NHL Picks: Blackhawks vs. Blues to go Over

Ross Benjamin

Saturday, December 28, 2013 5:35 PM GMT

Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013 5:35 PM GMT

The Blues host the Blackhawks at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri with the opening puck drop slated for 8:05 PM ET.
According to NHL betting odds the Blues are a -140 money line home favorite and the posted total is 5.5. The home team has won 15 of the last 21 meetings between these two clubs. These teams have seen their last 4 meetings all go under the total.
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Supremacy in the Central at Stake
 
Tonight’s game will match the two best teams in the Central Division Standings. Chicago is currently on top of the division, and hold a 7-point lead over the 2nd place Blues. However, that gap is a bit deceiving since St. Louis has played 4-games less than Chicago so far this season. Chicago is also first overall in the Western Conference, 1-point ahead of the 2nd overall Anaheim Ducks. The Blues are currently 5th in the West, just 1-point behind both San Jose and Los Angeles who are tied for 3rd. The Blues have 2-games in hand on both the Kings and Sharks.
 
Red-Hot Hawks
 
Chicago comes off a resounding 7-2 home win over the Colorado Avalanche last night. The Hawks shot out to a 5-0 lead in the game, and led 7-1 after 2 periods. Patrick Sharp led the way with 3-goals and an assist. Last night’s win was the Hawks 4th in the last 5, and 7th in the last 9-games. Chicago has scored 5-goals or more in 5 of their last 9-games.
 
Raanta is Getting it Done
 
The Hawks backup goaltender Antti Raanta continues to do an admirable job in goal while filling in for the injured Corey Crawford. Chicago has earned at least 1-point in 11 of 12-games in which Raanta has started in goal. In those 12-starts he’s posted a solid 2.18 GAA and a .915 save percentage. All 12 of Raanta’s starts have come in the Hawks last 12-games.
 
Over we go for the Blues
 
The Blues have gone over the total in their last 4, 6 of their last 7, and 8 of their last 10-games. In those last 10-games they’re averaging 3.7 goals per contest. St. Louis has gone over the total in 12 of their 19 home games this season, including their last 5 in a row, and 8 of the last 9 at the Scottrade Center. In the last 9 home games the Blues have scored 40 times for an average of 4.4 goals per game. St. Louis is currently 2nd in the NHL averaging 3.4 goals per game on the season. They’ve also converted on 22% of their power play opportunities which is 6th best in the league.
 
Busy Blues
 
This will be the Blues first game in the last 5-days following the Christmas break. However, things will begin to get a bit hectic. Starting with tonight, the Blues will play 5-games in the next 8-days. They will be at Dallas tomorrow, and then will travel to Minnesota to take on the Wild on Tuesday, before returning home to take on the Los Angeles Kings and the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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NHL Betting System
 
Any home team (St. Louis) which is coming off a road 1-goal loss, versus an opponent (Chicago) which comes off home wins in each of their previous 2 games, and both of those wins came by 2 or more goals, has gone 33-14 (70.2%) versus the money line since the beginning of the 1996-1997 season. Take St. Louis over Chicago for your free NHL picks.
NHL Picks: St. Louis -140 over Chicago
 
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