The Scottrade Center will play host to a Central Division showdown as the Colorado Avalanche pay a visit to Missouri to face the St. Louis Blues. The action gets going at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 15, and it can be seen live on Altitude 2.
Colorado Avalanche vs. St. Louis Blues Odds
St. Louis comes into the game as the obvious favorite with a moneyline of -165. The line for Colorado sits at +145 and the oddsmakers have put the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals. The odds for betting the total sit at -110 for the over and -110 for the under.
The Blues are 37-32 straight up (SU) and have lost 1.7 units for moneyline bettors thus far. That early-season winning percentage isn’t too far off from to the 46-36 record the team posted during the 2016-17 season campaign. Of its 69 regular season outings, 41 have gone under the total, while 27 have gone over and just one has pushed. The team’s 20-14 SU at home this year.
St. Louis has converted on just 15.1 percent of its power play chances this season, a mark that’s ranked 30th overall in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 14th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 81.0 percent of all penalties.
As a team, St. Louis has been penalized just 3.5 times per game overall this season, 3.0 per game over its past five matchups total, and 4.0 per game over its last five home outings. The team’s had to kill penalties for just 8.6 minutes per game over its last 10 matchups, overall.
With a .907 save percentage and 25.2 saves per game, Jake Allen (21 wins, 26 losses, and two OT losses) has been the top option in goal for the Blues this season. If head coach Mike Yeo chooses to give him the evening off, however, the team could roll with Carter Hutton (17-13-13 record, .934 save percentage, 2.02 goals against average).
Brayden Schenn and Vladimir Tarasenko will each spearhead the attack for the Blues. Schenn (58 points) has tallied 24 goals and 34 assists and has recorded two or more points on 13 different occasions this year. Tarasenko has 27 goals and 31 assists to his name and has recorded at least one point in 38 games.
On the other side of the ice, Colorado is 37-32 straight up (SU) and has netted moneyline bettors 10.3 units this year. A total of 37 of its games have gone over the total, while 27 have gone under and just five have pushed. Colorado’s 13-22 SU as the visiting team this season.
Colorado has converted on 21.1 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked third overall and it’s successfully defended 83.7 percent of all opponent power plays.
Colorado’s skaters have been called for penalties 4.2 times per game this season, and 5.0 per game over their last five contests. The team’s had to stave off opponent power plays 10.0 minutes per game over their last five road outings.
Semyon Varlamov (2.81 goals against average and .914 save percentage) has been the primary option in goal for Colorado. Varlamov is averaging 28.1 saves per game and has 21 wins, 22 losses, and six overtime losses to his credit.
Nathan MacKinnon (33 goals, 49 assists) will lead the offensive attack for the visiting Avalanche.
Colorado Avalanche at St. Louis Blues Free Picks
Prediction: SU Winner – Blues, O/U – Under
- The total has gone under in three of St. Louis’ last five games.
- Power plays and penalty kills may prove to be even more critical than usual in tonight’s game. The Avalanche are 16-12 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 22-21 when they’re in the penalty box for fewer than 10 minutes, total. The Blues are 16-12 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 27-20 when they’re in the box for less than 10 minutes.
- St. Louis is 3-0 in games decided by a shootout this season while Colorado is 1-1 in shootouts.
- St. Louis is ranked 13th in the NHL with 7.5 takeaways per game. That figure has trended down lately, however, as it has created 5.5 takeaways over its last 10 games and 4.0 takeaways over its last five.
- Colorado is ranked 22nd with 6.5 takeaways per game. That figure has trended down, however, as it has forced 4.6 takeaways over its last 10 games and 5.0 takeaways over its last five.
- St. Louis might have an advantage if this one comes down to the wire. The team’s 14-12 in games decided by one goal, while Colorado is 10-13 in such games.