Islanders vs. Blackhawks NHL Pick: Value Found in Taking the 'Under' Tonight in the Windy City

David Lawrence

Monday, March 16, 2015 5:38 PM GMT

The Blackhawks are on a roll while the Islanders are in the midst of their worst slump of the season. Does that mean the Blackhawks are the smart play on the NHL betting lines on Tuesday?

The New York Islanders Can Win Because…
The Blackhawks are a bit of a toss-up when it comes to laying juice at home. Chicago is just 3-4 in their last seven at the United Center and if you bet them every time, you’ve lost a lot as they lay big numbers when they’re at home. They’re a safer bet when they’re on the road as they’re 20-13 in away games compared to 21-14 at home.

While Chicago has been getting right, their wins have been coming against phonies. They’ve topped the San Jose Sharks, Arizona Coyotes, Edmonton Oilers, Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers (twice) in their last eight. None of those teams are playoff-bound. The two times they lost were to the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning, and in both cases they were shut out.

Although momentum is clearly on the Blackhawks side in this one, the numbers could be a bit deceptive. The Isles have an NHL betting odds opening here.

 

The Chicago Blackhawks Can Win Because…
The Islanders are in a big funk. They’ve lost three straight games while scoring a total of just three goals and can’t seem to find any solutions. On a greater scale, they’ve lost eight of 12 and don’t seem to have any clear answers as to what’s happening. On Tuesday, they find themselves in a tough spot as they visit the Blackhawks, who have seemingly found their stroke. The Blackhawks have won six of eight and are clicking at both ends of the ice. Their offense has come to life as they’ve scored 21 goals in their last eight. That’s not great but it’s also not bad considering they were shutout in two of the losses, so they’ve scored 21 goals in their other six. It’s unlikely the Isles will be doing any shutting out on Tuesday as their goaltenders have had a really tough time of late. The team has lost faith in Jaroslav Halak a little bit as he’s only started two in the team’s last five games. Halak has a 2.57 GAA since the All-Star break, which is a little higher than the Isles would like to see.

At the other end of the ice, Corey Crawford might be in the midst of his best stretch of hockey this season, he’s allowed just seven goals in his last six games while posting a sparkling save percentage of .962 in that span. Don’t overthink this; go with the Blackhawks.

 

Outlook
Chicago is the second-best team in the NHL this month in terms of goals allowed (1.40). Combined with the fact that the Islanders are slumping offensively, we should see a low-scoring game in this one. The Isles 2.29 goals per game this month are the eighth-fewest. Take the under with your NHL picks here.

NHL Pick: Under at The Greek