Denver due to the altitude. Colorado is 67-34-14 at home over the last three seasons and this year's version of the Avs looks even better than those previous squads.
The Avalanche are currently the betting favorites to win the Stanley Cup at +650. They have a dynamic group of forwards led by Nathan Mackinnon, while Cale Makar anchors the blueline. They added Devon Toews and Brandon Saad in the offseason but the most important upgrade might be in nets, where Philip Grubauer is hopefully healthy after a groin injury sidelined him during their last playoff run.
After their shocking Stanley Cup win in 2019, the Blues had an outstanding start to their season in 2020 before COVID-19 hit. After bubble play began, St. Louis didn't look the same, losing three straight games during round-robin play before being eliminated by the Canucks in six games in the opening round.
The Blues will once again be without Vladimir Tarasenko (still recovering from shoulder surgery) and also said goodbye to captain Alex Pietrangelo. Although the additions of Mike Hoffman and Torey Krug should mitigate those losses, it's still a downgrade.
Most concerning is that St. Louis goalie Jordan Binnington played awful at the end of the season, going 0-5 with a 4.72 GAA and a save percentage of .851 in the bubble. If he can't recover his playoff form from 2019, his performance – and the Blues' lackluster play on the penalty kill – could lead to lots of goals from Colorado. Take the Avs to win in their opener.
PREDICTION: Colorado (-140)
We mentioned the Blues' poor play on the penalty kill last season, but their special teams play wasn't all bad. Their powerplay ranked third in the league and even without Pietrangelo, they should be able to put the puck in the net.
The Blues may not have a single offensive player as talented as MacKinnon, but they have awesome depth up front and averaged 3.14 goals per game last year. They have also gone 7-2 to the Over in their last nine games as an underdog.
The Avs ended last season on a terrific run for Over bettors, going above the total in nine of their final ten games. MacKinnon might be the best player in the world and is coming off an outstanding campaign where he scored 93 points in 69 games.
The Avs wrapped up last season fourth in the league in goals scored per game with 3.37 and upped that number up to 3.60 at home. Take the Over.
PREDICTION: Over 5.5 (-110)
Blues vs Avalanche Betting Card
- Colorado (-140)
- Over 5.5 (-110)
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