The St. Louis Blues look to even their first-round series against the Vancouver Canucks as solid favorites for the third straight game despite being winless in the playoffs so far.
Sportsbook Odds Analysis
The line has come down from the opener, with bettors backing the Canucks to potentially go up 2-0 in this best-of-seven Western Conference series. The reality of the situation is that St. Louis simply does not appear to be the same team that won the Stanley Cup a year ago, now losing six of eight dating back to the end of the regular season following an eight-game winning streak. In fact, the Blues have been streaky all season, and bettors seem to like fading them now.
Vancouver News & Notes
Vancouver is one of the hottest teams this postseason, winning four in a row, with the biggest victory coming in the series opener. The Canucks won 5-2 as a +125 underdog on Wednesday behind two goals from Bo Horvat, who leads the team with four tallies in the playoffs.
The Canucks have also scored four or more goals in three of their last four games, with the OVER going 3-1 during that stretch.
If Vancouver can continue to find the back of the net against St. Louis goaltender Jordan Binnington, then this series could be finished much earlier than anyone expected. Jacob Markstrom has been solid between the pipes for the Canucks, and his play could be the difference when all is said and done.
St. Louis News & Notes
Can Binnington turn things around before it is too late for the Blues? That is the burning question St. Louis fans want to know the answer to going into Game 2. He has surrendered 11 goals in his last two starts, stopping just 49 of 60 shots (.817 save percentage) by Vancouver and the Vegas Golden Knights.
The Blues have scored seven goals in his three starts overall this postseason, so their offense could definitely help him a bit more. That said, they were tied with the Canucks 2-2 heading into the third period of Game 1 before their opponent reeled off three unanswered goals.
Binnington is capable of playing much better, and his teammates should expect him to bounce back in this situation.
Betting Pick: Blues -140
The defending Stanley Cup champs will not lose in this spot. While the Canucks have been playing very well, the Blues are much better than the Wild and will prove it here. Vancouver has not beaten St. Louis three straight times since 2015, so don’t bet on that.