They beat them before so the St. Louis Blues want to prove they can do it again. The home team will be slight underdogs on the sportsbook against their divisional nemesis, the Colorado Avalanche, on Thursday night. St. Louis (5-0-0) is also the only unbeaten team in the division while Colorado (2-4-0) is off to a rough start.
Maybe the NHL betting lines have not caught up yet or maybe this is just early season randomness. But the Blues have had one of the easiest schedules while Colorado has gone through an Eastern Conference gauntlet. Only one way to find out.
|Team||Puck Line||Moneyline||Total||Team Total|
|Colorado||-1½ +190||-120||6 -105o||3½ +120o/-160u|
|St. Louis||+1½ -230||Ev||6 -115u||2½ -145o/+105u|
Avalanche: Sleeping Giant
This isn’t the same Colorado that rampaged through the West Division last season. Colorado manhandled the weaker half of the division but still put up a 14-8-2 and +12 goal differential against the other three playoff teams.
But Colorado’s 5v5 metrics are not as skewed toward its favor this season. The team has also dealt with injuries and defenseman Devon Toews (undisclosed) is still absent. Goaltender Darcy Kuemper has been brilliant in some spots but has seemingly been figured out.
Something 2 Watch 4 – COL vs TB…
The book on Darcy Kuemper is blocker side. Shooters have been targeting it this season and they have been scoring. pic.twitter.com/S6K6ngFjtr
— Mike Kelly (@MikeKellyNHL) October 23, 2021
The core is still here. Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen are still dynamic offensive forces. So it may be some time soon before Colorado kicks things into a higher gear. For the meantime, the defensive lapses and shoddy goaltending do them no favors.
Blues: Fire on Ice
The Avalanche may be experiencing a little bit of regression while the Blues are going the opposite way here. This team was hit by so many injuries and absences last season but still managed to clinch a spot in the playoffs.
However, can the Blues sustain some hot goal-scoring right now? David Perron and Ivan Barbashev have combined for nine goals on 30 percent shooting. The team’s power play is also on fire at 37.5 percent. But a lot of this has come against Los Angeles, which is just a mess right now.
St. Louis is no pretender but it could get into a rough stretch if the offense dries up. This team did just allow three or more goals in three of its games and two of these came against the Los Angeles Kings and Arizona Coyotes.
Colorado was the better team against St. Louis for most of the game but let in early goals and couldn’t recover in the 5-3 loss. Against Washington, the team was just outplayed and Kuemper couldn’t withstand the Capitals’ onslaught.
The Avalanche are a better team than their record suggests, but we can’t bet online on a team that has so many holes right now. If it’s not the defense, it’s the goaltending, or it’s the power play, which is the third-worst in the league.
St. Louis will slow down at some point and Colorado will turn it up. But not Thursday night. Give us the underdog price on the Blues as they upset Colorado for the second time this season.
Pick: St. Louis Blues (Ev)
The average total between these teams has been 6.40 goals in their last 10 meetings. In fact, five of the last seven games in St. Louis have seen the total go over. These teams can score and have goaltenders who have cold streaks. Expect this one to be another high-scoring affair.