Free NHL Picks: Kings at Blues

The St. Louis Blues have climbed within four points of the Central leading Chicago Blackhawks thanks to a current hot streak. Both those clubs are in action tonight and NHL handicapping whiz Greg Dempson has offered his thoughts on St. Louis as they get set to host the Los Angeles Kings

St. Louis at 27-7-5 enters tonight’s contest vs. the LA Kings on a 5-0-1 surge even though they didn’t have Alexander Steen and David Backes in Tuesday’s line-up. Each was out with an upper body issue but regardless, the Blues posted a 2-1 victory over Minnesota. Steen and Backes have combined for 40 goals this season and with Steen suffering from a concussion, he will not start tonight. The latest on Backes is that he is ‘doubtful’.


Brian Elliott is in the net for the Blues this evening and he has posted a 2.44 GAA as their starter in all 10 postseason games vs. the Kings the last two seasons. Elliott also went 6-0-1 with a 1.67 GAA in December. Martin Jones will be between the pipes for the Kings tonight. He lost 1-0 in his last outing vs. the Sharks. In road starts this season, Jones is 4-1 with a GAA of 1.19 and a save percentage of .964.


I have a few NHL angles and systems “live” on this matchup and the first one looks at St. Louis’ recent form when they are riding a hot streak. According to my numbers the Blues have posted 11 overs and 32 unders after winning two or more consecutive games the past three seasons. Along with the win over Minnesota to ring in the New Year, St. Louis got past Dallas 3-2 in overtime on Dec. 29. The Blues are also 9-20 to the under the past three seasons when coming off a one-goal victory and meanwhile the Kings show a 1-8 O/U record the past two seasons when coming off a close, one-goal road loss.


[quote_text color=”#000000″ text_color=”#ffffff”]Los Angeles has posted 7 overs and 18 unders this season against teams who average fewer than four penalties per game[/quote_text]


Six out of LA’s past seven games have finished with a combined tally of five or fewer goals and in the first half of the season, when two teams with winning records face one another and one team is of a three or more game winning streak (Blues), my numbers point to the under. In fact, this exact situation has produced a 60-percent record with more than 200 plays the past five seasons (115-75 O/U).

Pick: Take the Kings and Blues UNDER 5 (+110)


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