NHL Odds, Picks, Prediction for Blues vs. Avalanche: How to Bet Game 2 Mismatch in Colorado (Wednesday, May 19)
Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Gabriel Landeskog.
- Colorado takes on St. Louis in Game 2 of their playoffs series with the Avalanche in possession of a 1-0 series lead.
- The Avs were heavy favorites to win the series and the Stanley Cup and opened as huge -335 favorites to win Wednesday night.
- Pete Truszkowski explains how to find value in this game when the teams are so far apart in terms of talent.
Blues vs. Avalanche Odds
|Time||Wednesday, 10:30 pm ET|
|Odds as of Tuesday and via DraftKings.|
Coming into the first round of these playoffs, the biggest mismatch on paper was likely between the Colorado Avalanche and the St. Louis Blues. There were no surprises on the ice either in Game 1 as the Avs won the game by a score of 4-1, and it probably wasn’t even as close as that scoreline suggests.
From a betting perspective, the first game puts this series in a bit of a dead zone. The series had limited value to begin with due to the discrepancy between the two teams. After Game 1, backing the favorite has become even more difficult. Contrarily, the underdog Blues showed absolutely nothing to make you want to consider backing them either.
The Colorado Avalanche are -335 favorites to win Game 2 and all the way up to -1000 now to win the series and advance to the second round. With the odds so drastic, what’s the best plan of attack in this contest?
What We Learned In Game 1
The Colorado Avalanche finished the regular season with the best record in the league. In addition, they ranked first in expected goal rate, shot attempt share and 5-on-5 goal differential. It’s no surprise that they are currently the favorites to hoist the Stanley Cup.
On the other hand, St. Louis’ 63 points were the second lowest total amongst all playoff teams. They ranked 27th in expected goal rate and 24th in shot attempt share. They had a -0.15 goal differential per 60 minutes at 5on5.
Things didn’t change for either team once the bright lights of the playoffs turned on. MoneyPuck.com’s Deserve To Win O’Meter had the Avalanche at 86.3% for Game 1. The expected goals (xG) in all situations were 4.56 to 1.44 in favor of Colorado. At 5-on-5, Colorado won the xG battle 2.91-1.23 (70.3%).
In an impressive feat, no player on the Colorado Avalanche posted an xG rate below 52%, and no player on the Blues posted an xG rate above 47%. This highlights the fact that it wasn’t just one line doing the damage for the Avalanche. This was a total domination with every line pulling its weight for Colorado.
With that being said, the Avalanche's top players still dominated this game. Nathan MacKinnon had two goals and an assist, Gabriel Landeskog had three points and Mikko Rantanen added two assists. The top line played to an expected goal rate of 73.5% in over 13-and-a-half minutes of ice time. The Avs top defensive pair of Cale Makar and Devon Toews continued their domination, posting an xG of 82.3% in Game 1.
If St. Louis is to have any chance in this series, they’ll need a super-human performance from Jordan Binnington. His season-long numbers weren’t particularly impressive, but he finished the season with a .921 save percentage over his last 14 games. He continued that form in Game 1, stopping 46 of 49 Avalanche shots. Wasting a terrific goaltending performance like that probably isn’t a good omen for the Blues.
Blues vs. Avalanche Best Bet
After winning as -335 favorites on Monday, the Avalanche are back at that same number for Game 2. The line opened at -305 in the rematch, but it’s no surprise to see people are flocking to back Colorado based on the resumes of these teams and what we saw in Game 1.
However, there’s almost never any value in betting a favorite that large in hockey. Therefore, we must look for another avenue. You could bet the Blues as huge underdogs, but that sounds like the opposite of fun.
You could look towards backing the Avalanche on the puckline. The Avalanche to win by 1.5 goals or more is a -120 favorite. Colorado was the highest-scoring team in the league during the regular season. They have also covered the puckline in 23 of their 40 wins to date this season.
The Avalanche possess the puck and generate more quality chances than any team in the league. The Blues struggle in both regards. This is a true mismatch, and outside of a no-show by the Avalanche or a super-human performance from Binnington, I don’t see how the Blues can compete.