Blackhawks, Wild Will Fly 'Under' Total In Lone NHL Game

Dana Lane

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 6:55 PM UTC

Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017 6:55 PM UTC

There is only one game on Wednesday's hockey schedule, but for Chicago its a big one as it trails the Wild by six points in the Central Division. Handicapper Dana Lane explains why tonight's betting winner is on the total.

2016-17 NHL Record 57-45 (+16.70 Units)

All good things come to an end as we dropped Tuesday night's NHL play, but we'll take 4-2 to start the month. 

We're turning right back around and cashing a winner Wednesday in the only game on the schedule. The Chicago Blackhawks will be plenty motivated as they travel to the Xcel Energy Center to take on the Minnesota Wild, whom they trail by six points in the Central Division. The total for the game on NHL odds is 5.5. 

The Wild would have probably preferred a better road leading into tonight's game against their division rivals. I'm sure head coach Bruce Boudreau isn't too concerned.  The Wild got in to the Twin Cities early Wednesday morning after securing a hard-fought 4-2 win at the Winnipeg Jets. Chicago will be rested considering it hasn't played since a 5-3 win over Dallas on Saturday.

Goaltender Devan Dubnyk made 38 saves and withstood a huge Jets push to tie the score in the third period to send the Wild back home on a winning note. I noticed that the Wild were very content to sit on their lead in the third period and play defensive style.  It's a key point if you think the Wild are the better of the two teams tonight, because if the Wild jump out to an early lead I expect them to play more of a keep-away style, which is always good for cashing 'unders'.

Darcy Kuemper gets the start for the Wild because of the back-to-back. This usually drives bettors to automatically play the 'over' because they equate the backup playing as a netminder who isn't as good as the starter.  More times than not the backup will play extremely well against quality competition because in many ways this is a vote of confidence from his coach. Boudreau could have easily played Kuemper on Tuesday against Winnipeg, a perceived lesser opponent, and started Dubnyk vs. Chicago. That kind of trust goes a long way with guys. 

I anticipate that a rested Corey Crawford and a motivated Kuemper will have a big night in goal as our 'under' ticket cashes. 

NHL Free Pick: 'Under' 5.5Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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