Wild vs. Blues Game 4 Odds
|Time||4:30 pm ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Minnesota Wild put themselves in the driver’s seat of their Western Conference Quarterfinal matchup against the St. Louis Blues with a commanding 5-1 victory in Game 3. The Wild have scored 11 goals over the past two games and have found a way to expose Ville Husso and the Blues. Still, some metrics indicate the Game 4 should be a lot closer, and that’s also reflected in the betting price.
The Wild have held the upper hand through the first three games of the series, and that’s reflected in the advanced analytics. In two of the first three games, Minnesota has out-chanced the Blues in scoring and high-danger chances, resulting in expected goals for ratings above 60.0% in Games 1 and 3. Although they’ve been successful in creating opportunities, the Wild have been less successful at preventing them on the road.
On Friday night, the Wild gave up 27 scoring and 10 quality opportunities at five-on-five after giving up just nine high-danger chances across the first two games of the series. That’s a familiar refrain for the Wild, who have been much more effective on home ice throughout the season. Minnesota limited opponents to 6.3 high-danger chances and 17.0 scoring opportunities at home, compared to 8.5 and 20.5 on the road. It’s clear defense was a priority, but the Wild executed better at home.
The most concerning trend emerging from the first three games of the series is the Wild’s downturned possession metrics. Minnesota started with an impressive 72.1% Corsi rating in the series opener and followed that up with 37.0% and 48.0% ratings in Games 2 and 3. The Wild will exhaust their puck luck soon if they continue to chase the puck instead of dictating the pace .
st. Louis Blues
The Blues shot out of the cannon in Game 1, staking themselves to a 4-0 win and a 1-0 series lead. Since then, they’ve improved their production metrics in both games, going from five to 10 high-danger chances and from 21 to 27 scoring opportunities. We’re anticipating the Blues to continue that upward trend in Game 4 as they look to even the series before heading back to St. Paul.
Defense will be more of a priority for the Blues moving forward. st. Louis ended the season with an average of 9.6 high-danger chances allowed at five-on-five, which the Wild have exceeded in two of the first three games. The Blues held the Wild to 27 combined scoring chances through the first two games of the series, exceeding that threshold with 28 in Game 3. The Blues’ best chance of competing with the Wild is to hold their offense at bay, which will be a priority on Sunday.
Inevitably, Blues goaltender Ville Husso’s save percentage was going to slide after the shutout in his playoff debut. However, his percentage has swung far enough in the other direction over the past two games that progress should be expected. The Finnish netminder stopped just 84.7% of shots in Games 2 and 3, which is a substantial deviation from his career average of 91.9%. Improved goaltending is a prerequisite for team success and Husso should get back on track.
Minnesota Wild vs. st. Louis Blues Pick
The Wild have been the better team through the first two games of the series, but St. Louis is better than advertised. The Blues will need to improve their defensive efforts, suiting the Wild’s preferred tight-checking style. Improved defensive efficiency and a stronger performance from Husso could mean this one gets sorted out in overtime.
Pick: 60-Minute Tie +300
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