NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Blues vs. Predators (March 12)
Rich Graessle/Getty Images. Pictured: St. Louis Blues standout Vladimir Tarasenko.
Blues vs. Predators Odds
|Time||12:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Three consecutive wins for Nashville has its surprising trek toward the NHL postseason back on track, but will the Predators be able to build on a 17-10-4 record on home ice Saturday when they host a scary St. Louis Blues offense?
St. Louis Blues
St. Louis made a firm comment toward the level of offensive creativity and scoring ability on hand Thursday, when they chased Igor Shesterkin with four goals on 17 shots. That was just eight days after producing a three-goal output off him, which is crazy to say is actually far above average this season.
Those games outlined the Blues excellent ability to complete inner-slot passes, and generate the sort of chances that will equalize a ridiculously talented net-minder, as well as the wealth of shooting talent available.
I have consistently argued the Blues would outscore expected goals by a good rate with their creativity in the offensive zone and willingness to look for these plays. And that has played out with St. Louis holding a +27.99 goals scored above expected rating so far.
Thursday's win certainly felt like a statement game, as the Blues snapped out of a four-game slump in which they clearly lacked some of the intensity needed to succeed , playing closer to their top game in dominating a strong New York Rangers squad.
Over their last 10 games the Blues have played to a 50.21 xG rate, which isn't a tremendous mark by any means. However, as outlined St. Louis hold a more capable than average offensive unit with regard to creating and finishing high danger chances and have succeeded with a lesser rate much of this season.
That said, this looks like a good spot for the Blues to build on momentous win and put together a much better effort on the road.
It's unclear whether we will see Jordan Binnington or Ville Husso draw the start, but I would argue the discrepancy between the two will continue to level off to an extent moving forward, although Husso has been much sharper.
Binnington holds a -5.8 goals saved above expected rating (GSAx) with a .904 save percentage, while Husso holds a +16.8 goals saved above expected rating with a .930 save percentage.
Nashville has pushed back a disappointing loss in Seattle with three consecutive wins, but similar to St. Louis, the play has been altogether inconsistent of late with a 5-6-0 mark over its last 11 games.
The Predators didn't seem likely to be as dominant as the results we saw earlier this season, and I think we have seen them the level of play I expect more so going forward. That's a strong club, but certainly below the tier of viable Stanley Cup candidates.
The Predators hold a 44.6 xG rate over the 11 contests, and although I still believe they're better than that mark suggests (and the last three games show that), I don't believe the talent on hand has them worthy of being the favorite.
Juuse Saros continues to be the X factor for the Predators. However, as he continues to prove himself worthy of being listed among the league's most elite net-minders with his unreal movement helping to compensate for his lesser stature, it's making him one of my favorites to watch.
Saros should start and will be looking to build on a +23.8 goals saved above expected rating and .925 save % in 48 games played this season.
Blues vs. Predators Pick
The lethal St. Louis offense has the ability to generate against any goaltender and poses a problem for any opposition to keep in check. So, I think we can see them break through with a strong output against Saros and Nashville.
We saw a lull from St. Louis on that Eastern road swing, but in the big picture it's easy to argue the Blues should be consistent with regard to offensive production due to the talent on hand. Needless to say, I think we can expect them follow up Thursday's big performance in this matchup.
I like a little bit more of what this St. Louis roster has to offer compared to the Predators and there's value getting the team as an underdog, even if it has consistently posted as strong of play on the road as it has on home ice.
I'm happy to take the Blues at +105 odds in this spot and would play them down to -110, with a definite lean toward over 5.5 goals as well.
Pick: St. Louis ML (+105)