Sunday NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Anaheim Ducks vs. St. Louis Blues Betting Preview
Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Cam Fowler and Ryan Getzlaf.
- St. Louis hosts Anaheim on Sunday night to continue a four-game home stand.
- The Blues will be without several key players, yet are still hovering around -155 favorites over the Ducks.
- Nicholas Martin breaks down the game below and gives his top pick.
Ducks vs. Blues Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
St. Louis will look to build upon an impressive three-game winning streak, as it continues to skate short a number of key bodies while icing a third-string goalie.
Anaheim hopes to break through with some better offensive results, having taken a tough-luck, 1-0 loss in Pittsburgh on Saturday night as it continues to fight for a surprising playoff berth out of the Pacific Division.
Ducks Are Destined for Regression
Anaheim put together a very respectable road effort in Pittsburgh, falling 1-0 after having been unable to convert amongst a furious third period push.
Anaheim controlled play with the game’s expected goals score going 2.25 to 2.20 for the Ducks, who own a solid 52.05 xGF% over their last six contests.
I speculated when covering their contest Thursday against Columbus that this Ducks team will regress out of the top third with regards to offensive production as the season runs along. They have certainly hit that regression hard the last two times out.
However, they continue to look very sharp in their own zone, and it seems that Dallas Eakins’ young group is learning to play different ways. They have hung around of late in contests where offensive production stalled.
Anaheim will have a great chance to get back on track with regards to offensive production against a St. Louis team that has allowed the league’s highest xGA/60 over its last five contests at 3.37. It will be forced to ice a third- or fourth-string goaltender as well.
With John Gibson having played Saturday against Pittsburgh, backup Anthony Stolarz will be given the start here. Stolarz has been very sharp this year, posting a .928 save percentage and a +2.2 goals saved above expected (GSAx) rating throughout seven games.
Blues Missing Several Key Pieces
Contrarily to the Ducks contests the last two times out, St. Louis has greatly outscored its expected mark and has been clinical in front of goal, all the more impressive considering some of the names out of the lineup.
The Blues remain short a number of excellent pieces, with David Perron, Justin Faulk, Robert Thomas, and both regular goaltenders in Jordan Binnington and Ville Husso out.
Charlie Lindgren has stepped up effectively in their absence, posting a .941 save percentage so far this year, but the Blues will likely be forced to either play him back-to-back or go with Joel Hofer or Jon Gillies here.
Gillies owns an .934 save percentage throughout four contests in the AHL this season.
The Blues have posted a 47.13 xGF% at even strength over their last eight games, but they have managed to stay afloat, in large part due to their spectacular power play. As well, it isn’t surprising to see St. Louis score above expected, as it holds a number of shooting talents and some excellent playmakers.
However, it is hard to argue that its defensive play hasn’t been quite suspect at times this season, and a number of defenders have been consistently exposed as 5-on-5 when forced into bigger minutes amidst their losses.
Ducks vs. Blues Pick
Anaheim will hold a much better chance to control play at 5-on-5 here than a line of +135 suggests, and it conceivably holds a notable goaltending advantage with a likely matchup of Anthony Stolarz vs. Jon Gillies.
The Ducks put together a very sharp effort against a Pittsburgh team that has shut down almost to all opposition of late, but I was actually notably impressed with their play, and I think a similar effort will give them a great chance against a very depleted Blues roster.
At +135 I feel that we have more than enough value to back the Ducks in a game which should be tightly contested. I feel a similar effort as we have often seen from the Ducks on the road would put this game much closer to a coin-flip situation, especially if the Ducks’ excellent penalty kill can continue its strong form, negating the Blues’ greatest strength in their lethal power play.
Pick: Anaheim Ducks Moneyline +135 | Play to +120
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