Free NHL Picks: Bet Chicago -125 To Take Down Dallas Again

Dana Lane

Thursday, February 11, 2016 1:40 PM GMT

Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016 1:40 PM GMT

The Chicago Blackhawks face the Dallas Stars in a huge Central Division match-up.  Chicago and Dallas are ranked three and four respectively in my latest power poll. Who will be our NHL pick?

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NHL Pick: Blackhawks -125
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

 

Stars vs. Blackhawks
I have games that I call oppurtunity games and this would certainly fall into that category. With a victory the Blackhawks with further separate themselves from Dallas for the top spot in the Central and make a physical and mental statement. With a Dallas victory they would find themselves only one point behind Chicago and a sweeter taste in their mouths than they had after being throughly beaten by Chicago, 5-1, five days ago, on home ice. Let's review the latest trends & NHL odds now:

 

Betting Preview
The major difference between these two teams is clearly on the defensive side of the ice. We start with Chicago Goaltender, Corey Crawford (31-13-2, 2.10 GAA, .931 save percentage). At least eight of Crawford's last ten starts have been sparkling and should he have received a better fate after allowing only one goal against San Jose, Tuesday, a 2-0 loss. In addition to his skills I've always felt that crawford has the right temperment in big game situations. He never seems to put too much emphasis on one game vesus another.  

Dallas Goaltender, Antti Niemi (20-10-5, 2.52 goals against, .908 save percentage), success has come as a result of playing on a team that scores alot of goals. I dont think he's not as confident to the glove side and allows way too many rebounds. Interesting that he was an original draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2008 before being traded to the Sharks last year. He's lucky to have solid defensemen playing in front of him.  

The scoring boost that Niemi enjoys has taken a hit with the Jason Spezza injury. Spezza has an upper body injury and is week to week which means he will not suit up against Chicago.  Spezza is a big body that is third on the team in goals scored.  He has the ability to use his reach in the offensive zone which will now fall on Cody Eakin who is slightly above average as a player. Huge drop off in talent.

The Blackhawk top two lines are playing as well as anyone in the league. Only Andrew Shaw has fallen off a bit. Artem Anisimov (4 points in his last two games) and Johnathan Toews (3 points in three games) are making wingers Patrick Kane (26 points in his last 20 games) and Marian Hossa (3 points in last three games) extremley difficult to deal with because you fear everyone offensively. Their play has really covered up the loss of Marcus Kruger.  

Chicago should get second leading scorer Artemi Panarin back after he fell ill and didn't play on Tuesday. He is a huge playmaker who is extremely creative with the puck.  

From a trend angle, the Blackhawks are 36-15 in their last 51 home games while Dallas in their last 11 road games. Certain teams seem to have the number of others and this is one such case. Chicago has now beaten the Stars in 12 of their last 16 meetings. Dallas is a great team and will be there in the end but in this situation I have to see Dallas play better against Chicago to financially back them. Add Chicago as your sharp NHL Pick.

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