NHL Betting Guide: Wednesday 5/25/22
We are down to just one playoff game on Thursday night, and we could have even less to look forward to on Friday. The Colorado Avalanche have the St. Louis Blues hanging on by a thread in their Western Conference Semifinal, down 3-1 in their best-of-seven series.
Nevertheless, according to our projections, there's an implied advantage in backing the visitors in this one, meaning we may just have something to look forward to on Friday.
Blues +1.5 (-122): 3-Star Rating Out of 5
Blues ML (+195): 1-Star Rating Out of 5
Under 6.5 (-112): 1-Star Rating Out of 5
You wouldn't know it from looking at the scores, but the Blues have done an exceptional job limiting the Avalanche over the past three games. Colorado has been limited to nine or fewer high-danger chances at five-on-five in all three contests and 21 or fewer scoring opportunities in two of three.
Still, the Avs have had some luck in finding the back of the net, recording 12 goals over that stretch, including 11 over the last two since the Blues were forced to turn to Ville Husso. That's elevated Colorado's shooting percentage above sustainable levels, implying that they are regression candidates over their coming games.
Moreover, the expected goals-for ratings across those three most recent outings favor the Blues. St. Louis has outplayed the Avs in two of three games, posting a cumulative 50.3% rating. Although slim, the margins favor the Blues, which should start to reflect in their outcomes.
Lastly, defense remains a priority for the Avalanche. They have allowed more than nine high-danger chances just once so far these playoffs, relying on a suffocating defensive zone presence to hamper their opponents' scoring opportunities. With a spot in the Conference Finals on the line, Colorado won't abandon their structure for a few extra chances.
Assessing where these teams are at analytically suggests that Wednesday night's contest should be a tight-checking, low-scoring affair. That aligns with our projections, which rate the Blues +1.5 and under 6.5 as three and one-star plays, respectively.
Similarly, there's an implied advantage in backing the Blues to win outright, which we rate as a one-star play.