NHL Picks: Blues vs. Ducks Expected to Go 'Under'

David Lawrence

Friday, January 2, 2015 4:07 PM GMT

No team in the NHL has more points than the Anaheim Ducks but they’ve still been an enigma of late. They’ve alternated wins and losses eight straight games. As for the St. Louis Blues, they’re also one of the better teams in the NHL but they’ve come on hard times with losses in five of their last six games. Anaheim is expected to keep them miserable as the Ducks are a -140 favorite on the NHL betting lines here.

The St. Louis Blues Can Win Because
Anaheim Ducks can’t seem to find its offense. Scoring is typically the name of their game as they averaged 3.86 goals per game during their seven-game winning streak to start December. However, they’ve fallen on hard times and are even coming off a shutout loss at home to the San Jose Sharks on New Year’s Eve. The Ducks have now scored two goals or less in six of their last seven games. When they’re not scoring goals, they’re not going to be winning many games as their goaltending is spotty.

Anaheim has had some surprising losses recently as they fell to a struggling Maple Leafs team, lost to Arizona and Ottawa, and, fell to a Sharks team that entered on a three-game losing streak. Even though the Blues have been struggling, the Ducks have been losing to bad teams, so there’s an opening for the Blues here.

 

The Anaheim Ducks Can Win Because…
They’re playing at home and it’s not often they lose at home. The Ducks are coming off a failure at home in their latest contest when they didn’t show up in a 3-0 loss to San Jose. However, the Sharks are a team that have had their number, so it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. Overall, though, the Ducks are 12-4-3 at home this season and have won five of their last six at home. It would be quite uncommon for them to lose back-to-back on their own ice.

Goaltender Frederik Andersen is a completely different player when he’s got the crowd backing him as he’s posted a .904 save percentage and 2.54 GAA on the road compared to a .926 save percentage and 2.06 GAA at home.

St. Louis has been a mess recently with losses in five of six. Their goaltending has been horrible as they’ve allowed 21 goals in the five losses. The timing seems right for the Ducks to be catching the Blues.

 

Outlook
Both teams are not playing at their peak performance these days but the Ducks seem to have an edge here. They’re at home, facing a team that is just 9-10 on the road and slumping overall. However, I’ll go with the under in this one as the Ducks goaltenders tend to play better at home while the Blues should be a bit better in net on Friday with Brian Elliott making his second start back after injury. These teams have already met twice this season with both games going under and a total of five goals being scored in the process. Take the under with your NHL picks in this one.

NHL Picks: Under 5.5 at 5Dimes

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