Betting Trend Analysis Brings Two NHL Picks On Blues vs. Stars

Dana Lane

Sunday, May 1, 2016 2:00 PM UTC

Sunday, May. 1, 2016 2:00 PM UTC

Will the Blues get their legs today? Our Hockey Handicapper breaks down the game to come with the best two NHL Picks For this Sunday, So read on and cash in tonight.

Heading into the series it's safe to say that I wasn't the biggest fan of either Star netminder. I've felt all season that Annti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen were gift wrapped a solid win loss record because the Stars offense was so dynamic. As of late Lehtonen has given the kind of effort we might expect from Brian Elliot as he has quietly win 13 of his last 16 games with a 'push'. An excellent example of a fantastic record but looking deeper we find that he's given up three goals or more in six of those starts. I'm not ready to completely back a netminder who over 43 regular season games was average at best. The body of work indicates that a letdown is imminent. 

We know that in order for a team to be a serious Stanley Cup contender they must have four lines that are a offensive threat with every shift. Outside of rookie Radek Faksa, who has three points in three games, it's been the top two lines who have been most effective for Dallas. Interesting because Faksa spent most of his season in the American Hockey League before being recalled. In the first series against Minnesota Dallas was able to get away with a lack of depth as their core took control led by Jamie Benn, Patrick Sharp, and Jason Spezza but in a series against a quality cup contender they must have much more of a presence and in game one they did.

It was the first time we saw some production from the Stars depth guys with Faksa, Antoine Roussel, and Alex Hemsky accounting for both Dallas goals but that was against a fatigued Blues team. Take note that as the game went on it was the Blues that appeared stronger with their fatigue being much more of a factor in the first period. 

The Brian Elliot that we knew throughout the regular season has yet to show up on a consistent basis in the playoffs but there is a reason for that. Elliot is now just 4-4 with a 2.36 goals against average, however, his save percentage is a fantastic .932 which is better than his percentage in the regular season. You could make the case that the Blues have not been as effective defensively this postseason. Since the start of the playoffs St.louis has allowed under 30 shots just once and have given up over 40 shots in three of the eight games.
In the regular season the Blues never demonstrated great defensive prowess while relying on Elliot and Jake Allen to shoulder the burden on most nights but 40 shots is a little out of my comfort range for my goaltender. The Blues feature two rookies, Colton Parayko and Joel Edmundson, in their top six pairings which may contribute the the increased number of shots especially when you're playing better quality teams. 
From a trend perspective the Blues are still 18-8 Over on NHL Odds their last 26 games and are 15-5 in their last 20 games after allowing two goals or less in their previous games. They have also beaten the Dallas Stars 6 of their last 8 meetings, making them an appealing NHL pick
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Free NHL Pick: Blues +111 & Under 5 +113
Best Line Offered: at Heritage & Pinnacle
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