NHL Betting: St Louis to beat both the Red Wings and the handicap

New York Islanders-Philadelphia

The Isles have proved easy pickings for Philadelphia this year as the Flyers have taken all three contests with room to spare, including the latest 6-4 victory only two days ago.

Clearly they've been able to get on top of New York's defence as they've scored 16 times across 180 minutes of hockey. All of those games have seen at least seven goals scored, and their open nature means over 5.5 total tallies here is worth taking at 1.70.

It's the Islanders first game in seven at Nassau Coliseum and it's hard to judge them at home as they've not really featured in front of their own fans since their upturn began, as post-Christmas they've won two and lost two.

Scott Hartnell and Jake Voracek embodied the Flyers slump early in the campaign due to a lack of production, but the team's upturn has mimicked their personal fortunes and as physical wingers they'll enjoy imposing themselves on New York's shaky defence.

Although both clubs are playing well, Philly's head-to-head advantage makes them great value at 2.55.


Detroit-St Louis

No longer a divisional or even conference rivalry after Detroit moved into the East over the summer, some bitterness should still be lingering between these two and they need the points.

This is the first time the Blues have gone two games without picking up a point and the fact both defeats came at home to fellow contenders for the West undoubtedly irked coach Ken Hitchcock

St Louis scored a total of 21 goals during their first four games of 2014, but in the next four they've mustered a much less frightening total of six. Leading goalscorer Alexander Steen made his comeback on Saturday after an 11-game absence to hopefully help them bust out once again.

Equally the Red Wings are averaging less than two goals since the turn of the year, probably because of a raft of injuries, and if the play-offs began today they wouldn't be invited.

Only Buffalo are a worse home team in the East and they've taken just two of their last eight at Joe Louis Arena, neither of which came in regulation.

I'll give St Louis the benefit of the doubt that their losses came versus strong opposition and back them to bust the handicap.


Best Bet: St Louis Blues to overcome -1.5 goal handicap at 3.05