Colorado Avalanche’s Kiefer Sherwood (44) is unable to score past St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington, right, during the third period of an NHL hockey game Monday, April 26, 2021, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
- West Division playoff action heats up on Monday as the Colorado Avalanche face the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of their first round series as lofty favorites
- The Avalanche finished atop the NHL league standings this season, but fell in back-to-back dates with the Blues in late April
- We’ve got you covered with all the odds and trends ahead of Monday night’s Game 1 clash at Ball Arena
The Colorado Avalanche will be aiming to maintain the torrid pace that lifted them to the top of the NHL standings during the regular season when they open their first round playoff series with the St. Louis Blues on Monday night as strong -250 home favorites. Colorado closed out their schedule on a five-game win streak to claim first place in the West Division standings, and the league’s top seeding heading into the postseason.
Listed as +210 underdogs in Monday’s series opener, the Blues will also be aiming to build on a strong finish. The club closed out their schedule with three straight wins. And while the Blues finished the regular season 19 points back of Colorado in the standings, they held the upper hand in head-to-head meetings down the stretch, tallying a pair of decisive home victories over the Avalanche down the stretch.
Here’s a look at all the odds and trends as this West Division first round matchup gets underway at 10:00pm ET on Monday night at Ball Arena.
Blues vs Avalanche Game 1 Odds
|Team||Puck Line||Total at DraftKings||Moneyline|
|St. Louis Blues||+1.5 (-125)||O 5.5 (-110)||+210|
|Colorado Avalanche||-1.5 (+106)||U 5.5 (-110)||-250|
*Odds as of May 16, 2021
Avs Enter Postseason Amid High Expectations
The Avalanche face high expectations as they enter the playoffs perched as strong +375 favorites to claim their first Stanley Cup title in 20 years. The club has earned the mantle of Stanley Cup favorites honestly, leading the NHL in scoring with 3.52 goals per game while sporting a defense that ranked third overall while limiting opponents to just 2.36 goals per game. Colorado has also been spectacular on home ice, winning nine straight, and racking up a 17-1-2 record in their past 20 dates while outscoring opponents by a huge 75-25 margin.
Your 2021 President’s Trophy Winners The Colorado @Avalanche clinch home ice throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs with the 5-1 win. Game 1 vs. @StLouisBlues Mon. 8PM @BallArenaDenver! @KOAColorado #GoAvsGo pic.twitter.com/yWWANv6nZr
— Brandon Krisztal (@BKDenverSports) May 14, 2021
That dominance extends to recent home dates with the Blues, with Colorado winning five of their past six dates with St. Louis at Ball Arena. However, injuries have emerged as somewhat of a concern for the Avs, who missed Nathan MacKinnon over the final two games of the schedule as he nursed an undisclosed injury.
MacKinnon Set to Return
The club has also had to make do without forward Brandon Saad and veteran rearguard Erik Johnson, who have both missed considerable time with injury. The club has also been plagued by injuries between the pipes, with starter Philipp Grubauer missing time down the stretch due to Covid-19, joining backups Pavel Francouz and Devan Dubnyk in the clinic.
Jared Bednar says C Nathan MacKinnon and W Brandon Saad looking good for Game 1 Monday. D Conor Timmins as well. Timmins injured last game. #Avs
— Mike Chambers (@MikeChambers) May 15, 2021
However, Grubauer has shown no ill effects while allowing just one total goal over his final two starts of the season, while MacKinnon’s appearance at Saturday’s practice strongly suggests he’ll be good to go in Game 1. MacKinnon’s return is expected to give the club a big lift. The reigning Lady Byng Trophy winner has been on his game against St. Louis this season, racking up six goals and nine assists in eight appearances, and is a solid +114 bet to find the back of the net in Game 1.
Blues vs Avalanche Series Odds
|Team||Odds at DraftKings|
|St. Louis Blues||+310|
*Odds as of May 16, 2021.
No Pressure on the Blues
Pegged as lengthy +210 underdogs in Game 1, the Blues face tempered expectations and little pressure entering their playoff clash with Colorado since 2001. A month-long swoon that started in early March nearly derailed the club’s playoff hopes. St. Louis posted just two wins in 14 outings during that stretch, but has steadily returned to form while going 11-4-6 down the stretch.
May 16 2001
20 years ago today..
Scott Young scored Double OT Playoff Goal in the St Louis Blues 4-3 Win vs Colorado Avalanche.
Video from ESPN
Blues start 1st Playoff series against Colorado tomorrow for the 1st time in 20 years.#stlblues pic.twitter.com/iQTDoG0aJt
— STL Blues History (@STLBlueshistory) May 16, 2021
However, consistent success on the road has eluded the Blues. The club compiled a very respectable 15-9-4 away record this season, but came away with the win in just five of their final 16 dates away from their home ice at Enterprise Center. Not surprisingly, the Blues trail as distant +310 longshots in the NHL playoff series prices.
2021 Stanley Cup Odds Tracker
Binnington Key to Success
The continued strong play of Jordan Binnington will be key to the Blues’ chances, both on Monday and in the series as a whole. The St. Louis netminder has powered the club’s late-season recovery with steady performances, avoiding losing in regulation in each of his final 10 starts, and surrendering just 2.20 goals per game during that stretch.
“I thought the whole team was pretty engaged all night and played a solid game.”
Hear from Brayden Schenn, Jordan Binnington and Craig Berube after a second straight win against the Avalanche. #stlblues pic.twitter.com/ECbw9oiSVg
— x – St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) April 27, 2021
Binnington was also sensational while backstopping the Blues to two recent wins over Colorado, stopping 59 of the 63 total shots he faced.
The Pick: Blues +1.5 (-125)
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Daniel has been writing about sports and sports betting for over 23 years. The seasoned pro has contributed to the likes of Sports Illustrated, Sportsnet, NESN, Bleacher Report, OddsShark, the Globe and Mail, and The Nation magazine.