St. Louis Blues vs Colorado Avalanche (5/17/22) Betting Odds, Prediction, Line Combination, Starting Goalies

We had five first-round Stanley Cup series go seven games. There’s nothing else like playoff hockey.

But these two teams didn’t need the full distance to advance to the second round.

Colorado cemented itself as the best team in the NHL. The Avalanche stormed past Nashville, being the only NHL team to sweep its first-round opponent.

Meanwhile, St. Louis’ first-round matchup was relatively smooth. David Perron led the way with his five goals and four assists, while the rest of the Blues took down Minnesota in six games.

But the Blues face a whole different test in this series. Money Puck currently projects the Avalanche to win Game 1 at home over 64% of the time.

So, do the Blues have a chance?

Let’s dive into the betting odds and my prediction for this Game 1 and the series at large.

St. Louis Blues vs Colorado Avalanche Betting Odds

Colorado should be favored but by this much?

The Blues opened north of +190 but the line has been pushed as low as +170 at one book. This indicates clear sharp movement, and this should be something to monitor handicapping the rest of this game.

But the Avalanche went a whopping 32-5-4 at home this season. They were a top team in the NHL this season, but they were utterly unstoppable in Denver.

St. Louis Blues Analysis

So, St. Louis basically got through the first round on the strength of its defense. The Blues’ 16.99 Expected Goals Allowed over six games sits as the second-lowest of any 2022 playoff team. The Avalanche are of course first but only because Colorado played only four games.

Jordan Binnington also played well, now playing in his fourth playoffs since winning the Cup in 2019. He’s posted a whopping .943 save percentage but also 2.1 Goals Saved Above Expected. So, the defense and netminder are both firing on all cylinders.

Perron only put up 57 regular-season points over 67 games, ranking eighth among Blues players this season. So, it was rather surprising to see him snag nine points over those six games.

But, Perron was also fourth on the team in shots this year (177), so perhaps he was due for some positive regression.

But don’t overlook Vladimir Tarasenko, who led the team in points this season while sniping his way to 34 goals. He did manage a hat trick in Game 5, but I hope the right-winger will snag more than one assist over this next series.

Colorado Avalanche Analysis

Nobody in the western conference scored more goals than the Avalanche. Five players scored at least 28 goals this season, with Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon leading the way.

The most interesting thing about Colorado’s season is they finished third in NHL in Goals Scored Above Expected (32.19). MacKinnon was particularly strong in snapping off goals we shouldn’t expect, as he scored 1.31 goals per 60 minutes despite his .87 xGoals per 60 minutes.

Also interesting, the Blues led the league in that aforementioned stat (54.48).

I’d feel pretty good about Darcy Kuemper coming into this series. He finished the regular season fifth in Goals Saved Above Expected (21) and posted a 0.9 mark after the first round. After struggling in the 2020 playoffs with Arizona, he saved 57 of the 61 shots against him through the first round.

Nashville really didn’t stand a chance. They were totally outplayed on both ends of the ice by the Avalanche, and Colorado ended up posting a +10.11 Expected Goal Differential over just the four games.

St. Louis Blues vs Colorado Avalanche Picks & Prediction

My pick: Over 6.5 (-130 at DraftKings)

The Avalanche are 9-1 to the over in their last 10 games.

Meanwhile, the Blues were the top team in the NHL this season in Goals Scored Above Expected, and they finished 45-35-2 to the over this season.

These are two teams that can score in bunches, and both squads are filled with snipers who can score goals in the most unexpected of ways.

The over has hit in five straight meetings between these two. Might as well bet it one more time.

St. Louis Blues vs Colorado Avalanche Starting Goalies & Line Combination

Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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