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NASHVILLE - +114 over St. Louis

BEST LINES:  Pinnacle -½ +114 Bet 365 -½ +105 SportsInteraction -½ +105 5DIMES -½ +110

Posted at 11:30 AM EST

12:00 PM EST. Regulation only. This is an odd time for a game to start in Nashville and it’s all to accommodate NBC showcasing this game. That works in the Predators favor simply because they’re at home, where they are just so difficult to beat and they’re the better team by a wide margin. There is a good chance that the Blue Notes will use Carter Hutton here because Jake Allen was yanked in his last start and because Hutton is a former Pred that would obviously like to face the team that didn’t want him and we can live with whatever goaltender the Blues choose because it matters not. For one, Jake Allen is shaky as ever and his confidence is low. If it’s Hutton, the Preds know every single one of his weaknesses because they were firing away on him in practice for years. Hutton is having a decent year to be sure but we’re not buying, as he’s been too shaky for too long to be trusted.

The Blues are coming off a 4-0 home loss to the Jets to run their losing streak to five games. They have scored seven times in those five games. There are a lot of different type of metrics to look at and it’s something we like to explore. The challenge is trying to figure out which metrics are relevant and which are not. We put emphasis on puck possession numbers because it gives us a good indication of which team will push the play and create more chances. Other metrics that are good indication of which teams are real or not or lucky or not are Expected Goals For (xGF) and Expected Goals Against (xGA) and here we find one of the reasons the Blue Notes are struggling to win games and will continue to struggle. Over the past five weeks, St. Louis ranks dead last (31st) in the league in xGF while the Preds rank third. In xGA, the Blues rank 3rd over the past five weeks but the Preds rank 10th so the big discrepancy is in xGF. These under the hood numbers confirm that the Blues are an old school type team that go out and try to win 2-1 and 3-2 games. That hasn’t worked for them for years and now the league is changing while the Blue Notes are not.

Nashville is healthy, they’re playing at a high level and they’re also one of the hottest teams in the league that started heating up as soon as Ryan Ellis returned. That’s no coincidence.

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Our Pick

NASHVILLE - +114 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.28)

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