NHL Game Preview and Pick- Minnesota Wild vs. St. Louis Blues
NHL year-to-date record on picks: 5-1
This Western Conference clash is set to get underway at 8 p.m. (PT) and the game will be broadcast nationally on the NBC Sports Network.
The Wild’s 2-0 start quickly evened-up to a .500 record with a 3-1 loss to Nashville as 144 home favorites last Tuesday followed by a 5-3 road loss to Detroit on Friday night as 107 underdogs on the road. The total has been evenly split this season after going OVER the 5.5 goal line against the Red Wings.
Minnesota welcomed Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to its roster in two of the biggest free agent signings in the league this past offseason. Both moves have already paid major dividends with Parise posting three goals and three assists in the first four games to pace the offense while Suter has bolstered a defense that finished last season ranked 13th in the NHL in goals allowed. Overall, the Wild have shown their lack of depth against playoff-caliber teams in their last two games, but remain a much-improved version of last year’s squad.
The Blues are off to a 3-1 start after blanking Nashville 3-0 on Saturday night as 167 NHL odds favorites. They have now outscored their opponents 15-6 in their first four games while recording two shutouts along the way. The total has stayed UNDER in their last two outings.
St. Louis has vaulted to second-place in the Western Conference behind an offense that is averaging just below four goals a game to complement a defensive effort that has the team ranked fourth in the NHL in goals allowed. Vladimir Tarasenko has been a force with four goals and three assists with TJ Oshie kicking-in another three goals and two assists. In goal, Jaroslav Halak has been more than impressive with a goals-against-average of just 1.69 and Brian Elliot as seen action between the pipes in two of the first four games as well. He has stopped .925 percent of the shots he has faced.
Wild vs. Blues Betting Lines and Trends
BetOnline Money Line: Wild +138 Blues -150
Bet Online Total Line: 5
The Wild are 8-22 in their last 30 games playing on one day’s rest and just 2-12 in their last 14 games against the Central Division. The total has stayed UNDER in five of their last seven games against a team with a winning record.
The Blues are 6-1 in their last seven games against the Northwest Division and 36-15 in their last 51 games at home. The total has stayed UNDER in 26 of their last 39 games on no day’s rest.
Head-to-head in this matchup, the home team has won the last four meetings and the total has stayed UNDER in four of the last six games played in St. Louis.
Wild vs. Blues Game Prediction
With Parise and Suter in the lineup, the Wild are a much better all around team than last season, but this Sunday they are playing on the road against one of the top contenders for the Western Conference crown. The gap in talent between the two teams becomes painfully evident for anyone who has recently jumped on Minnesota’s bandwagon as the Blues post another convincing win at home. Add St. Louis to your NHL picks today.
NHL Picks: St. Louis 4 - Minnesota 2 (lines provided by BetOnline)