The Colorado Avalanche were moments away from a Game 5 victory before the St. Louis Blues tied it and won in overtime. The series now heads back to St. Louis, where the Avalanche will have another chance to punch their ticket into the Western Conference Final. The Blues will look to feed off the energy of their home crowd and force a Game 7. With how close these two teams are playing each other, you can choose to take the favourite, chase value, or take a chance at the home run play.
The Favourite – Avalanche in 6 (-170)
Despite failing to close out Game 5, the Avalanche are still favourites to win Game 6. A highlight-reel goal from Nathan MacKinnon would have been the perfect ending to their last meeting, but a late-period Blues goal sent it to overtime. It was an unfortunate end to an otherwise excellent performance from Colorado, but all is not lost yet. They have another chance to close out the series, this time while on the road.
The Avalanche have looked like the better team in this series, but their failure to close out the second round brings back bad memories of recent shortcomings. The last time Colorado advanced to the Western Conference Final was in 2002, when Joe Sakic, Adam Foote, and Patrick Roy were still running the show. For perspective, MacKinnon was seven years old at the time, and Cale Makar was just starting pre-school. A lot has changed since, and the team will aim to change recent history as well.
The Value Pick – Avalanche in 7 (+250)
Should the Avalanche squander their second opportunity to take down the Blues, they’ll have one last chance in Game 7. Luckily for them, it will be in front of their home crowd where they can feed off the energy. Reaching a Game 7 would also mean the Avalanche will have lost their first road game this postseason, which makes sense for the odds to be placed at +250 here. Colorado is 3-2 at home during the playoffs, and the Blues will have Game 5 freshly burned in their minds.
They’re getting offence from expected players like MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog, but they’ll need to focus on their role players shutting down the Blues forwards. They’ve allowed eight goals, including two on the power play, in their last two games. Their third line, which was dominant against the Nashville Predators, has struggled against the battle-tested Blues’ top two lines. Hammering down the basics will help avoid another second-round disappointment.
The Home Run Play – Blues in 7 (+570)
Three years ago, the Blues were heading back to Dallas down 3-2 after dropping a Game 5 decision in front of their fans. Thanks to goals from Jaden Schwartz and Sammy Blais in the span of 33 seconds, the Blues forced a Game 7 and eventually took down the Dallas Stars. They moved on to the Western Conference Final and eventually went on to win the 2019 Stanley Cup. Will history repeat itself once more? The Blues certainly hold onto that hope as they look to add to the Avalanche’s second-round misery.
Tyler Bozak ensured his team would live another day, and perhaps ironically, he has a $150,000 bonus riding on the Blues advancing to the Western Conference Final. The Blues will need to bring down the Avalanche in St. Louis, which is no easy task given how good Colorado has looked on the road. One way to put themselves in the driver’s seat is to limit the impact Nazem Kadri is having on this series. He’s not only getting under the skin of the entire Blues core, but he’s also making them pay with a surplus of goals. Keeping him at bay will increase the Blues’ chances in this series significantly.
Odds via FanDuel
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