NHL Betting: Pick Chicago Moneyline Over Vancouver This Sunday

Dana Lane

Sunday, March 27, 2016 6:40 PM GMT

The HNL Odds don't seem to agree the Chicago Blackhawks might win the Central Division but they still need this game to hold on to the third playoff spot. 

Chicago needs just one point to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the eighth straight season.  Today's match-up with Vancouver is a must win considering Chicago's recent play.  A date with Vancouver is exactly what the Hawks need at this point as they've fallen six points from the division lead. The difference between the third spot in the Central and a wild card spot is either a 1st round against the St. Louis Blues or the Los Angeles Kings as the standings are now.  If I'm the Hawks I'd much rather play the Blues. 

Three weeks ago Chicago was fightning for the top spot in the conference but after a 1-4-2 stretch those thoughts have been dashed.  Chicago has an opportunity to make one more run as they are in the second game of a four game road trip that see's them play three games against teams out of the playoffs. 

The last time these two teams met up the Blackhawks handed the Canucks a 4-0 loss behind Corey Crawford's 30 saves. Crawford won't start today I'm confident in Scott Darling who owns 2.28 goals against average during a 2-2-1 stretch that has seen him start five straight games. Darling made 31 saves in their 4-1 victory against Calgary, Saturday. The Hawks are a sparkling 35-16 against teams with a lsoing record in their last 51 games. By contrast, Vancouver is just 8-24 against teams with a winning record. 

With Vancouver on the verge of their worst losing streak in seven years there is no way I would back Vancouver as my NHL pick.  The public is pounding the Blackhawks but big money is driving this price down. The Canucks have been outscored 21-5 in their last seven games and have been shutout in four of their last five. 

The shutouts are not reflection of great opposing team goaltending either.  Against the Blues Vancouver managed only 15 shots on goal in a 4-0 loss. Head Coach, Willie Desjardins has a roster made up of 10 players that are 23 years old or younger.  The Canucks are tied for last with New Jersey with 169 goals scored. 

Their main offensive threat, Daniel Sundin, has 27 goals this season but hasn't scored during their recnt losing streak. Vancouver has four players in the bottom seven in plus/minus rating with Bo Horvat being dead last at -35. 

Marcus Kruger is back for Chicago logging almost 14 minutes of ice time, his first since a wrist injury December 17th. Kruger's return will give Chicago another physical presence while bolstering their penalty kill. 

If you're a total player the 'under' is 39-18-11 in the fourth game in a four in six situation in Vancouver's last 68 games. The 'under' is 18-6-3 in their last 27 games when the Hawks are playing back to back games. 

The play is Chicago here at a reasonable price of around -160 in NHL Odds

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Free NHL Pick: Blackhawks -157
Best Line Offered:  at Heritage