Colorado Avalanche at St. Louis Blues Game 3 Betting Guide

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You’re right to be upset. There’s only a handful of Saturdays left in the NHL season, and we’re down to one hockey game tonight. The spotlight belongs to the St. Louis Blues as they take to the Enterprise Center for the first time in Round 2. The Blues stifled the Colorado Avalanche for three periods en route to a 4-1 victory on Thursday night. That didn’t earn them any respect in the betting market and they enter tonight’s all-important Game 3 as home ice underdogs. We’ve seen good things from St. Louis over their recent sample, which warrants a play on them tonight.Colorado Avalanche vs. St. Louis Blues Moneyline, Total and Odds

Moneyline: Avalanche -170 | Blues +140

Spread: Avalanche -1.5 (+145) | Blues +1.5 (-178)

Total:  6.5 Over -120 | Under -104

Colorado Avalanche vs. St. Louis Blues News, Analysis, and Picks

After going down two games to one in their opening-round series against the Minnesota Wild, defense has been a priority for the Blues. The third-seeded Central Division team has reverted to their Stanley Cup-winning methods, tightening their defensive zone coverage. The Blues have limited their opponents to six or fewer high-danger chances at five-on-five in three of their past four, including Game 2 against the Avs. A similar performance is expected on home ice, where they can line match to limit Colorado’s attack.

Another effect of the Blues’ first-round deficit was that it precipitated a goaltending change. St. Louis turned the starter’s crease over to Jordan Binnington, and he’s thrived. Through five starts, Binnington is 4-1 with a 94.8% save percentage and 1.75 goals-against average. In tandem with improved structure, the goaltending change has made the Blues a tough out, even more so on home ice.

The Blues’ solid metrics have perpetuated a concerning Avalanche trend early this postseason. Colorado has struggled with five-on-five scoring, recording two or fewer goals in three of their six contests. That has resulted in the second-lowest shooting percentage among teams in the second round, tallying on just 7.3% of their shots.

Diminished output correlates with decreased production metrics, as the Avs have been less effective at creating chances. Colorado has been limited to nine or fewer high-danger and 26 or fewer scoring opportunities in three of six games. Consequently, they’ve only out-chanced their opponents in half of their matchups.

The Avalanche got past an ineffective Nashville Predators squad in the Conference Quarterfinals but have faced stiffer competition against the Blues. St. Louis has been up to the challenge, as they limited Colorado to just one goal on six high-danger attempts last time out. The Blues deserve a better price than they have, and we’ll be doing our part to bring it down.

The Pick: Blues +140

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