NHL Odds & Pick for Blues vs. Wild: Fade Minnesota and Its Winning Streak (Wednesday, April 28)
Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Robert Bortuzzo and Jordan Binnington of the St. Louis Blues.
- The Minnesota Wild brandishes a shiny 7-game winning streak heading into Wednesday's tilt against a hungry St. Louis Blues squad at the Xcel Energy Center.
- Given the Wild's recent stellar form, the team is likely fairly favored around -150, but Nicholas Martin cautions blindly backing Minnesota.
- Below, find Martin's full NHL betting guide, including updated odds, in-depth analysis, plus his pick for Wednesday night's matchup in Saint Paul, MN.
Blues vs. Wild Odds
|Time||Wednesday, 7 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. ET and via FanDuel.|
The St. Louis Blues make their way to the Xcel Energy Center looking to build on two crucial wins over the Colorado Avalanche.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Wild, also enter Wednesday’s matchup scorching hot themselves. Minnesota has won seven consecutive contests and now sits just one point shy of Colorado for second place in the NHL West division.
Minnesota’s seven consecutive wins have been earned against teams currently outside the playoff picture. In contrast, the Blues should pose a far greater challenge, especially considering St. Louis’ motivation: The Blues are desperate to hang onto the last playoff spot in the NHL West.
The Wild got an ideal start Saturday night in San Jose as Ryan Suter snuck a very soft shot past Martin Jones 18 seconds into the affair. Suter’s opening goal spurred a 3-0 lead — which, in turn, chased the Sharks’ starting net-minder after the first period.
Minnesota’s victory extended an interesting run of games dating back to March 16. The Wild has failed to outshoot its opponent in each of its last 21 games, yet the team boasts a 14-7 record despite that shot disparity.
Admittedly, the Wild’s shot disparity drought may not be overly meaningful in the final analysis: Quality still trumps quantity as it pertains to shot creation and suppression. Nonetheless, it is certainly uncommon for a team to produce this level of results with that kind of shooting drought.
Rookie Kirill Kaprizov scored again in Saturday’s contest, pushing his season goals total to 22 and his points total to 41. Kaprizov is the main component driving Minnesota’s top trio to success. He is a deserving Calder trophy favorite over Jason Robertson, the latter of whom has primarily played on a tremendous line centered by Roope Hintz.
This is a well-balanced group behind Kaprizov with two dominant defensive pairings, two consistently solid goaltenders and strong forward depth. Nonetheless, Minnesota does not have the top-end talent that division rivals Colorado and Vegas possess — either of which teams Minnesota is likely to face in Round 1 of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.
St. Louis Blues
The Blues showed a ton of positives in two wins over a depleted, yet formidable Avalanche group to close the team’s most recent home series. Tuesday’s win was especially inspiring, as the top line of Brayden Schenn, Ryan O’Reilly and David Perron clicked for a combined six points en route to a 4-1 win.
St. Louis’ power play looked sharp once again as well, and Vladimir Tarasenko was rewarded by scoring the game’s first goal on the man advantage. It would certainly be a massive boost to the Blues to see the former 40-goal scorer find better form after missing most of the last two seasons due to injury.
There is still a ton of talent on this Blues roster, with a lot of depth up front and some pieces that may still have more to offer this season. Still, the defensive core is likely incapable of the kind of dominance that we witnessed during the Blues cup run. Nonetheless, if Jordan Binnington can continue to provide stability in net, then St. Louis should maintain its mark of 3.07 goals against per game.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The Wild has certainly been far better than the Blues this season. But, with single-game NHL betting, one must be willing to back lesser teams in favorable spots given the right price. I believe that this desperate St. Louis bunch offers sufficient upside on Wednesday to make this one of those instances.
The Wild has compiled its active winning streak against lesser competition — and definitely not in entirely dominant fashion. But, there are several reasons why St. Louis will provide a much stiffer test than Minnesota has faced of late.
- Captain Ryan O’Reilly has shown excellent leadership, sparking his Blues with six points over the last two games while displaying his superb two-way game.
- Jordan Binnington has stabilized with a .923 SV% over his last 10 contests, and the power play continues to look sharp.
- A third line including Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou offers a ton of upside as well.
So, while the analytics are bearish regarding these Blues, I am willing to take wager that the team will build on its excellent results in the last two games. Give me the Blues skating again as considerable underdogs at +132.
Pick: St. Louis Blues +132