Blues vs. Avalanche: Free Picks, Odds & Predictions

Blues vs Avalanche NHL
St. Louis vs. Colorado, Enterprise Center

It’s been a tough week for the Colorado Avalanche, who had their schedule rearranged for a second time this season due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the team. The St. Louis Blues also happened to feel the effects of the stoppage because they were expected to play Colorado earlier this week. So they have had a few days to ruminate on this current two-game skid as they try to battle for a playoff spot in the West Division. The Avalanche might be missing a few key players, but their overall depth has shined all season, and it shouldn’t be any different Thursday.

Free Picks

The absence of Joonas Donskoi in the lineup due to COVID-19 opens a spot for Brandon Saad to be a prominent secondary scoring threat for Colorado. Saad scored a goal in each of the two games right before the pause, and will be raring to go to continue his good form Thursday night. He has scored four goals in the month of April and two of them have come against the Blues, which always helps the confidence coming off a week break. At +270 odds at the NHL betting sites in New Jersey, I’m a fan of Saad continuing his goal-scoring streak.

BRANDON SAAD SCORES GOALS

The Avalanche have scored four goals in their last three games, and this break gave them a chance to be even stronger for the stretch push. The Avalanche offense might be rusty at the beginning of the game, but I don’t know if the Blues can slow down the Avalanche once they get their skating legs again in a game. Colorado just has so many weapons and the Blues’ goaltending situation isn’t great at the moment. It’s a bit risky to bet on the Avalanche to score a lot after the layoff, but I went for a whole number to provide a safety net for the +230 odds from the hockey betting sites in New Jersey.

COLORADO AVALANCHE OVER 4 GOALS

I needed an angle to get better odds on the Avalanche to win, and I found this wager at the legal sports betting sites in New Jersey for +340 odds. I expect there will be a little rust for the Avalanche after not playing a game for eight days, and the Blues might be able to capitalize on that at home. St. Louis is in a desperate race just to qualify for the playoffs, and that energy might be enough for the Blues to take advantage of the Avalanche’s questionable goalie situation at the moment. However, I do expect the second and third periods to be dominated by the Avalanche once they find their rhythm again, so I find it reasonable that Colorado might need to stage a small comeback in this game.

COLORADO AVALANCHE WIN AFTER TRAILING

Best Odds

St. Louis Colorado
888Sport
+114 -137
FanDuel
+124 -146
BetMGM
+120 -140

Statistics

Head to Head

This is scheduled to be the fifth of eight games this season between St. Louis and Colorado, and the Avalanche have won the last four meetings between the teams.

Stats

  • The Avalanche own the league’s best goal differential at 54, which averages out to the most goals per game in the league with 3.58 scored per game and the third-fewest goals allowed per game with 2.33 allowed per game. It’s a main reason why Colorado has the league’s best points percentage at .744.
  • St. Louis’ goaltending has been in rough shape this season as the Blues rank 26th in team save percentage and are one of three teams that have not pitched a shutout this year. The saving grace is St. Louis has allowed the seventh-fewest shots in the NHL this season, but it hasn’t saved the Blues on the penalty kill, which ranks as the fifth-worst in the league.
  • Nathan MacKinnon leads the Avalanche with 53 points and ranks fourth in the NHL by scoring 1.36 points per game this season. He’s mostly been the setup man for Colorado’s top line, ranking fifth in assists with 36 this year. He’s been equally effective at even strength and on the power play with 15 of his assists coming on the man advantage.
  • David Perron has been on a hot streak lately when it comes to setting up his teammates. The Blues leader in points with 42 has an assist in five straight games and eight of his last nine to help add to an offensive that has been lacking diversity this season.

Our Prediction for St. Louis vs. Colorado

Colorado Avalanche to win

Despite the weeklong layoff, the Colorado Avalanche are still the far more talented team on paper in this game. It won’t be pretty for sure, but it’s hard to argue against a team that has won four in a row and 17 of its last 20 games. The St. Louis Blues have really been slumping recently with nine losses in their last 12 games, which includes three setbacks to Colorado during that stretch. They will be eager to take the initiative to Colorado early and try to take advantage of the Avalanche working back into game mode, but the Avalanche don’t need much time to get their offense going again.

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Josh Walfish is an award-winning journalist who has been covering college and professional sports in the United States. He holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University and his work has appeared in the Miami Herald, Chicago Sun-Times and Providence Journal. He most recently chronicled the UMass hockey teams rise to prominence over the last two years for the local newspaper

All Reviews by Josh Walfish

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