NHL Playoffs Game 3 Odds, Preview, Prediction: Avalanche vs. Blues (May 21)
Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (8).
Avalanche vs. Blues Game 3 Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Well, we’ve got ourselves a series folks. After two tight checking games in Denver, the Avalanche and the St. Louis Blues head to the Gateway City. The Blues have given the Avs a tough fight, and it won’t be as easy to get to the Conference finals.
So what happens now? The Blues are in the driver’s seat as they head home. Can Colorado take back their home ice advantage? Let’s get into the matchup and how to bet Game 3.
Colorado’s Offense Is Peaking in the Postseason
Since the New Year, Colorado has been one of the more dominant teams in the league. Take a look at their roster, and you can see why. It’s hard to believe that Cale Makar would dazzle more than he usually does, but he is leading the team in scoring with 10 points. Behind him Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon, and Mikko Rantanen are all averaging over a point per game.
The Avs have wreaked havoc these playoffs. They made mincemeat out of the Predators in Round 1, but it hasn’t been as easy against a high powered Blues. Needless to say, it hasn’t stopped them from creating high level offense.
Colorado ranks third among all playoff teams with an expected goals rate of 58.5 xGF%. Not only that, but their power play is the best out of all teams, scoring at an astounding 38.1% clip.
Darcy Kuemper has had a real solid postseason (aside from an eye injury). The former 6th round pick has been a steady force in the blue paint, posting a quality .923 SV% and a +0.6 GSAx (Goals Saved Above Expected).
Blues Defense Has Leveled the Playing Field
St. Louis has a wonderful set of talent, but the production hasn’t been spread out as much. Aside from a few goals from a handful of players, David Perron lit up the Avs in Game 2 with two goals, while Ryan O’Reilly, Vladimir Tarasenko, and Jordan Kyrou have all lit the lamp throughout the playoffs. They are missing two key defensemen in Torey Krug and Marco Scandella, but it seems as if their “next man up” mentality has worked for them.
The Blues have profited off not only elite goaltending, but the ability to convert on the power play. This series shouldn’t be as close as it is, because St. Louis has had a very poor expected goals rate with a 42.57 xGF — 13th out of 16 playoff teams. Having a man advantage has benefitted the Blues big time. They’re currently behind their counterparts with the second-best power play, scoring at a 34.5% pace.
Jordan Binnington is making sure everyone remembers who he is. After a rough regular season, many thought he would lose his No. 1 position. However, after a poor first 3 games from Ville Husso, Binnington reclaimed his spot. The 2019 Cup winning net-minder is posting an elite .948 SV% and a +4.6 GSAx, giving headaches for the high-powered Colorado offense.
Avalanche vs. Blues Pick
I’m interested to see how this pans out. St. Louis has been converting when they need to, but Colorado has dominated every facet of each game.
The kicker here is if Binnington can continue to stay hot. He’s shown in the past that he thrives off the big moments, but if the past two seasons were indicative of his play, he may be due for a poor showing. If he doesn’t play up to the standard he’s held this postseason, it could be a long night in St. Louis.
One can assume that maybe the Blues’ luck may be running out. Their top producers can only carry the load for so long. Only three players have scored outside their top four, so they need all hands on deck. If they don’t get secondary scoring, how else do they expect to take a series lead.
The Avalanche are the league’s cremè de la cremè. There are no holes on this roster, and it’s very hard to believe that a top heavy team can continue to roll them.
Pick: Avalanche ML -160