Free NHL Bets and Picks: St. Louis Blues Look to Stay Perfect in Florida
As the season has begun many teams are beginning to separate themselves. One of the teams separating themselves at the top is St. Louis, who have gone perfect to start the 2017-18 season. October 12 offers seven games on, St. Louis in one them. Here are my free NHL bets of the night provided by BetOnline.
St. Louis Blues (+108) at Florida Panthers (-119)
St. Louis has been surprisingly strong to start the season. The Blues sit at 4-0 so far, three of those wins coming on the road. Florida on the other hand is 1-1, splitting the first two games against Tampa Bay.
The Panthers have been outscored 9-8 so far, this season. One of those goals coming off an empty netter against Tampa Bay. St. Louis will be coming in off back-to-back wins in New York, so the Blues have already hit the ground running. As for the Panthers, Florida hasn’t played since last Saturday.
I believe Florida needs to get off to a fast start if they want to compete with St. Louis. If St. Louis comes in and catches Florida flat-footed, the Blues are likely to dominate the game. St. Louis has played a fast-paced game all season. The Blues control of the pace of the game, is a large reason why they sit at 4-0.
I believe to counter the fast-paced games the Blues have had; the Panthers will try and play an aggressive game. If the Panthers try this, the Blues could strike on any mistakes Florida makes much easier.
The Blues have outscored their opponents 14-9, winning twice in overtime. Jaden Schwartz has led the team with seven points (two goals and five assists). The Blues leading goal scorer is Vladimir Tarasenko, who has three goals.
The Blues are without key players like Alex Steen and Robby Fabbri to start the season, but the Blues’ depth scoring has given the Blues a chance in every game. I predict that the Blues continue their hot-streak in Florida on Thursday night.
Minnesota Wild +1½ (-240) at Chicago Blackhawks -1½ (+200)
To start the new season, Minnesota have had a three-game road trip. When the Wild play Chicago on Thursday night, it is the last game of the road trip. In the first two games Minnesota went 0-1-1. Chicago enters the game 3-0-1.
Minnesota has lost to Detroit and Carolina to enter the new season. Minnesota took Carolina to a shootout in the last game, but in the end, the Wild were on the losing side. Both teams the Wild have lost to finished outside the playoff picture last season. Minnesota has been outshot 73-66.
The Wild have not done well on special teams so far, this season. The Wild have scored one goal on seven power play chances. This gives the Wild a power percentage of 14.29. On the penalty killing side, the Wild have allowed three goals on ten chances. Minnesota has a 70 percent penalty kill, compared to the league average 82.62 percent, the Wild are not doing well killing penalties.
The defensive play of the Wild last season was a large part of their success. If the Wild cannot get the defense running soon, Minnesota could find themselves in trouble.
The Blackhawks have been running offense very efficiently this season. The Blackhawks have outscored opponents 21-7 this season. More impressively they have outscored their opponents by 14 goals, while being outshot 147-119. This shows that goaltenders Corey Crawford and Anton Forsberg have been playing at an elite level.
They have a penalty kill of 86.67 percent and a power play percentage of 18.75. The Blackhawks special teams are running much more efficiently then the Wild’s.
If the Blackhawks continue the streaking start to the season, they will coast right through the Wild. The Blackhawks are working more efficiently on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ice. I believe this will lead to a big divisional win at home for the Blackhawks.