2019 Stanley Cup Finals Betting Odds: Blues Gaining Ground on Bruins
- Boston Bruins: -165
- St. Louis Blues: +135
There has been a lot of movement on these lines following the St. Louis Blues’ Game 4 victory. The Boston Bruins had entered with -350 odds to win the Stanley Cup, and they’ve now inched closer to even money. St. Louis’ victory, meanwhile, moved their Stanley Cup odds from +275. We’ll discuss the following to figure out whether this should have implications on how you bet:
- Latest NHL Stanley Cups odds, unpacked
- Remaining Stanley Cup Finals schedule
- Analysis on Bruins
- Analysis on Blues
Note that our betting odds are accurate as of the conclusion of Game 4. Make sure to double-check these lines before placing your own wager.
2019 Stanley Cup Finals Betting Breakdown
Here is the remaining schedule for the NHL’s 2019 Stanley Cup Finals so you know when your futures and single-game bets must be submitted by:
- Game 5: June 6 at 8 p.m. ET
- Game 6: June 9 at 8 p.m. ET
- Game 7 (if necessary): June 12 at 8 p.m. ET
Keys to a Bruins Victory
No one was much concerned about the Bruins entering Game 4. That might change now.
Boston was thoroughly outplayed through the first 20 minutes of action. That they finished the first period only down 2-1 was a minor miracle. True to form, they picked up their play in the second period, knotting things up at two games apiece.
But Rick O’Reilly piled in two goals for the Blues, including what proved to be the game-winner roughly halfway through the third period, and the Bruins had no consistent response.
The Bruins need to find a way to get on the offensive more in Game 5, which will take place in Boston. They only had two players, David Pastrnak and John Moore, attempt more than two shots. The Blues, by comparison, had eight players attempt at least three shots on goal, including five from O’Reilly and six from Vladimir Tarasenko.
Goalie Tuukka Rask, in fact, deserves a medal for only letting up three goals in Game 4. His save percentage still flirted with 92, which is no small feat considering how much Boston was outshot by.
At the very least, if the Bruins aren’t going to put as much pressure on St. Louis’ net, they need more from their early lines. It was their third line that once again set the tone in Game 4, as has been the case for much of the postseason.
Going back to Boston will help. Only the Tampa Bay Lightning posted a better home record than the Bruins during the regular season, and Boston hasn’t lost in front of their crowd since Game 2 of their second-round series with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Still, the lack of urgency the Bruins displayed in Game 4 is cause for concern. The Blues have been known to score early in the playoffs—this marked the sixth time they dropped in a goal within the first two minutes—yet Boston played more of a passive aggressive style anyway. If they’re forced to chase St. Louis from behind once again in Game 5, they’ll be the ones facing elimination in Game 6.
Keys to a Blues Victory
Can you say ultra-aggression? Look, the Blues aren’t going to come out firing on all cylinders every night. They were a special brand of desperate in Game 4, because they needed to be. Things will turn in Game 5.
Perhaps the Blues are able to sustain their shots-on-goal assault. But the Bruins are almost guaranteed to get more cracks at Jordan Binnington between the posts, and neither he nor Boston’s defense was exactly exceptional in Game 4.
Indeed, letting up just two goals is an accomplishment. But Rask actually had the higher save percentage while working against the larger workload. And Binnington let up a ton of rebounds off missed shots. He’s incredibly lucky the Bruins didn’t flip in a bunch of put-backs or wraparounds.
On the flip side, it’s generally encouraging to see the Blues work harder. They won more of their face-offs after a disastrous Game 3, and they kept putting the pressure on Boston’s defense by launching shots on goal from longer distances.
Apply that same approach moving forward, and they might just be the ones hoisting the Stanley Cup.
Stanley Cup Finals Prediction
This isn’t going to be a popular pick, but we’re going with the Blues. Others will roll with the Bruins. That’s fine. They’re the more storied franchise, and their offense has been more of force all year.
But the Blues seemed to unlock a replicable blueprint Game 4. They pinned down their fundamentals—mainly winning more faceoffs—and went at Rask early and often without overpassing.
It also matters that O’Reilly is now on the board. He was the Blues’ second-leading scorer during the regular season and had yet to make a dent in the Stanley Cup Finals. Even if he’s not putting in two goals, the mere fact that he’s taking more shots will make life easier on Tarasenko, St. Louis’ go-to goal-getter.
Binnington and the defense will doubt have to be better. They’ve given up too many second-chance shots, and that seven-goal nightmare from Game 3 is still fresh. But we know they can be better, because they’ve been better all year. It’s the offense that was most concerning, and St. Louis appears to have discovered the value of higher volume.
OSB Prediction: St. Louis Blues (+135)
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