NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Blues vs. Sharks (April 21)
Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: St. Louis Blues goaltender Ville Husso.
- The San Jose Sharks host the St. Louis Blues in Thursday's NHL matchup.
- The Blues are huge -200 moneyline road favorites, but analyst Tony Satori likes another bet tied to the visitors at plus money.
- Check out below where he's landed with his top selection.
Blues vs. Sharks Odds
|Time||10:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Despite the 11-0-2 surge from the St. Louis Blues, they haven’t made up the ground you’d expect in the Central Division. And it turn, the club still enters this contest neck and neck with the Minnesota Wild for second place in the Western Conference and home-ice advantage in their first-round matchup.
St. Louis will look to keep this run going against San Jose, which finally snapped its 10-game losing streak last time out against Columbus in what was a sound effort.
So, can the Blues take advantage of this spot or will the Sharks effectively play the role of spoiler? Let’s take a look and see where we can find betting value.
St. Louis Blues
It’s a pretty positive comment toward how solid St. Louis has been playing of late that losing a well-contested game in 3-on-3 to a spectacular Bruins team is a letdown. Now, the Blues enter this game looking to shake off that result.
The team’s loaded offense has led it to racking up 4.83 goals per game over its last 13 outings, doing it quietly with a roster featuring one of the most talented forward groups in the league.
The Blues have cleaned up the defensive effort to an extent, playing to a much better 52.28 xG rate during this tear. That’s especially scary because this team simply doesn’t need to control more of the play to be dangerous.
They now lead the league with +49.26 goals for above expected and I feel this is far from just luck. I have argued from early on that St. Louis would greatly outscore its expected mark due to the scoring talent, playmaking ability and willingness to attempt passes through seams as opposed to pointless shots.
The gap between Jordan Binnington and Ville Husso in goal has been significant and is a relevant difference handicapping wise.
Husso has still only played 38 games and this is still an important game for the Blues, so I expect we’ll see him end up getting the start. Husso holds a +16.4 goals saved above expected rating with a .923 save percentage.
San Jose Sharks
San Jose was able to snap its lengthy losing streak against Columbus, but we have seen pretty clearly down the stretch that this is a thin roster on offense, which simply does not boast capable scorers down the lineup.
While San Jose doesn’t hold much in the way of pure scoring ability, it also hasn’t controlled a reasonable run of the play. In their last 10 games, the Sharks have played to a lowly 41.19 xGF% and it’s not surprising the results have been poor.
Kaapo Kahkonen, who will likely start for San Jose in goal, has been very sharp since arriving at the deadline from the Wild. Kahkonen has played to a +4.3 GSAx rating with a .911 save % throughout 33 games this season.
Blues vs. Sharks Pick
St. Louis has been utterly dominant at both ends of the ice of late, making a great case as to why it could be right with the Calgary Flames for second best in the West.
This offense can score in bunches, as we saw facing two really strong clubs this past weekend in Minnesota and Nashville. Losing in overtime to an excellent Boston team is nothing to be overly concerned with, and the Blues have simply been one the best teams in hockey over the last month.
St. Louis has bested a number of teams far better than their foes by two or more goals, so I feel that getting +135 for them to cover the Puck Line holds value. That said, I’d play St. Louis to cover the Puck Line down to +120 odds.
Should we end up with Binnington in goal, it still looks like a strong play in my eyes, but I feel we will see St. Louis lean on Husso get the nod.
Pick: St. Louis -1.5 (+135 | Play to +120)
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