St. Louis Blues

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Struggling Blues favorites hosting Red Wings on Wednesday

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The St. Louis Blues drag both a losing streak and a poor head-to-head trend into their rivalry game against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night. The Blues are a consensus -160 home favorite while the Red Wings come back at +144 with a 5.0-goal total at sportsbooks monitored by

While St. Louis is the moneyline favorite, it is 0-7 in its last seven games, including an 8-3 loss against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday. The Blues, according to the OddsShark NHL Database, are also just 3-7 in their last 10 regular-season home games against the Red Wings. Detroit is also an impressive 6-3 over its nine most recent road games.

The big variable involves how each team responds after core forwards were shipped away at the NHL trade deadline on Monday. The Red Wings will be playing their first game since trading Tomas Tatar to the Vegas Golden Knights, while the Blues have a game under their belts since Paul Stastny was whisked away to the Winnipeg Jets. The Blues are also 6-4 in their last 10 games when they were playing for the second day in a row.

Detroit, which is 26-26-10 overall in the NHL standings, including 13-13-2 on the road, is just hanging around in the Eastern Conference wild card race. They will have a new look on their top line with center Dylan Larkin (team-high 47 points) and winger Andreas Athanasiou now skating with Tyler Bertuzzi, who is more of an agitator. Veteran defenseman Mike Green (neck) will not play.

Jimmy Howard is likely to start in goal for Detroit, which is an even 5-5 over its last 10 road games. The Red Wings are 3-4-1 in Howard’s last eight starts against the Blues.

St. Louis is 34-25-4, including 19-14-0 on home ice at Scottrade Center, but they have been porous defensively with 19 goals against across their last five games. The tailspin does not stem from a lack of talent with a team that has center Brayden Schenn, right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (two goals against Minnesota) and left wing Jaden Schwartz each with at least 40 points.

Blues goalie Jake Allen was pulled during Tuesday’s game against Minnesota. For what it might be worth, backup Carter Hutton had a shutout in his only career start against Detroit. That could justify a hunch play on St. Louis ending their slide.

The total has gone under in nine of the Red Wings’ last 10 road games as the underdog. The total has gone under in six of the Blues’ last eight home games as the favorite.

For more odds info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at

Crosby, Penguins lead field on odds to win 2017 Stanley Cup

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No Stanley Cup champion has repeated since the National Hockey League became a cap league in 2005, but nevertheless the Pittsburgh Penguins have top opening odds to win the 2017 Stanley Cup at sportsbooks monitored by

The Sidney Crosby-led Penguins became the third NHL franchise to win multiple Cups during the cap era when they wrapped a six-game series win against the San Jose Sharks on Sunday. Pittsburgh, whose most recent win was in 2009, joined the Chicago Blackhawks (2010, ’13 and ’15) and Los Angeles Kings (2012, ’14) as teams that have won more than once since the cap’s creation.

The Penguins are listed at +800 to raise the silver chalice in 2017, although GM Jim Rutherford could have to move on from some players to get under the salary cap. The Penguins could address their salary-cap crunch by trading veteran C Evgeni Malkin, breaking up the long-running superstar tandem with Crosby.

Other teams with high odds are those with a central superstar. The Chicago Blackhawks, led by RW Patrick Kane and C Jonathan Toews, are listed at +1000 after a season where they bowed out of the playoffs early. The Washington Capitals and high-scoring LW Alex Ovechkin, who have a reputation for underachieving in the playoffs, are also listed at +1000.

The St. Louis Blues, who have never won the Cup but who went to the Western Conference final, are listed at +1200. The Blues have some salary cap room to play with and will have even more if they let free-agent C David Backes sign elsewhere.

Sticking in the Western Conference, the Sharks and their Pacific Division rival Los Angeles Kings each have +1400 Stanley Cup odds. On top of not having a draining playoffs this spring, the Kings are deep in quality forwards in C Anze Kopitar, as well as players such as RW Tyler Toffoli and LW Tanner Pearson who are each moving into their peak years.

The Kings also have cap space to add key pieces this season. The Anaheim Ducks, who are listed at  +1600, could also threaten to make it three finals in a row with a California-based team.

The Tampa Bay Lightning, who are pegged at +1400, have made it to at least the Eastern Conference final for two consecutive seasons. Tampa Bay’s franchise player, C Steven Stamkos, can become a free agent on July 1. Stamkos’ departure would alter the outlook for the Lightning, but they showed their impressive depth by going deep into the playoffs while he was receiving treatment for blood clots.

The Dallas Stars, who are at +1600, were the league’s most exciting offensive show for much of the season as they led the NHL with 267 goals. The playoffs pointed out that the Stars need to upgrade their defense and goaltending if they wish to win their first Cup since 1999.

Seven of the last 11 Stanley Cup champions have hailed from the Western Conference.

Desperate Flyers face red-hot Penguins as favorites on Saturday

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The Philadelphia Flyers will try to avoid a season sweep by the Pittsburgh Penguins that could snuff out their tenuous playoff hopes when they play host to their Metropolitan Division rivals on Saturday as -123 betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by

Despite sitting outside the Eastern Conference playoff picture, Philadelphia remains in control of their own playoff destiny entering Saturday afternoon’s Penguins vs. Flyers betting matchup at Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers are coming off a disappointing 4-3 overtime loss to Toronto on Thursday that prevented them from drawing alongside the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings in the conference standings.

While deadlocked with Boston in the Atlantic Division standings, the Red Wings currently claim sole possession of third place, narrowly topping the Bruins in regulation and overtime wins.

However, Philly maintains one game in hand on both Boston and Detroit, who each wrap up their campaigns early on Saturday, with the Bruins battling the Ottawa Senators as -275 home chalk, and the Red Wings visiting the New York Rangers as -120 road favorites.

Philadelphia has now lost three straight, and six of their past 11 overall, according to the OddsShark NHL Database, and must also overcome a red-hot Penguins squad that has beaten them three times since January, and is currently on a torrid 14-1 run.

In the event of victories on Saturday by both Boston and Detroit, the Flyers will need to post wins against both Pittsburgh and the New York Islanders, whom they face on Sunday, to clinch a playoff berth.

Over in the Western Conference, the Anaheim Ducks will need help from the Winnipeg Jets to overtake the Los Angeles Kings and claim a fourth straight Pacific Division title.

Winnipeg visits the Kings on Saturday night as +200 underdogs, and must hand Los Angeles a loss in their regular season finale to preserve the Ducks’ shot at the division crown.

Anaheim trails the Kings by two points with two games remaining, but comes up short on tiebreakers against their crosstown rivals.

Losers in their past two games, the Ducks are pegged as -150 road favorites to end a three-game losing streak against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday, before traveling to Washington to face the Capitals on Sunday.

Washington remains atop the Stanley Cup odds as 4/1 favorites, followed by the Kings at 7/1, the Chicago Blackhawks at 15/2, and Anaheim at 8/1. Pittsburgh joins the Dallas Stars at 9/1, while the St. Louis Blues round out the favorites with 10/1 odds.