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NHL Picks: May 19

By Michael Spiegel

After four intriguing and entertaining game 1’s, we enter Thursday night with our first look at what game 2 will have to offer in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The St. Louis Blues visit the Colorado Avalanche for game 2 of their series after having dropped game 1 in overtime. Jordan Binnington had a phenomenal game 1, carrying over his performance from the first-round series against Minnesota. He stopped 51 of 54 shots, however, even his effort was not enough to prevail against the offensive onslaught of the Avalanche. In the opposing net, Darcy Kuemper had a much easier night, only needing to fend off 23 of 25 shots to secure the victory for his club. Kuemper has yet to be seriously tested in this year’s playoffs and did look a little ‘shaky’ at times in game 1. Two of St. Louis’ offensive threats were shut down in game 1, Vladimir Tarasenko and David Perron. The two of them have put up 6 and 9 points respectively in the playoffs so far. If St. Louis is going to have any success against Colorado, they will need these two stars to show up and I think they will in game 2. If Binnington can continue to hold down the fort for the Blues, all they need is one Avalanche defensive lapse to capitalize, something that we saw in game 1.

The Avalanche are heavy favourites to win this series, as one of the Stanley Cup favourites, the Blues are just another hurdle on the way to a much larger prize. On the other hand, the Blues are looking to upset the Avs, the team that swept them in the first round of the playoffs last year. It’s important to note that a majority of this Blues team, including Binnington, won the 2019 Stanley Cup and know what it takes to win in the playoffs. A Blues win in game 2, on the road, will change the narrative of this series. The Avalanche undoubtedly dominated most of the play in game 1, outshooting the Blues 54 to 25, including 13 to 0 in the eight minutes of overtime play. The Blues will need to play a full sixty minutes and build off of the success that they found in the early goings of Game 1, where they silenced Ball Arena by taking an early 1-0 lead. The Blues will need to capitalize on any Avalanche mistakes to defeat the unstoppable force that the Colorado Avalanche have been so far in these playoffs.

The Avalanche have yet to lose a game in these playoffs, however, the Blues seem poised to be the team to give them their first. The Avalanche are definitely in ‘win now mode’ and have all the pressure riding on their shoulders. The Blues are valued as huge underdogs right now, which makes this bet a little riskier, but has huge upside potential. Pick: Blues ML +200 (BetRegal)

Other notable bets tonight:

Lightning/Panthers over 6.5 -104 (LeoVegas): Andrei Vasilevskiy was sharp in game 1, but as Toronto showed in the first round of the playoffs, Vasilevskiy can be beaten. With the offensive powerhouse that the Panthers are, I’m expecting a high scoring affair in game 2 of this series.

Blues/Avalanche under 6.5 +115 (Proline+): Jordan Binnington is going to need to reproduce his game 1 performance if St. Louis wants to have a chance at slaying the monster that is the Colorado Avalanche. I like the value on this bet, with both goaltenders being very solid in the playoffs so far.

One of betstamp’s largest brand values is transparency. Whether you are looking to tail or fade my picks, or potentially just like reading the breakdowns, you can find my full documented betting record here. Best of luck with your bets today.

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