Can the St. Louis Blues further extend the series despite being underdogs again? The Colorado Avalanche have won five straight in St. Louis and NHL playoff picks may be strongly leaning on them for the Avalanche-Blues Game 6. But this is the playoffs where comebacks and unexpectedly great performances happen. Don't count St. Louis out just yet.
The St. Louis Blues defeated the Colorado Avalanche in Game 5 after a thrilling comeback. The Blues, who have been underdogs in every game, came back from a three-goal deficit to win in overtime thus forcing Game 6. Historically, home teams have only won 48 percent of Game 6s in an elimination game. The best NHL betting sites posit the Blues as underdogs yet again. Can St. Louis overcome history and force a Game 7?
Stanley Cup 2022 Conf. Semi-Final Picks: Blues Thrive As Dogs
The Game 5 win improved the St. Louis Blues' underdog road to 5-3 in this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs. Bettors would be up nearly four units if they bet the Blues every time they were underdogs. St. Louis has now beaten Colorado twice and at home - a team that only lost nine times in its last 43 home games prior to the Blues.
Now, St. Louis has to do something it hasn't done in its last five tries: beat Colorado at home.
|Away Team||Home Team|
|Colorado Avalanche||-170||+145||St. Louis Blues|
|Colorado Avalanche -1.5||+140||-165||St. Louis Blues +1.5|
|Over 6.5||-115||-105||Under 6.5|
St. Louis Must Learn To Slow Down Colorado At Home
The Colorado Avalanche are the favorites to win the Stanley Cup per the betting odds for a reason. This team can score at will and is so dominant on the puck, that opponents have a small margin for error. But Game 5 proved that if a team wanted to outwork the Avalanche, it could. The St. Louis Blues also have a talented roster with plenty of depth as it showed.
St. Louis finished with the third-best offense in the NHL in the regular season, one spot above the Avalanche. The reason being is St. Louis's uncanny ability to finish. The Blues generally give up more scoring chances than they create on 5v5 but they lead the league in shooting percentages and second in scoring chance shooting percentages.
However, their defense is the stuff of heart attacks, especially at home. St. Louis gives up the most scoring chances on 5v5. If the team did not have two solid netminders who posted an 89.6 save percentage on scoring chances, third-best in the NHL, St. Louis would be struggling to win games.
That's where Colorado has come in to exploit this weakness. The Avalanche are averaging five goals in their last five visits to the Enterprise Center. Of course, they won all these games. Colorado has won 30 of the 31 games where they scored at least five goals this season - that one loss came in overtime in a game where they started their third and fourth-string netminders.
For the Blues to snap their losing skid at home against Colorado, at least two of these three things need to happen: 1) Ville Husso or whoever starts in net for St. Louis will have to be a brick wall unlike in Game 5; 2) the Blues will need to continue their "clutch" scoring - make the most of their scoring chances as Colorado will gain more; and/or 3) Darcy Kuemper will need to be beatable in net again.
It's highly unlikely we see all three of these or even two of these happen hence why Colorado is the favorite here. But these are the playoffs and we expect Husso or Jordan Binnington to be much better in net and for St. Louis to still bring the offense. At their current price, it's worth taking a stab at St. Louis to upset Colorado again.
Ending the Prolific Scoring
It has been a fun and high-scoring series. We have plenty of reasons why there will be more than six goals scored at the Enterprise Center. Colorado and St. Louis are three of the top four scoring teams in the NHL, St. Louis gives up the most scoring chances at home, and Colorado has scored 25 goals in the last five games in St. Louis.
To break this trend, St. Louis's netminder will need to stand tall - as in he needs to put on a Conn Smythe-worthy performance. We know Jordan Binnington has this in him as he backstopped the Blues to the 2019 Stanley Cup. But what about Ville Husso? He has been subpar in the playoffs with an 88.4 save percentage. His -5.8 goals saved above expectations (GSAE) is the worst among the seven starting netminders left in contention.
However, Husso may be due to finally having a big game. This is a netminder that put up a 92.6 save percentage at home in the 21 games in the regular season. He also finished in the top-10 in GSAE (ninth) and adjusted goals allowed average (sixth).
The total has gone over 10 of St. Louis's last 15 games and in their last five home games against Colorado. Betting the over is the logical thing to do. But our gut tells us we will see fewer goals than expected in this one. Bet the over on the Bovada sportsbook and other top betting sites.
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