Blues vs. Golden Knights: Free Picks, Odds & Predictions

Blues vs Golden Knights NHL
St. Louis vs. Vegas, Enterprise Center

Both the St. Louis Blues and Vegas Golden Knights enter Friday’s contest on two-game losing streaks that stopped long winning streaks. In Vegas’ case, it had won six in a row before losing a pair in Minnesota, whereas St. Louis had won four in a row before losing consecutive overtime games. The Blues have been fortunate enough to play mostly the bottom feeders in the West Division this year with just three of their 26 games thus far coming against the teams also in the top-four positions. That lack of a challenge might be an issue on home ice against the Golden Knights, who have had to battle more competitive teams thus far.

Free Picks

Ryan O’Reilly has a point in six of his last seven games, and he always seems to be scoring important goals for the Blues. He had an assist when these two teams played back in January, but more importantly he’s just been around a lot of goals recently with six points in his last three games. We’ve seen the Golden Knights defense struggle at times over the last two weeks to shut down opposing team’s top lines, and I suspect that will be the case again Friday. There were some excellent +280 odds at the NHL betting sites in New Jersey on O’Reilly to score, so I hopped aboard for some extra value on one of St. Louis’ best players.

RYAN O’REILLY SCORES GOAL

The Blues just locked down goalie Jordan Binnington to a long-term contract, but their defense has been worrisome over the last two weeks or so. St. Louis has allowed four or more goals in four of its last six games and the Blues are facing a very potent Vegas offense that is scoring goals at an excellent clip. The Golden Knights have scored at least three goals in five of their last six games, including a run of three straight games with five goals. The first game between these two teams featured nine goals, and their last two matchups last season featured a combined 20 goals, so I expect a similar performance with both teams eager to end a losing skid. Vegas’ defense has been better than St. Louis’ recently, but the Golden Knights have still allowed four goals in half of their last six games. Though there is more value on a low-scoring game, I’ll be more cautious with +143 odds from the legal sports betting sites in New Jersey and bet on a high-scoring affair.

OVER 6.5 TOTAL GOALS

St. Louis’ last seven games have all been decided by one goal and its last three have all gone to overtime. No matter the strength opponent, the Blues have played tight games, so it’s easy to imagine this game would be just as tight. Vegas is at the end of a long road trip, and that has an effect on a team mentally and physically, especially in a season like this one. The Golden Knights played three overtime games in a four game span two weeks ago, so Vegas is no stranger to playing more than 60 minutes. Given how equally these two teams match up on paper, I’ll take the risky +310 odds at the hockey betting sites in New Jersey that this game will require an extra session.

GAME GOES TO OVERTIME

Best Odds

St. Louis Vegas
888Sport
+102 -122
FanDuel
+100 -118
BetMGM
+105 -125

Statistics

Head to Head

This is the second meeting of the season between St. Louis and Vegas after the Blues won the first matchup in a shootout back in January.

Stats

  • St. Louis has claimed points in all 10 games it has played against Vegas in the Golden Knights’ brief time in the league. The Blues have won six times and lost the other four games in overtime.
  • Vegas is allowing the third fewest goals per game in the NHL with just 2.17 goals allowed per game this year. St. Louis ranks 19th in the league almost a full goal behind Vegas at 3.08 goals allowed per game.
  • David Perron is on pace to have a career year for the Blues this season. He leads the team with 28 points in 26 games, which would be on pace for 88 points in a normal 82-game season. Perron has never scored more than 66 points in any season, and his points-per-game average is 0.13 points more than his previous career high in a season.
  • Max Pacioretty and Alex Tuch are tied for the team lead with 12 goals this season for Vegas, but they are both well behind Mark Stone’s team-high 28 points. Stone is tied for seventh in the NHL with 22 assists already this season and his 28 points are tied for 11th in the league.

Our Prediction for St. Louis vs. Vegas

Vegas Golden Knights to win

This prediction simply comes down to how easy the schedule has been so far for the St. Louis Blues. Through COVID-19 pauses and other strokes of luck, St. Louis has played just three of its first 26 games against teams currently in the top-four in the West Division. It has won two of those three games, but the sample size is too small. Vegas has split four meetings with Colorado and four games with Minnesota already this season, so the Golden Knights have played a far tougher schedule. That will bear out on the ice Friday as the Golden Knights’ mental resiliency leads them to a road win over the Blues.

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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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