The latter half of a quiet, two-game night in the NHL is a Western Conference clash between the St. Louis Blues and the Vegas Golden Knights.
The Knights are coming off an ugly road and already tangoing with the injury bug, yet are still NHL betting favorites at home against the Blues, who have come out of the gates with some gusto, winning two high-scoring games on the road.
Here are our best free NHL picks and predictions for Blues vs. Golden Knights on Wednesday, October 20.
Blues vs Golden Knights odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
Blues vs Golden Knights picks
Picks made on 10/10/2021 at 2:13 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
If you're signing up for a new sportsbook for the 2021-22 NHL season, here are two of the best welcome bonuses available:
USA: Get a $1,000 risk-free bet when you sign up and play at FanDuel. Claim Now
Canada: Sign up with Sports Interaction and get up to $500 in free bets. Claim Now
Blues vs Golden Knights game info
• Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
• Date: Wednesday, October 20, 2021
• Puck drop: 10:00 p.m. ET
• TV: TNT
Blues vs Golden Knights betting preview
Blues: Pavel Buchnevich RW (Suspended).
Golden Knights: Max Pacioretty LW (Out), Mark Stone RW (Out), Alex Tuch RW (Out), Mattias Janmark C (Out).
Find our latest NHL injury reports.
Blues vs Golden Knights head-to-head record (2020-21)
Blues: 2-4-2, 19 goals for.
Golden Knights: 6-1-1, 34 goals for.
Betting trend to know
The Over is 5-1 in the last six head-to-head meetings in Las Vegas. Find more NHL betting trends for Blues vs. Golden Knights.
Blues vs Golden Knights picks and predictions
Blues ML (+105)
Normally, we'd be licking our chops at getting Vegas -125 at home — a place where it went 21-5-2 last season and 97-38-13 in its 4+ NHL seasons — but the Golden Knights are dealing with some major injuries already, which is challenging its offensive depth.
The Golden Knights are down top-line wingers Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone, who were also No. 1 and 2 on the team in points the last two seasons, as well as middle-six forwards Alex Tuch and Mattias Janmark. While Vegas still has a strong, play-driving line in Jonathan Marchessault, William Karlsson and Reilly Smith, without Pacioretty and Stone, Vegas is now turning to the likes of Nicolas Roy, Evgenii Dadonov, and Peyton Krebs to fill in on the wings alongside Chandler Stephenson.
That's a major dropoff in talent, which was evident in the Knights' last game — an ugly 6-2 loss to the Kings where LA dominated possession (65.91 Fenwick For Percentage) and nearly 60 percent of all faceoffs started in the Vegas end of the ice.
That lack of depth will also make it difficult to keep up with a Blues roster that is missing a top-six forward (Pavel Buchnevich, who is suspended for two games for headbutting) but has more than enough offensive depth to make up for it. Tonight marks the third straight road game to open St. Louis' season, but it won the first two games — against Colorado and Arizona — by scoring a combined 12 goals.
St. Louis has seven forwards with at least two points through its first two games and has six forwards driving possession (a FF% above 50 percent). By comparison, Vegas has four total skaters currently with a FF% better than 50 — the Marchessault/Karlsson/Smith line and then a depth defenseman.
Vegas' de facto top line will be able to compete tonight, but once these teams roll out the second lines, the advantage tilts in St. Louis' favor — and then Blues' third line has a significant opportunity to exploit Vegas, which is trotting out guys that ideally would be in the AHL right now.
It's a great time for St. Louis to roll into Sin City, as we love the matchup for the Blues and the value at plus-money is too good to pass up.
Over 5.5 (-125)
As mentioned above, the Blues have scored 12 goals through two games — 10 of which came at even-strength — by just coming in waves with three forward lines that all blend speed, skill, and physicality.
Even before injuries depleted Vegas' forward corps, this team was built on defense, anchored by Alex Pietrangelo, Shea Theodore, and goaltender Robin Lehner, but you can only defend so much before something has to give — and we expect the Blues to have the puck most of this game, so they're destined to score some goals.
On the flip side, the Golden Knights offense clearly has lost a lot of its shine, but the Blues aren't exactly a defensive powerhouse: St. Louis is giving up 11.77 high-danger chances against per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 (albeit through a small sample size of two games) and has 2.68 expected goals against per 60 minutes at even strength (per Natural Stat Trick).
St. Louis goaltender Jordan Binnington has also not been sharp to start, posting a 3.50 goals-against average and an .879 save percentage (with -1.8 goals saved above average) through two starts.
The Blues have cashed the Over in five straight games dating back to last year, it's a perfect 4-0 combined for these two teams early this season, and it's cashed in nine of the last 12 head-to-head meetings.
Did you know that if you parlayed today’s NHL Blues vs. Golden Knights picks, you could win $26.90 on a $10 bet?
Use our NHL parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.
Where can I bet on the NHL?
You can bet on NHL odds at every online and casino sportsbook, including NHL moneylines, puck lines, Over/Under totals, and a ton of NHL prop odds. Head over to our best sportsbooks for NHL betting in your area.