Predators vs. Blues Pick – NHL November 8th

The Penguins blew a 2 goal lead against the Jets the other night, but it didn’t matter, as Sidney Crosby scored the lone goal in a shootout to give the Pens another win and give us a win to our credit. Pittsburgh is on a tear to start the season, and have shown proof of being solid in all facets of the game. I believe that they are the most compete team in the NHL, at the moment. They have always had the offense, but the defense has lacked behind. This season, though, their defense has been one of the best in the NHL to go along with an already prolific offense. Will the defense keep it together all season long and in the playoffs? That is a big if. It is a long season, and the defense has let them down before. However, they’ve looked better than they have in quite a while. Don’t discount them as Stanley Cup favorites this season, in a year where we see other elite teams like the Bruins fluctuating.

Big sports day today. There are several marquee college football matchups and with the NHL and NBA in full-swing, Saturdays in the fall/winter make for many opportunities to make money. I’m going to take a look at a game that is more than likely off of everybody’s radar. Not too many care about the Predators vs. the Blues, but I don’t care about the teams playing, I am in it for the money. If I thought I had a good angle on a WNBA game I wouldn’t hesitate to put money on it. I know nothing about the WNBA, so that wouldn’t be realistic, but you get my argument. Money doesn’t know if you won it off the Super Bowl or the Predators and Blues. I made a Predators bet several days ago on an UNDER. Everything lined up for a low-scoring game, and it certainly started off that way. Unfortunately the goals kept coming in the 2nd and 3rd period vs the Flames. What happened after that? The Preds went on to three straight UNDER wins in a row. I was just on the wrong side of what looked like a good bet that night. I’m back looking at the same bet, though, banking on the Predators to entice the Blues into a grind it out kind of pace. The Blues do not mind playing that brand of hockey either. Let’s look into it.

Nashville Predators @ St. Louis Blues

If you’ve followed any hockey in the last 5+ years you would know what the Nashville Predators are about. I suppose it depends who you ask, but one could say they are a pretty boring team to watch play. If you are basing you’re assertion off of goals, yes, the Predators are a boring bunch. If they could somehow find an offense, they would find themselves as a damn good team. Unlike the Penguins though, there is no offense to match a stellar defensive unit. I won’t harp on their defense and goaltender, Pekka Rinne, who has a 1.89 GAA and 8-2 record thus far in 2014. Rinne, in my opinion, is the most underrated goalie in the NHL. A large part of that is due to the fact that he plays on a team that doesn’t get any type of publicity. As a team the Predators let in 2 goals per game. When Rinne is in net, of course that number is a tad lower. Nashville is scoring only 2.46 goals per game and I expect these numbers to hold true throughout the season. By seasons end we’ll probably find similar numbers, so they are consistent in that respect. With that said, the Predators are usually fairly predictable game-to-game.

The Predators are good at keeping the puck out of their net, but their opponents, the St. Louis Blues, are even better. The Blues are allowing only 1.92 goals a game, which equates to 2nd in the league, only .6 behind the NHL leading Chicago Blackhawks. So what we have in this game is two top-5 defenses. Conversely, the Blues have been anaemic on offense, similar to how the Predators have been playing. In fact, the Blues average 2.46 goals as well, the exact same number as the Preds do. Consequently, the Preds and Blues are tied for 21st in scoring. This bet really seems to make sense. Sometimes it doesn’t always work that way, but statistics win out over the long haul. In this instance I like the UNDER 5.

Pick – UNDER 5 GOALS (-120) @ (Best Odds)