The Avalanche have dropped 3 straight going into the January 2nd NHL free betting pick but are still listed at -135 favorites ahead of Thursday’s tilt with St. Louis. The Blues have great value in this one (+115) not just because they are 8 points up on the Avalanche in the Central, but because St. Louis has also won 8 of their last 10 overall. The Blues have also won six straight in the series over the Avs. Why is Colorado favored again?
St. Louis Finding Their Stride, But Coming Off a Loss
The Blues are anxious to get back on the ice after having an 8-game losing streak snapped Tuesday at Arizona. With a stretch like that a team is obviously clicking on both ends of the ice and that’s true as the Blues have netted at least 4 goals in 7 of their last 9 games.
The Blues also have two reliable goaltenders to fall back on in Jordan Binnigton and Jake Allen. It’s been Binnington in net for both of the wins over Colorado this season, posting a 1.50 GAA and a .935 save percentage vs. the Avs’ #1 scoring offense. Binnington is also on a personal six game winning streak, while allowing 2 goals or less in 4 of those games. Colorado has lost 5 of 6, but their offense has still been clicking with 4+ goals in 3 of 4.
St. Louis has great value as an underdog in the January 2nd NHL free betting pick, especially considering they have notched a PP goal in 4 of the last 5. The Avalanche have also allowed a shorthanded goal in three straight. Colorado’s biggest advantage is a quick start at home in this one. The Blues do not yet have a regulation loss this season when scoring first.
Is This an Amped Up Game for the Avalanche?
Colorado has to be favored for a reason in this one. What better way to get off a skid than to beat the 1st place team in the conference in front of your home crowd? Colorado is still scoring the puck, they just cannot seem to stop the opposition.
It’s Philipp Grubauer in net as Colorado staves off a move to Pavel Francouz as the top goaltender for the moment. Grubauer is struggling to say the least, losing 5 straight games. He allowed 5 goals on just 24 shots to Winnipeg on Tuesday and is facing some serious confidence issues. Grubauer has allowed 7 goals on 59 shots to St. Louis in taking the L in both games this season.
Any bit of defense at all and Colorado has a chance in this one. That’s because their offense has still scored 17 goals in the last 4 games. Neither of the losses to St. Louis came when Gabriel Landeskog or Mikko Rantanen were out of the lineup though meaning the Avs have been beaten down by the defending champs even at full strength.
January 2nd NHL Free Betting Pick
This could very well be a trap game with Colorado favored despite their recent struggles and the fact that St. Louis is surging. It’s a decent ROI even in a trap but if the Avs do win this is going to be a higher scoring game. It’s too hard to trust Grubauer in net right now and a rare off day from Binnington should mean the back of the net will be rattling.
Pick: St. Louis / Colorado *Over* 6