Blues vs. Canucks Game 4 Odds & Pick (Monday, Aug. 17): St. Louis is Still Undervalued
Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images. Pictured: Brayden Schenn.
- Check out our betting preview for Monday night's NHL Playoffs Game 4 matchup between the St. Louis Blues and Vancouver Canucks.
- St. Louis has been the better team at 5-on-5, but Vancouver has compensated via its fantastic power play and goaltending.
- Read on for Michael Leboff's complete complete breakdown, including odds, picks and predictions for tonight's NHL matchup.
Game 4: St. Louis Blues vs. Vancouver Canucks Odds
|Canucks Odds||+112 [BET NOW]|
|Blues Odds||-129 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||5.5 (-103/-120) [BET NOW]|
|Time||10:30 p.m. ET|
Craig Berube’s move to swap Jordan Binnington out in favor of Jake Allen paid off handsomely on Sunday night as the Blues’ No. 2 goalie backstopped them to their first win of the playoffs.
St. Louis needed overtime, but it was clearly the better team in Game 3. The Blues attempted 48 more shots (91-43), created 11 more high-danger scoring chances (19-8), and won the expected goals battle, (3.64-1.67).
It’s a bit concerning that St. Louis still needed extra time to win in a game that it dominated, but now we’re left wondering if the defending champions have awakened just in time to begin its title defense in earnest.
Expected goals (also known as xG) is a predictive statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as shooting luck or outstanding goaltending.
Simply put, an expected goals rate (xGF%) above 50% is considered good because it means a team is creating the majority of the scoring chances. Anything below 50% is usually a sign that a team is struggling to control play.
xG numbers cited from Evolving Hockey.
This series is pretty simple to break down from a high level. The Blues have been the better 5-on-5 team, but the Canucks are keeping pace with St. Louis thanks to a red-hot power play and a lights-out goaltender.
Vancouver has enough game-breaking talent on its roster to win any night, but I can’t help but think that Jacob Markstrom’s play in goal and a power-play clipping at 54.6% in this series is driving the price up on a team that has been pedestrian at 5-on-5.
|St. Louis Blues||Vancouver Canucks|
Odds via DraftKings
I thought the Blues were good value at -135 or better on Sunday night, so I like them again on Monday even though Vladimir Tarasenko is questionable after sitting out Game 3.
The Canucks are a high-risk, high-reward team that can blow teams out with their offensive sizzle, but they are also a walking mistake on defense. Markstrom and the power play have helped to cover up some of those blemishes, but I’m not interested in betting on a team that is achieving its success outside of 5-on-5. It feels a bit like smoke and mirrors to me.
I’d bet St. Louis at -135 or better for Game 4.