by OddsShark (@OddsShark)
Blues at Sharks | OddsShark Matchup Report
Opening NHL Odds: Sharks -130 Favorites
This is a rematch of the 2016 Western Conference final where the Blues were favored against the Sharks and lost in six games. St. Louis will be out to avenge that defeat this time around as the underdog and has been incredibly tough to beat on the road this postseason.
The Blues are 5-1 away from home in the playoffs, with the lone loss coming to the Dallas Stars in Game 4 of the second round. They bounced back from a 2-1 home loss to the Stars as -150 favorites in Game 5 by winning the last two, capped by a 2-1 double-overtime victory in Game 7 as -145 chalk. The UNDER went 2-0-1 in the final three games of that series.
Meanwhile, San Jose also relied more on its defense to close out the Colorado Avalanche in seven games, with the UNDER going 3-1 in the last four of their series as well. The Sharks have been a much different team since goaltender Martin Jones ended his struggles versus the Vegas Golden Knights in the first round, and they will count on him to continue his recent success here. Jones blanked St. Louis twice in the first three games of the 2016 Western Conference final and allowed 11 goals total (1.83 per game) with a save percentage of .920.
His counterpart for the Blues is a rookie in Jordan Binnington, who has performed even better on the road than at home. Binnington was outstanding in Game 7 against Dallas, and he could be the difference in this series if he can outplay Jones.
The home team has won the past five meetings overall, according to the OddsShark NHL Database, with the UNDER on a 7-0-2 run in the previous nine head-to-head matchups dating back to the 2016 regular season. Goals may be at a premium in this series, and San Jose is just 4-6 in its last 10 games when the total goes UNDER compared to a remarkable 8-2 mark for St. Louis.