The NHL betting lines opened up as a PICK for this game, as there’s a very real chance that the Chicago Blackhawks and Winnipeg Jets meet in the first round of the playoffs.
The Chicago Blackhawks Can Win Because…
They tend to play better against teams with a winning record. For whatever reason, the Blackhawks have slumped this season against teams below .500, playing roughly .500 hockey. However, against teams that have a winning record, their winning percentage is close to 70%.
Although Ondrej Pavelec is playing fantastic right now, he doesn’t have a strong track record against the Blackhawks. For his career, he’s lost all five outings while posting a 4.61 GAA and an .867 save percentage. That’s a huge advantage to Chicago’s favor.
You’d be hard-pressed to actually find someone who believes that the Jets are the better team in this matchup based on coaching, experience and talent. However, the different streaks of both teams has actually set up a situation where you can invest in the better team at a cheaper price. This game is virtually a PICK NHL odds and the Blackhawks could be worth the price. They had been on a roll prior to this stretch where they have lost three of four, so the Jets might give them the opportunity to get back on track.
The Winnipeg Jets Can Win Because…
The Blackhawks aren’t to be trusted. They’re a team that’s wildly inconsistent and continues to cost bettors plenty of money. The Blackhawks have now lost two straight and three of four but what might be even more disturbing is in which the fashion that they’ve lost and who they’ve lost to. Chicago has lost to the Dallas Stars, Philadelphia Flyers and Columbus Blue Jackets (at home) all by at least three goals. They’ve been outscored 13-3 in those losses, which is absolutely pathetic for a team that’s supposed to be favored to win the Western Conference these days.
The Jets are in the midst of a hot stretch right now and this might be their best stretch of the season. They’ve won six of their last seven games and are playing phenomenal hockey at the defensive end. Goaltender Ondrej Pavelec has been unconscious in the month of March, giving up just six goals in eight games. He has a sparkling 1.15 GAA this month and a .963 save percentage.
Beyond that, the Jets have dominated this series this season, winning all three matchups, outscoring Chicago by the count of 10-3. Is there any good reason to take the Blackhawks with your NHL picks here?
The Jets have a bit of a conundrum. They’ve been riding the hot goaltending of Pavelec but he has never defeated the Chicago Blackhawks and they’ve actually pummeled him almost every time. However, they could go with Michael Hutchinson, who has beat Chicago all three times this year but has actually lost four of his last five starts. He has an .857 save percentage this month.
At any rate, I’ll begrudgingly take a flier on the Blackhawks, who have burned us already a couple of times this week. Because of Winnipeg’s goaltending setup, the Blackhawks should be able to get back to their winning ways.
NHL Pick: Blackhawks -110 at BookMaker