Free NHL Picks: Blues at Oilers Odds
by George Monroy - 12/20/2013
The St. Louis Blues will be closing out the year with four of their next five games on the road. However, that road-heavy schedule is nothing for St. Louis to be worried about because the team is healthy, already has 50 points through 34 games this season, and has a lot to be excited about heading into 2014. St. Louis is tied for the second-best Stanley Cup title odds with the Chicago Blackhawks, according to Sportsbook.ag, and only trails the Pittsburgh Penguins as the favorite to win it all.
The Edmonton Oilers won four out of six games to end the month of November and actually looked like they had figured things out. Unfortunately, the team did not follow up that success in December and has since lost seven of its first 10 games of the month. Edmonton is sitting on the worst record in the entire conference and trails the Vancouver Canucks by 17 points for the final playoff spot in the West. Let’s take a closer look at Saturday’s Blues versus Oilers matchup with predictions and analysis.
Blues at Oilers Betting Story Lines
St. Louis is coming off a huge, four-goal victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday. Alexander Steen earned his fifth two-goal game of the season after signing a three-year, $17.4 million contract extension earlier in the day. The Blues scored three times in the first period to essentially put the game away before it had even started. Goaltender Jaroslav Halak allowed only one goal on 26 shot attempts throughout the matchup and has a .910 save percentage for the season.
After Saturday’s game against the Oilers, St. Louis will head into Calgary for a matchup against the Flames on Monday and then will take the rest of the week off before it faces the Blackhawks in a huge Western Conference showdown next Saturday. The Blues have two players with 30 points or more this season in Steen and David Backes and six more players in the 20-point range. With all that production, it’s no secret that the team is ranked second in the NHL in goals scored with 3.4 per game.
The Oilers are on a five-game losing streak after having to face a brutal schedule that included matchups against the Boston Bruins, Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings and Colorado Avalanche. Edmonton was shut out twice during that span and outscored 18-6 during those five games. Goaltenders Devan Dubnyk and Ilya Bryzgalov split time during the team’s recent losing streak but were mostly ineffective because of the large volume of shots the team faced on a nightly basis.
Edmonton gave up a whopping 40 shots against the Kings on Tuesday and another 39 to the Avalanche during its last outing on Thursday. On average the team gives up nearly 32 shot attempts per game, but has been particularly bad over the last week. St. Louis also gives up the most goals in the league with 3.4 per game but manages to score only 2.5 per game.
Blues at Oilers NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
St. Louis opened as a -147 road moneyline favorite over the +134 underdog Oilers at BetOnline. The total was set at 5.5 goals, with the “over” being favored at -134. St. Louis is 4-1 over its last five matchups after scoring five goals or more in its previous games and 7-1 against teams with a home winning percentage of less than .400. The team is also 23-6 over its last 29 Saturday games but only 1-4 in its last five games against the Western Conference.
Edmonton is 6-20 over its last 26 games on one day of rest and has gone “over” in five of its last six home games. Head-to-head, the Blues are 5-1 over the last six matchups and 5-2 in the last seven games played in Edmonton.
Free NHL Picks: Blues at Oilers Predictions
St. Louis just ended a two-game losing streak and probably will be ready to fight on Saturday. Expect the team to come out strong and dominate the overmatched Oilers in this game. The Blues are the far superior team and are getting a decent price as -147 moneyline favorites. Alexander Steen just signed a huge contract extension and will be looking to show the world why he is one of the best players in the entire NHL. Take St. Louis on the moneyline.
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