Blues vs. Ducks Odds, Picks, Prediction: Back St. Louis as Big Favorite
Patrick Smith/Getty Images. Pictured: Ryan O’Reilly
Blues vs. Ducks Odds
|Time||8:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The NHL’s regular season is drawing to a close, and the St. Louis Blues are locked in a battle with the Minnesota Wild for second in the Central Division standings. Although more noteworthy races are going on in the final week of the season, snagging second in the division would assure the Blues of home-ice advantage through the first round of the playoffs against the Wild.
St. Louis snuck out a victory against the Arizona Coyotes last night, and a couple of factors are working in their favor tonight.
Blues Still in Great Form
The Blues come into tonight’s Western Conference battle in fine form. St. Louis has outplayed their opponents in three of their past four games, despite playing on the road in all but one of those contests. We’ve seen some impressive offensive showings from the Blues, which should fluster the Ducks on Sunday.
St. Louis is turning up the pressure offensively, attempting 11 or more high-danger chances at five-on-five in three of their past six outings. Improved offensive production has resulted in increased output, with the Blues totaling 30 goals across the six-game sample, scoring five or more in four of six.
Most importantly, the Blues handled their goaltending workload to perfection. St. Louis started Jordan Binnington last night against the Coyotes, saving starting goalie Ville Husso for the second night against the better team. That could tip the balance in the Blues’ favor as St. Louis looks for their 12th win in 13 games.
Ducks Playing Out the String
The end of the season can’t come soon enough for the Ducks. Losers of eight of their past 10, the Ducks’ metrics show no sign of imminent improvement. Anaheim is in a similar position to the Blues, playing on the second night of a back-to-back; however, they may have done themselves a disservice by saving John Gibson for tonight’s contest.
Of the two Ducks’ goalies, Anthony Stolarz has been more productive than Gibson. Stolarz has the advantage in save percentage, goals-against average, and goals saved above average. Of course, neither goalie gets a ton of support, as the Ducks rank in the bottom half of the league in most defensive categories. That’s been even more evident over their recent sample.
Opponents are doing circles around the Ducks in their defensive zone, with Anaheim giving up 10 or more high-danger chances at five-on-five in six of their previous nine contests. Poor defensive showings are putting the Ducks behind the eight ball, as they’ve posted expected goals-for ratings below 50% in all but three of those games.
Blues vs. Ducks Pick
Anaheim has been short on motivation to end the season, and we’re not expecting that to change as they skate on consecutive nights with the end of the season in sight.
The Blues handled their goaltenders much better than the Ducks and have solid metrics propping up their recent run of success. This line should shift towards the visitors, so buy early.
Pick: Blues -250
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