What can we do when two of the least exciting NHL teams face each other on a Thursday night? Pivot and look for angles where we can profit off boring and low-scoring games!
We have a game on our hands between the 8-6-1 San Jose Sharks and the 8-5-2 St. Louis Blues. While St. Louis has been starting the year pretty strong, the Blues did lose 4 straight coming into this one and will look to right the ship on home ice against the Sharks.
The road team already confirmed their goalie in James Reimer. Reimer has been stellar this year holding a 4-2-1 record with a 94.3 save percentage. The former fourth-round pick is only allowing 1.71 goals per game so far and 6 of his 7 starts went under the full game total this year.
We are likely getting Jordan Binnington in the St. Louis net. Binnington has a 6-4-2 record and is allowing 2.83 goals per game with a 91.2 save percentage.
While the former champion Binnington hasn’t been stellar this year, there is reason to be optimistic as he has held a 93.49 fSV% last season with over 15 goals saved above replacement, both of these are pretty stellar marks.
A low number of shots & low number of goals by both teams
Both of these hockey teams average less than 55 shots per game with the Blues averaging 54, while the Sharks averaging 49. The average in the league is somewhere around 57 so this really looks like a slow-paced, low-scoring battle between these two clubs.
When we look at the other offensive stats of these squads, we will find similar data. San Jose only scores 2.27 goals per game, while the Blues are scoring 2.46 goals per game. Both teams are also scoring more goals than they should based on their expected goals scored metric, so we would expect these averages to fall down a bit more in the future.
If we look at the defenses, both squads are decent with both are only allowing 2.27 goals on average to opposing squads. No wonder this is only the second time this entire season for both squads that they get a total as high as 6.
San Jose is your perfect under team
The Sharks are literally the perfect under team in the NHL if there is one. First of all, James Reimer is a solid goalie as we’ve showcased it above. The team is also first in the league in penalty kill percentage (which is one of the most important ways of slowing down opposing offenses), while offensively San Jose is 26th in shots and 27th in goals in the league. A match made in heaven for an under bet.
Pick: Under 6 goals -120 (1.83x) Bet365
We are taking the under on the full game total here at 6. This Blues offense is relatively solid, but both teams are playing at a very slow pace and we are trusting these netminders to deliver us the low-scoring game that our under bet desires.
Note: This is a relatively big edge as our model thinks this total should be 5.5 instead of 6. We would bet the under on the 6 at -135 (1.74x) or better.