NHL Playoff Picks: Blues at Kings

The St. Louis Blues are looking like a serious playoff contender the way they shook off the late LA goal in game 1 to win in OT and then staged a third period comeback to win game 2.

 

Now the Blues travel out the West Coast for games 3 and 4 with a chance to repay the Kings for last year’s playoff sweep.

 

Los Angeles was 19-4-1 at home during the 2013 regular season, averaging 3.1 goals per game (GPG). They were also 6-3 at home in last year’s playoffs (2-7 O/U) and while LA still averaged 2.4 GPG, they held opponents to just 1.4 GPG.

 

The LA numbers were given a boost by that 6-1 win in the Cup clinching game 6 vs. New Jersey but in two home games vs. the Blues, LA scored 4 and 3 goals – all in regulation.

 

The defending Stanley Cup champs are backed against the wall and I think they will find a way to score at least two goals in this game. St. Louis needs to conquer its demons in this series and while that means sticking to their gameplan, I don’t think Ken Hitchcock will allow his team to just sit back for 60 minutes during the the next two games and not expect this series to suddenly be knotted at 2-2.

 

St. Louis (2-0) won each of the first two games by a score of 2-1 and it has forced books to price this game at 4.5 OV -123. The Kings are favored in the -140 to -150 range.

 

Playoff home faves of -135 or more are 8-6 SU and 11-3 O/U with a total of 4.5 since 2007, outscoring the visitor 2.9 to 2.4. The home team has scored 2-plus goals in 11 of 14 games.

Pick: Take the Over 4.5 -125