Sunday NHL Odds, Picks, Prediction: St. Louis Blues vs. New Jersey Devils Betting Preview
Rich Graessle/Getty Images. Pictured: Jack Hughes.
- The St. Louis Blues are favored in Sunday's NHL showdown against the New Jersey Devils.
- New Jersey has a young attack that has been thriving of late, which has our analyst targeting the side in this contest.
- Nicholas Martin breaks down the matchup and makes his betting picks below.
Blues vs. Devils Odds
|Time||1 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The St. Louis Blues have fallen into a rare offensive lull over the last two contests, having produced just four goals combined against the Islanders and Rangers. They could be heading to the right place to get back on track with a trip to the Prudential Center to meet a Devils team that has leaked goals all season.
New Jersey has been in excellent offensive form of late, however, and its speedy young core has looked dangerous now skating at close to full health.
Could we see some fireworks Sunday afternoon?
St. Louis Faces Tough Defensive Test
St. Louis will look to find a better effort here after losing back-to-back contests to the Islanders and Rangers, both of whom did well to keep the Blues’ very dangerous offense under wraps.
David Perron was a scratch yesterday and could miss this one, but the Blues should still be able to cause problems for the Devils, who have still appeared somewhat softer in zone of late than the strong analytics suggest. Poor goaltending surely is the main concern.
Defensively, St. Louis has been better of late than we have seen much of this season, with improved play from Justin Faulk and Colton Parayko helping to cover up some softer defensive play from guys like Niko Mikkola and Robert Bortuzzo. I still feel that the current defensive core does have some holes, and the Blues will be in a tough spot here against a speedy young Devils team showing some serious offensive upside of late.
Ville Husso should get the start here between the pipes, having rested yesterday against New York. Goaltending can be very hard to predict, but I think expecting Husso to continue to be amongst the league’s absolute best all season long is probably the wrong idea. He has settled in toward more middling play over his last seven contests, during which he has posted a .902 save percentage.
Young New Jersey Displays Attacking Promise
The Devils were not able to build on a 7-2 smashing of the red-hot Canucks Friday, but altogether the team has seemingly competed at a better level than it’s getting credit for of late.
Altogether this season the Devils results whilst skating all four of their top players in Jesper Bratt, Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier and Dougie Hamilton have been very respectable. Behind them, the main concern has still simply been some below-average goaltending.
Over their last nine contests, the Devils have generated a 3.12 expected goal for per 60 rate while scoring 4.55 goals per game. They have been missing some key pieces for much of that timeframe, still playing to a solid 52.01% expected goals rate altogether.
So the speedy young offensive unit has been causing some problems for the opposition of late, as St. Louis found out on Feb. 10 when the Devils scored seven at the Enterprise Center.
Nico Daws has posted some much needed respectable play in the Devils goal of late, and holds a -0.1 goals saved above expected rating with a .909 save percentage.
Blues vs. Devils Picks
St. Louis hit a wall offensively on Friday, but I don’t think that is something we can count on happening too often this season. Also, the Islanders deserve some credit for a solid effort.
Facing a New Jersey team that hasn’t been strong by any means at preventing goals against, it’s still easy for me to see St. Louis posting a solid offensive output here.
However, the Devils have quietly produced an excellent offensive output themselves over the last 30 days, averaging 4.55 goals per game. That sample has included numerous contests missing several of those key pieces as alluded to.
New Jersey was also unable to thrive against Igor Shesterkin, as many teams have this season. It’s easy for me to think the Devils can produce offensively against a St. Louis team that has been far from dominant defensively this season.
Altogether New Jersey is probably skating a little undervalued now, with all of its four key pieces back in the lineup and still suffering some unfavorable puck luck, and I think we should see it find some offense here.
St. Louis clearly deserves to be favored here, but -185 is definitely looking pretty low to me, considering that the Devils recent play has actually appeared very respectable and the Blues will be skating in the second leg of a back-to-back.
My favorite play on this contest is the over 6.5 at -110, and then I will be making a small play to back a longshot on the Devils moneyline parlayed with the over 6.5 at almost +400 odds.
Picks: Total Over 6.5 Goals (-110 | Play to -125) | Single Game Parlay — Devils ML + Total Over 6.5 Goals (+396)
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