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NHL handicapper Jason Yamaguchi gives his prediction for Saturday's matchup between the Islanders and the Blues.

St. Louis Blues vs. New York Islanders Prediction: Fade the Home Squad

Saturday brings us a 10-game NHL slate with the first game starting at 12:30 ET and the last one ending after midnight. The first game of the day is a matchup between the St. Louis Blues, who are in the midst of an East Coast road trip, and the New York Islanders. Here is my best bet for the contest.

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St. Louis Blues vs. New York Islanders Prediction

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The Blues (32-15-6) are in solid form, having won five of their last seven. Their last outing was a 5-3 loss to the Rangers, a game in which they scored three goals in a rapid burst to end the second period but didn't produce much else in the way of offense. St. Louis is currently in second place in the Central Division, but they have Minnesota, Dallas, and Nashville breathing down their neck. They'll look to get back on track with a win here against an inferior opponent.

The Islanders (20-23-8) have been struggling as of late. Any hope of making a late push for a playoff spot is all but gone—they've lost eight of their last 11, leaving them in 11th place in the Eastern Conference. With recent losses to the Sharks, Canadiens, and Canucks, the Islanders aren't exactly convincing anyone that they're a worthy opponent for a playoff-caliber team like the Blues.

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New York is also somewhat banged-up. The home team will likely be missing both their Captain, Anders Lee and their best forward, Matthew Barzal. Those losses will sting a little bit extra for a team that ranks 28th in the NHL with just 2.55 goals scored per game this season. St. Louis, by contrast, is fully healthy.

The Blues will have the better goaltender in this matchup if Ville Husso starts. Among all NHL starters, Husso ranks third with a GSAx/60 of 0.723. He is coming off of a poor outing against the Rangers, so it isn't a guarantee that he will start. The Islanders will probably go with Ilya Sorokin, who has had a solid but unspectacular year. The edge goes to St. Louis in this category.

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This game is in New York, but the Islanders, with their home record of 10-11-4, haven't proved that home ice should move the needle in their direction. The Blues will come out hard, looking to rebound after their last outing. They are the better team at even strength, on both special teams, and in net. This line feels a bit short to me—bet St. Louis down to -150 on the moneyline.

St Louis Blues vs New York Islanders Line Movement

St Louis Blues vs New York Islanders Pick

Pick: Blues ML (-130) (Bet $130 to win $100)

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Article Author


Jason Yamaguchi is an avid New York sports fan. He has a proven record of providing +EV bets by combining traditional handicapping tactics with advanced statistics. You can follow him on Twitter @TopMoneyPicks to view all of his bets, including NFL, NHL, and MLB picks.


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