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NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Blues vs. Ducks

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Blues vs. Ducks article feature image

Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Jordan Kyrou (St. Louis)

  • The Blues are road favorites as they visit the Ducks on Saturday night.
  • Neither side is competing for a postseason spot, but there's still betting value to be found.
  • Continue reading for Ryan Dadoun's best bet.

Blues vs. Ducks Odds

Blues Odds-164
Ducks Odds+136
Over/Under6.5 (-120/-102)
Time10:30 p.m. ET
TVNHL Network
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Blues are having a rough campaign, but at least they’ve done better than the lowly Ducks, who they’ve beaten twice twice this season. Will St. Louis complete the series sweep Saturday?

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St. Louis Blues

The Ducks went into the year with hope they’d take a step forward, but it’s fair to say St. Louis, on track to miss the playoffs for the first time since 2019, is the bigger disappointment of 2022-23. The Blues went from having one of the league’s top offenses last season, to ranking 20th in the league with 3.11 goals per game this time around.

Pivoting to the future, the Blues dealt Vladimir Tarasenko, Ivan Barbashev and Ryan O’Reilly — their first, fifth and seventh leading scorers, respectively, in 2021-22 — away before the trade deadline. On top of that, Robert Thomas (illness) missed Thursday’s game, so it remains to be seen if he’ll be an option Saturday.

The Blues will still be able to dress Jordan Kyrou and Pavel Buchnevich, who each have over 20 goals and 60 points this season, so they won’t be completely devoid of scoring threats, but the only other player with more than 40 points is Brayden Schenn.

Maybe goaltender Joel Hofer will be the difference. While it’s not confirmed that he will start, the 22-year-old has played in the Blues’ past four games and is red hot with a 3-0-1 record, a 1.74 GAA and a .944 save percentage in those contests.

Anaheim Ducks

If Hofer is in net, Anaheim might have a tough time scoring. After all, the Ducks aren’t exactly a major scoring threat under the best of circumstances and have averaged just 2.54 goals per game this season — only Chicago has fared worse.

Even with all the talent the Blues have shed, they at least still have forwards with over 60 points. Anaheim’s scoring leader is Trevor Zegras, who has 22 goals and 58 points this season, which puts him in a tie for 73rd in the league. That’s nothing to be ashamed of, but it’s what a team wants from its leader. Beyond him, Anaheim has Troy Terry (20 goals, 54 points) and Cam Fowler (10 goals, 43 points) to round off its top three.

Anaheim can’t hope to make up the difference with strong defense either. The Ducks have an expected goals allowed of 279.37, per Moneypuck, which is the most in the NHL.

In other words, the Ducks have made life miserable for John Gibson, who has a 14-27-8 record, a 3.89 GAA and a .902 save percentage in 49 contests. He has failed to carry the team, but given what’s in front of him, it’s clear he’s not the main issue. Anaheim could send out Lukas Dostal instead, but he’s no better with a 4-5-2 record, a 3.91 GAA and an .899 save percentage in 12 appearances.

The Ducks have some promising young talent, but there’s no talking around the fact that — at this moment — they are simply one of the worst teams in the league. They’ve also lost seven of their past nine games, all while fans are likely eyeing Anaheim’s draft lottery position.

Blues vs. Ducks Pick

Any team can win any game — after all, the Ducks have 23 victories this season — but I wouldn’t bet on Anaheim beating St. Louis on Saturday. The trouble is, oddsmakers agree with that assessment, so taking the Blues on the moneyline, or even the 3 Way, won’t provide a great potential return.

If you select St. Louis on the puck line (the spread is 1.5 goals in Anaheim’s favor), then you would get a solid possible payout. However, even though I don’t trust the Ducks, the Blues aren’t great either. With St. Louis’ offense in its current state, I don’t feel comfortable betting this game will finish with a gap of at least two goals.

Instead, my favorite bet for this matchup is under 6.5 goals. Anaheim has a terrible defense, but St. Louis isn’t well positioned to take advantage of it. Given the state of these two teams, it wouldn’t shock me if this is a low-scoring contest.

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