NHL Picks: Blackhawks vs. Canucks

David Schwab

Friday, February 1, 2013 5:12 PM GMT

Two of the NHL odds top favorites to win the Western Conference this season will clash this Friday night when the Chicago Blackhawks and the Vancouver Canucks battle it out at the Rogers Center.

NHL Picks- Chicago Blackhawks vs. Vancouver Canucks

Year-to-Date NHL Record: 7-2-1

The game gets underway 7 p.m. (PT) and it will be available on NHL Center Ice.

Blackhawks Betting Overview

Chicago ran off six straight victories to start the season but came up on the short end of a 3-2 shootout against Minnesota this past Wednesday night as a 126 road favorite. The 6-0-1 start has it on top of the Western Conference with 13 points. The total stayed UNDER the 5.5 line against the Wild and has stayed UNDER in its last five games.

Things have been clicking on both ends of the ice for the Blackhawks with 3.43 goals a game to complement a defense that has a goals-against-average of just 2.14. Marian Hossa has already tallied five goals and Patrick Kane leads the team in points with two goals and eight assists. One of the main reasons for the fast start has been the play of Corey Crawford in goal. He comes into this matchup with a GAA of 1.79 and a .931 save percentage.

Canucks Betting Overview

It has not been the start that Vancouver envisioned when it was listed on SBR Forum’s futures report as the odds-on-favorite to win the West this season. After losing four of their first six games with two of the setbacks coming in shootouts, the Canucks blanked Colorado 3-0 Wednesday night as 182 home favorites. The total has stayed UNDER in their last five games.

Goals have been hard to come by with an average of 2.57 a game. Zack Kassian has led the way with five and Mason Raymond has added three of his own, but this team has yet to live up to its overall scoring potential. The good news is that Roberto Luongo is starting to heat up in goal after stopping 23 shots against Minnesota to post his first shutout of the year.

Blackhawks vs. Canucks- NHL Betting Odds and Trends

Chicago has been opened on the NHL odds boards as a 106 road underdog with Vancouver listed as a 115 home favorite for this matchup. The total has been set at 5.5.

The Blackhawks are 8-2 in their last 10 games on one day’s rest and 6-1 in their last seven road games. The total has stayed UNDER in their last six games on one day’s rest.

The Canucks are 1-4 in their last five games following a win but they have won seven of their last 10 against the Central Division. The total has stayed under in four of their last five games at home.

Chicago has come away with just two victories in its last seven trips to Vancouver and is 2-3 in the last five meetings overall. The total has stayed UNDER in three of those five games.

[gameodds]7/218191/43/us[/gameodds]

Blackhawks vs. Canucks- Free NHL Pick

While it is obvious that Chicago comes into this matchup in better all around form, the Canucks are playing at home and starting to show glimpses of why they are the favorites to win the conference. The free NHL pick in this game goes to the Canucks as they make an early statement that the road to the West title still has to go through Vancouver.

NHL Free Picks: Vancouver 3 - Chicago 2 (lines provided by BetOnline)

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