The 2022 Stanley Cup Western Conference Semifinals start Tuesday, May 17, so we are taking a closer look at the marquee showdown from Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado, to get you the best Blues vs. Avalanche betting pick and odds.
St. Louis opens as a +180 road underdog for Game 1, while Colorado is a -215 moneyline fave with a total of 6.5 goals on Bookmaker Sportsbook. The Avalanche have won two of their three regular-season encounters with the Blues and will aim for their third consecutive victory over St. Louis.
The Blues pulled off an upset in the first round
The St. Louis Blues needed six games to eliminate the Wild in the first round of the playoffs after finishing the regular season four points behind Minnesota. They’ve scored five goals in each of their previous three showings and are riding a three-game winning streak following a 5-1 home victory over the Wild this past Thursday.
Ville Husso has guarded the cage in the first three games of the first-round series, posting an underwhelming 3.02 GAA and .906 save percentage. Jordan Binnington took over in Game 4 and over his three postseason starts, the 28-year-old netminder has recorded a sparkly 1.67 GAA and .943 save percentage.
Winger David Perron leads the way for the skaters with five goals and four assists. Center Ryan O’Reilly also scored five goals and made three dishes, while winger Vladimir Tarasenko added five goals and one assist. Tarasenko was a key player in the regular season, tallying 34 goals and 48 assists in 75 appearances.
The Avs had no problems in the opening round
The Colorado Avalanche swept their first-round series against the Nashville Predators. After a 7-2 victory in the opener, the Avs barely outlasted the Preds 2-1 in overtime in Game 2. In the next two games on the road, they’ve outscored Nashville 12-6 despite missing their starting goalie.
Darcy Kuemper suffered an eye injury in the first period of Game 3, so Pavel Francouz has patrolled the crease for the rest of the series, posting a 2.97 GAA and .902 save percentage. Kuemper should be ready to go Tuesday against the Blues. He was 37-12-4 with a 2.54 GAA, .921 save percentage, and five shutouts in the regular season.
Defenseman Cale Makar has accounted for three goals and seven assists in the previous round. Center Nathan MacKinnon and winger Gabriel Landeskog both have recorded six points, while winger Mikko Rantanen is still looking for his first goal of the 2022 Stanley Cup. Rantanen led the charge for the Avs last regular season with 36 goals and 56 assists.
- 4-14 in the last 18 games against Colorado
- 19-8 in the last 27 games overall
- 9-2 in the last 11 games at home
St. Louis Blues vs. Colorado Avalanche Pick
While the Avs are coming in full strength, the Blues have some injury worries. St. Louis will probably miss a couple of defensemen, as Torey Krug and Marco Scandella didn’t skate over the weekend, recovering from lower-body injuries.
This duo is a vital part of the Blues’ blue line, so I’m backing the Avalanche to take the first blood. The odds are not tempting, but I would avoid the puckline because St. Louis could keep it close on the back of its prolific offense. Back in the regular season, St. Louis was tallying 3.77 goals per game (3rd in the NHL), while Colorado was scoring 3.76 (4th).
Pick: Take Colorado Avalanche at -215
The Avalanche won two of their three encounters with the Blues last regular season, and all their three dates have gone over the total, producing seven or more goals in the total. The over is 6-0 in the previous six meetings between St. Louis and Colorado.
I would ride those betting trends given the offensive firepower on both sides. Also, both teams are executing well with the man advantage. They were leading the league in power-play goals in 2021-22.
Pick: Go over 6.5 goals at +100