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The early odds for this game look pretty much identical to the puck drop odds – split down the middle. Is this because the oddsmakers were confused? Nope. It’s because these are two of the best teams in the game going to nose-to-nose.
St. Louis ended their season atop their conference and division with 42 wins while the Avs were nipping at their heels with the same win total but two fewer overtime losses.
It’s hard to go against the defending Stanley Cup champions but there’s so much to love about Colorado. Taking any excuse to cheer for Colorado this year is always a good thing. In this case though, we think it’s because they’re going to come out on top with a 3-2 overtime win.
Pick: Colorado (-105)
The favorites between these two head-to-head have gone 35-16 through their last 51 meetings. While we jumped on the Avs train to take this one, the Blues are actually 15-5 in their last 20 matchups with Colorado.
Although St. Louis finished the year 8-2 in their last ten, they went 4-6 O/U while Colorado was an even worse 3-7 through that same stretch.
|St. Louis vs Avalanche Information|
|What||St. Louis Blues vs Colorado Avalanche|
|Where||Rogers Place, Edmonton, AB|
|When||August 2, 2020 6:30 PM EST|
|How to watch||NBC Sports, Sportsnet|
The return to play format is in place, the bubbles are in-tact, the hubs are ready and we are moments away from lift-off! Heralded early on as one of the best comeback sport methods, the NHL has a recipe for success. Not only are its quarantine measures in Canada second to none, but its new format structure seems quite sound as well.
24 teams are paired off by conference and win percentage while the top four from each conference battle it out in a three-game round-robin tourney for seeding. Two of those top teams from the West are St. Louis and Colorado and they both sit one-two atop the Central Division.
St. Louis was in last place to end the 2018 calendar year before raising the Stanley Cup in the spring of 2019. Needless to say, just making the playoffs was quite the achievement for this club one year ago. Now, with a new play-in and round-robin structure in place, the team enters the NHL’s postseason with a heck of a lot more to play for.
Many thought that losing fan favorite Patrick Maroon this past offseason would be a major blow to the team. The Blues haven’t really faltered since his departure though. In fact, they’ve actually excelled quite a bit. Most of that credit can be handed to 2019 standout rookie goalie Jordan Binnington mind you.
After saving his team one year ago, the majority of the pressure will once again rest atop the shoulders of the one they call ‘Binner’. He ended the year third in wins with 30 and 29th (that’s a good thing) in what Hockey Reference calls Really Bad Starts – starts with a save percentage below 85%. He will be the reason the Blues live or die in this year’s postseason.
Many are jumping on the Colorado Avalanche bandwagon early because – flat out – it’s just fun to cheer for this team. Their spread of talent across the board makes them an extremely entertaining bunch and their youth movement has a lot to do with it.
Thanks to an Ottawa/Nashville/Colorado three-team trade two years ago, the Avs unloaded a ton of salary and brought in a draft pick that eventually turned into star defenceman Cale Makar. Add a fully blossomed Mikko Rantanen and Nathan McKinnon to the mix along with the well-established skill set of captain Gabriel Landeskog and you have a talent pool reminiscent of the late 1990’s Colorado teams.
The Avalanche finished the year first in the West in goals for with 237 (fourth in the league) and on a 7-2-1 tear through their final 10 games. They also finished with the highest goal differential of any team in the conference (third in the league).
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Ryan has worked as a sports writer for the past decade and sports journalism for almost 15 years. He has worked in television, radio, print, digital, and podcasting since 2006. He is also the former co-host of the NFL Weekly Pick 'Em and Best Bets Podcast along with the Prop Drop on WSN.com.More info on Ryan Sullivan
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