Blues vs. Bruins Game 5 Betting Odds, Preview: Will St. Louis Steal One on the Road?
Billy Hurst, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Jordan Binnington, Ryan O’Reilly
- The Boston Bruins are -155 favorites over the St. Louis Blues in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.
- Close to 60% of bettors are backing the Bruins to win Game 5 at home. Is that creating value the other way?
Stanley Cup Game 5 Betting Odds, Blues at Bruins
- Blues odds: +135
- Bruins odds: -155
- Over/Under: 5.5
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- TV: NBC
>> All odds as of Wednesday night. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NHL odds and track your bets
The St. Louis Blues drew even with the Boston Bruins with a comprehensive 4-2 victory in Game 4 on Monday night. It was a well deserved win for the Blues as they controlled the game from start to finish.
The numbers back up that notion as the Blues created more expected goals (1.66 to 1.16), generated more shot attempts (49 to 30) and took more shots from the slot (18 to 9) than the Bruins did at 5-on-5.
The Bruins are still the series favorite at -160 (59.6% implied probability), but they may be without Zdeno Chara for the rest of the series after he took a puck off his face in the second period of Game 4. Rumors are that Chara broke his jaw, and the big man didn’t practice on Wednesday, but his status for Game 5 and beyond is cloudy.
Losing Chara would obviously be a big blow for the B’s, especially after puck-moving defenseman Matt Grzelcyk suffered a concussion earlier in the series. If Chara and Grzelcyk, who practiced in a non-contact jersey on Wednesday, are out, it could mean that 2017 first-round pick Urho Vaakanainen draws into his first career playoff game.
Even though the 20-year-old Finn only has two NHL games under his belt, he would probably get the nod ahead of journeyman Steve Kampfer because the latter would give Boston four right-handed defensemen.
It also would force Torey Krug and Brandon Carlo into a bigger role. Krug and Carlo have been terrific in this series, but Boston’s sudden lack of depth on the blue line will be a problem against the Blues, whose biggest strength is a relentless, heavy forecheck.
The Bruins will have the luxury of the last change in Game 5, so Bruce Cassidy can get the matchups he wants and try his best to shelter his bottom pair from St. Louis’ two best lines.
Chara’s absence will also be felt on the penalty kill. Chara’s size, long reach and defensive IQ make him a monster on the PK and his absence creates a void on a penalty kill that is operating at an absurd 87.5% this postseason. The Bruins’ power play has garnered a lot of praise throughout the tournament, but its penalty killers have been a huge reason why they are still playing.
St. Louis’ power play has struggled this spring, so any special teams edge that it can get on Boston is a big one.
Game 5 Betting Analysis
Despite all of their injury problems the Bruins are still attracting the majority of bets for Game 5. That’s nothing new for this series as Boston has closed with a majority of the tickets for all four contests.
Here’s a snapshot of the market for this series, per The Action Network‘s consensus odds.
- Game 1: Boston -175 (61.9% implied probability) vs. St. Louis +155 (38.1%)
- Game 2: Boston -165 (60.9%) vs. St. Louis +150
- Game 3: St. Louis -120 (52.2%) vs. Boston +100
- Game 4: St. Louis -113 (51.7%) vs. Boston +102
- Game 5: Boston -155 (58.8%) vs. St. Louis +135
I think the betting market has been a little too high on the Bruins throughout this series and, even though the Blues are shorter in Game 5 than they were in the first two games in Boston, I still think St. Louis is the right side for Thursday night.
When you adjust the line for home-ice advantage (roughly 5% in NHL), the market is suggesting the Bruins would be approximately -127 favorites on neutral ice.
That number is a little flattering for Boston. At 5-on-5 these two teams are not that far apart, Boston has a slight xG edge (6.1 to 5.97) but St. Louis has better shot metrics (54.5% shot share). If the Blues can stay out of the box, they turn the game into a coin flip.
With all of Boston’s injury problems on defense, I think the Blues should be a shade under +130 for Game 5.