The National Hockey League drops the puck on the 2021 season Wednesday night with five contests around the league, culminating with a late-night Western Division showdown between the St. Louis Blues and the Colorado Avalanche.
Let’s take a look at this season opening contest from a wagering perspective with our Blues vs. Avalanche betting preview that includes odds, picks and predictions.
Blues vs. Avalanche Betting Preview
St. Louis and Colorado are familiar foes as two Central Division clubs that are now placed in the realigned Western Division for this shortened season to limit distance of travel as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last season, the Blues’ run of defending their Stanley Cup title came to an end in the Edmonton Bubble portion of the Playoffs, with the young Vancouver Canucks eliminating them in six games.
Click here to get up to $1,000 in free bets with DraftKings Sportsbook.
The Blues have a lot of new acquisitions that will keep them competitive against some tough opposition after signing star defenseman Torey Krug from Boston and picking up forward Mike Hoffman on a tryout contract. These two add some depth that is needed with the loss of Alex Pietrangelo, who left for Vegas.
As for the Avalanche, many people are expecting this squad to take things to the next level, with either an appearance in the Stanley Cup Final, or perhaps even winning it come early July.
For that to happen, they will have to continue to get scoring production from Nathan MacKinnon, Gabe Landeskog and Cale Makar, as well as secondary contributions from Nazem Kadri, Brandon Saad, and Devon Toews. Also, the goaltending tandem of Philipp Grubauer and Pavel Francouz will have to stay healthy all year long. When both netminders went down in the Playoff series against Dallas, it basically spelled doom for their chances of advancing forward. With a shorter slate of action, we should see this team competing for a division crown and much more.
Blues vs. Avalanche Betting Odds
Here are the lines for Blues vs. Avalanche at FanDuel Sportsbook:
- Blues (+1.5 -230); Avalanche (-1.5 +190)
- Moneyline: Blues (+125); Avalanche (-145)
- Over/Under: Over 5.5 (-130)/Under 5.5 (+110)
Bets We Like With a Blues Win
Torry Krug to Score A Goal Anytime (+700 DraftKings)
The three-time All-Star defenseman will put on a new sweater for the first time in his 10th NHL season, as he joins the Blues, who will need him to contribute in all phases of the game. That includes from his spot on the top defensive line to helping out on the penalty kill and the power play units.
While he rarely makes it on the scoresheet for putting the puck in the back of the net, I feel his first game with a new group could light more fire under this talented performer’s skates. At 7/1, look for him to get a goal in this spot.
Get it at DraftKings Sportsbook right here.
Blues to Win (Moneyline +125 at FanDuel Sportsbook)
Last season, the Avs won three straight meetings against St. Louis, which snapped a previous six-game winning streak by the Blues. Both clubs can adapt to any style of game, with Colorado preferring to play a faster, more offensively open style, while the Blues are a bit more conservative, focusing more on neutral-zone possession and defensive play. It’s easier to start a season on the road in the high altitude as opposed to traveling in mid-season, and I expect the Blues to come out with some strong energy and have a legitimate chance to spoil the opener for the home squad.
Get a $1,000 risk-free first bet with FanDuel Sportsbook right here.
Bets We Like With an Avalanche Win Avalanche
Team Total (OVER 3.5 Goals +130 at FOX Bet)
A year ago, the Avalanche scored three or more goals in 48 regular season contests, going 36-8-4 in those games. With an abundance of scoring depth and talent throughout this line-up, it’s going to be difficult to contain it to three goals and still skate away with a victory.
Bets We Like Independent of the Outcome
Game to End In a Tie After Regulation (+320 at PointsBet)
NOTE: This play is listed under different names depending on your sportsbook of choice. Some call this a 60-Minute Line, others a 3-Way line or regulation line.
Four of the last 10 meetings between the Blues and Avalanche have been decided by one goal, with three of those contests going into overtime or a shootout. Last season, the Blues had 19 of their 71 regular season games go past the 60-minute mark, while 13 Avs games went past regulation time.
With both clubs familiar with each other over the years and fresh lineups ready for the new season, I could see another tight contest here with the winner being decided in an extra frame.
Click here to get up to $1,500 in free bets with PointsBet.
Blues vs. Avalanche Pick
These two feisty squads should put on a great performance for the late national TV audience, and I feel this contest will go deep into the night as the visiting St. Louis Blues pick up a 4-3 overtime victory.