NHL Monday best bets: Jets to rebound vs. struggling Blues
We have just one game scheduled for an eerily quiet Monday in the NHL. Luckily, with the help of player props, we can still put together a healthy card for the game we do have.
Let's get right to it.
Blues (+190) @ Jets (-220)
The St. Louis Blues and Winnipeg Jets both enter this game on losing streaks.
The Blues have dropped four games in a row - all by multiple goals - while the Jets have suffered three straight defeats, all of which were against teams on the outside of the playoffs looking in.
There has been a lot of talk from head coach Rick Bowness about the Jets not playing the way they're supposed to, and hitting a bit of a crossroads, but these losing streaks are very different.
St. Louis is a highly mediocre team struggling to get by without several key players. The Jets are a good - but not great - side that simply appear to be going through normal variance.
Take the numbers over the last 10 games, for example. At five-on-five, the Blues have controlled 44% of the expected goals and generated fewer high-danger chances than all but the Columbus Blue Jackets. Those are numbers that should lead to consistent losses.
It's a different story in Winnipeg. The team is hovering around 50% of the expected goal share and ranks 13th in high-danger chances generated during that stretch. Considering the goaltending they get from starting netminder Connor Hellebuyck, average-to-above average underlying metrics like that are generally going to lead to a lot of wins.
The Jets have more or less been called out by a head coach who has pressed all the right buttons this season. I expect them to come out with a strong effort against a bruised and battered Blues team and pick up a sixth consecutive win against their division rival.
Back the Jets to take care of business inside 60.
Bet: Jets in regulation (-145)
Jordan Kyrou over 3.5 shots (+100)
The Blues are missing a lot of firepower up front. With Ryan O'Reilly, Pavel Buchnevich and Robert Thomas out of the mix due to injuries, even more weight is falling on Jordan Kyrou's shoulders. He has been skating on the top line, top power play, and taking full advantage of the extra minute or two coming his way on a nightly basis.
The highly skilled winger has produced nine points over the last 10 games while recording 70 shot attempts, 42 of which hit the net. That's an average of seven attempts and 4.2 shots on target per game; very strong numbers.
What's especially impressive is how far Kyrou has distanced himself from any and all teammates over that period. For perspective, Justin Faulk ranks second on the Blues with 35 attempts in the past 10 games. That's half the volume we're seeing from Kyrou.
Winnipeg is a fairly solid shot suppression team but has struggled with opposing right wingers.
Expect Kyrou to generate his fair share of shots in this one.
Pierre-Luc Dubois over 2.5 shots (-145)
Dubois is a little juiced but for good reason. He has feasted on the Blues in recent years, generating three shots or more in six of the last eight meetings.
One exception was a two-goal, three-point performance where Dubois missed the target a couple of times. The other saw Dubois attempt six shots - more than enough to hit on a consistent basis - but miss the target on five of them. He easily could be seven for eight, or eight for eight.
Even if you want to throw all of that history out the window, there's a lot to like about Dubois here. The Blues are one of the league's worst five-on-five sides right now and they're bleeding shots to opposing centers.
In fact, just six teams are giving up more shots per game to the position - with several of them (Anaheim, Columbus, Chicago) being in the Connor Bedard sweepstakes.
Look for Dubois, who has averaged 3.6 shots on target over the last 10, to stay hot in an enticing matchup.
Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.
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