Blues (+135) at Bruins (-155)
Pick: Over 5.5 (+125)
Pick: Bruins ML (if Chara plays)
Game 5 is tonight and it’s a bit of a toss-up. It will be close to game time before anyone knows if Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara will lace up his skates or not due to a fractured jaw which he sustained in Game 4. If Chara is not on the ice, the Blues have an easier time breaking through the neutral zone, as they don’t have to worry about his giant 6-foot-9 frame being in the way and breaking up passes. Chara is in his 40s, but he has been extremely serviceable throughout the playoffs and his presence will be missed if he sits. F Matt Grzelcyk (head) is also injured for the Bruins, but could return as early as tonight.
We aren’t completely confident in the Blues pulling another one out, especially on the road, even with the Bruins injuries, so we’ve opted for the over in tonight’s tilt. Over 5.5 has hit three out of four times this series and four out of the last five Blues games. It’s by far the safest play tonight.
And if you need to make a pick for a side, wait as long as you can, gauge Chara’s pregame warmup (to see how he looks) and if he is in the lienup, consider the Bruins. If he is not, consider sitting it out.