NHL Daily Free Picks & Predictions
VegasInsider.com NHL expert Matt Blunt provides his score predictions and best bets for two NHL games on Friday Mar. 5, 2021.
St. Louis vs. Los Angeles
Money-Line Odds: St. Louis -127; Los Angeles +110
Total (Over-Under): 5.5
Score Prediction: St. Louis 4 Los Angeles 2
Best Bet: Blues ML
The Kings swept a two-game set in St. Louis in late February, as they held the Blues to a single goal in those two contests, and are actually 3-1 SU vs St. Louis this year.
But the Blues have done nothing but score goals since then, pouring in 7 on San Jose in their next outing, and then adding 5 and 3 in two wins over Anaheim.
The play on the defensive end has taken a hit for St. Louis during this offensive shift, but with the Kings still sitting 5th worst in the league in xGA/60, playing an aggressive, offensive style isn't the worst option.
Considering the first game between these two saw the Blues close as a -200 favorite, and the last outing in St Louis last week having them close as -145 home favorites, even on the road, I'll take any price below -135 here.
The Kings haven't won a game since they beat the Blues last (0-3 SU), and for how chalky St. Louis can be at home, a 16-5 SU record in their last 21 on the road suggests they aren't chalky enough away from St Louis.
I think that could be the case tonight.
Vegas vs. San Jose
Money-Line Odds: Vegas -205; San Jose +175
Total (Over-Under): 6
Score Prediction: San Jose 4 Vegas 3
Best Bet: Over 6
Could see a flyer bet on the Sharks ML coming in at the wire for this game, as it's the expectation that San Jose will find more production offensively then they did in a 4-0 loss to Colorado last time out.
The offensive shutdown in that game was more of an outlier to me with San Jose, as they were coming off two straight games scoring six goals, and they allowed six in the game previous to that. With how leaky the Sharks defense has been, they can't figure their best chance at winning this game is with a 3-2 type of score, as Vegas ranks 5th in the league in xGF/60 (2.98) overall.
If it's Fleury getting the start for Vegas, it will be his 11th straight start for the Knights and during a run like that, they all can't be gems. San Jose's got enough firepower up front to make life difficult for Fleury or any Vegas netminder – and if it's anyone else there are questions about effectiveness as well.
San Jose's only other shutout loss this year was followed by a 5-4 OT win over Anaheim the next time out, and with them quite comfortable at home right now with this being their 5th straight on this ice, expecting San Jose to find some level of success is a backable perspective in my view.
Believing that ends up in an 'over' result more often than not also gives you more room for error should the Sharks defense live up to their league-worst 3.80 goals allowed per game.
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