NHL Picks: Blackhawks vs. Blue in Game 5

Ross Benjamin

Thursday, April 24, 2014 5:48 PM UTC

Thursday, Apr. 24, 2014 5:48 PM UTC

Chicago and St. Louis resume what’s becoming an epic playoff series on Friday. Our resident sports betting expert analyzes the upcoming matchup and shares his NHL free pick in the contest.

Back and Forth We Go
The Blues host the Blackhawks on Friday at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri with the opening faceoff slated for 8:05 PM ET. This will be Game 5 of their Western Conference Quarterfinal series which is deadlocked at 2-2. According to NHL betting odds St. Louis is a -115 money line and the posted total is 5.0. This series has seen 3 of the first 4-games be decided in overtime. These teams have seen 3 of the first 4-games of this series go over the total.


Letting them off the Hook
After winning the first 2-games of the series at home in dramatic fashion, the St. Louis Blues let the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks off the hook by losing the next 2 at the United Center in Chicago. In the defense of the Blues, they certainly didn’t go down without a fight in those two defeats. They dropped Game 3  of the series 2-0, and that result was in jeopardy until Chicago scored an empty net goal with less than a minute to play. That was also the only game of the series thus far which wasn’t decided in overtime. Then in Game 4 on Friday St. Louis squandered a 3-2 lead allowing the Hawks to tie the game late in the 3rd period, and then proceeded to lose in overtime. The good news for the Blues is that they return to the Scotttade Center in St. Louis where they’ve gone 30-13 this season, and despite the 2 losses in a row, they still maintain home ice advantage in the series.


Heart of a Champion
After losing the first 2-games of the series on the road in gut wrenching fashion, the Blackhawks were down but far from out. This is a veteran roster that for the most part stayed intact from a season ago when they hoisted the Stanley Cup. Their heart in addition to character were on display in Games 3 and 4 as they did whatever it took to win both contests, and even the series back up. Corey Crawford was brilliant in Game 3 in stopping all 33 shots on goal to earn the shutout. Then last season’s Conn Smythe winner Patrick Kane scored the dramatic overtime winner in Game 4. Now the Hawks must find a way to win a game on the road in order to win the series. Chicago is a sub-par by their standards 19-24 on the road this season.


NHL Betting System
Any money line home favorite that’s coming off a 1-goal loss versus a division opponent, versus a team that comes off a home win in which both teams scored 3-goals or more, has gone 107-44 (70.9%) over the last 18 seasons. For your NHL picks we recommend you take the Blues over the Blackhawks.

Free Hockey Pick: St. Louis -115 over Chicago

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