Friday NHL Odds, Picks, Prediction: St. Louis Blues vs. Seattle Kraken Betting Preview
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images. Pictured: Ivan Barbashev, Brayden Schenn and Justin Fault.
Blues vs. Kraken Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Seattle gave the Blues all they could handle last week in St. Louis, suffering an unlucky 2-1 defeat, and will look to find the result they likely deserved when the teams get reacquainted for their second-ever meeting.
However, it might be even tougher this time around for the Kraken, with St. Louis now at full health, and catching Seattle on night two of a back-to-back.
Blues Continue to Grind It Out
St. Louis continue to find ways to post strong results, grinding its way to a 6-2-0 mark since the break, posting just a 44.02 xGF% over that time, but greatly overachieving the expected mark offensively.
The asterisk to that poor expected goals mark, however, would be that the Blues have played short a ton of key bodies many of those nights, and have played some strong teams both analytically and where it matters over that span.
St. Louis lead the league in slot passes completed this season, which is no doubt a big part of its mark of scoring +17.35 goals for above expected mark this season.
Surely that mark could level off somewhat, but the Blues hold some potent playmakers and lethal shooters, and it’s far from surprising to see them overachieve offensive expectation.
The defensive play continues to be suspect at times, as evidenced in Saturday’s 6-5 loss to Toronto and much of the Predators game. But the Blues have the ability to cover those lapses, and now skating at full health we should see some improved team defense. This is a very favorable spot to start against a Seattle team that has generated very little offensively of late.
I imagine we will see St. Louis let Jordan Binnington draw back in here, in what is a close battle for the starter’s role of late. Binnington has posted a -3.2 goals saved above expected rating with a .906 save % throughout 22 games played this season.
A 1-6-1 mark (prior to Thursday’s contest vs San Jose) since the season restart may be a little harsh to the overall play of the Kraken, including last week’s loss in St. Louis, but the underachievement results-wise has been very on brand from this Kraken group all season long.
The Kraken have scored just 2.25 goals per game over that span, and a 1.91 xGF/60 rate suggests similarly low outputs are to be expected.
I still am somewhat of the belief this Kraken group should not be this outright awful, but this sets up to be a very tough spot for them to keep pace with the Blues’ deadly attack.
It’s unclear who will draw the start in goal for Seattle, with Phillipp Grubauer going Thursday against San Jose, and Chris Driedger’s status on the COVID protocol list up in the air.
I do not believe the Kraken would go back-to-back with Grubauer in this write-off of a season, so it’s possible we see Antoine Bibeau, who holds an .884 save % in the AHL this season. Bibeau would swing the lines notably from the current marks.
Blues vs. Kraken Pick
St. Louis has posted strong offensive results all season long, regularly skating short a number of key forwards and in situations far from as ideal as this one.
Heading into Climate Pledge Arena, where most teams have found a lot of offensive success, on an ideal amount of rest to face the Kraken skating in the second leg of a back-to-back, sets up as an ideal scenario for this potent St. Louis offense to thrive.
At full strength the Blues’ top nine is simply scary, and it’s hard for me to see Seattle being able to hold St. Louis to a modest offensive output. The Blues have managed their strong recent results with some lesser control of the play at 5-on-5, with their potent scorers and playmaking ability able to cover that deficit a lot of nights. This is a spot, however, where at full health it’s easy to see St. Louis carrying far more of the play.
Altogether, it’s easy for me to see value backing the Blues to win inside of regulation at +100, and I would recommend getting on that line early as I think it will be closer to -140 by game time.
I also like a half-unit play on the Blues parlayed with the over 5.5 at +170, and would play that down to +150.
Pick: St. Louis 3-Way (Regulation) Win (+100 — Play to -135)
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