NHL Picks: Blackhawks vs. Red Wings

David Lawrence

Saturday, March 30, 2013 11:49 AM GMT

The Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings will gather early on Sunday in a featured contest on NBC. Which side of the NHL odds line should we be on for this match-up.

NHL Betting: Blackhawks vs Red Wings Picks

The Blackhawks are the top team in the Western Conference but they head into this game on a sour note as they’ve lost three of four. For most teams, that’s not a big deal but considering the Blackhawks only lost three times in their first 24 games, it’s a bit of a red flag.

Record: 101-106 (+195)

The Chicago Blackhawks can win because…

A visit to Joe Louis Arena isn’t what it used to be. The Red Wings are a meager 9-8 at home this season, which is shocking considering how hard this team was to beat at home last season. Detroit has lost two straight at home and three times in their last five. One of those losses was a 2-1 shortcoming to the Blackhawks.

Chicago has lost three of four but let’s keep the competition in mind. They lost twice to Anaheim, who is the only other team in the West with more than 50 points, and the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings. Clearly, there’s no need to panic. The Blackhawks are still stellar and are more than capable of taking care of a mediocre Red Wings squad.

The Detroit Red Wings can win because…

The Blackhawks are struggling. They’ve lost three of four and are shorthanded. Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp have been out of the lineup and it’s unclear if they’ll be back for Sunday – even though both have practiced.

The Red Wings come into this game with more momentum as they’ve won three of four and five of seven. Their goaltending and defense has been sharp as they’ve allowed just 14 goals in their last seven games. The Blackhawks have scored just three goals in their last two games, so the Red Wings might be catching them at the right time.

Outlook & Pick

The NHL odds makers know that the Blackhawks are vulnerable and people making their NHL picks know that Detroit has pushed Chicago to their limits; both previous meetings resulted in 2-1 overtime wins.

I’ll take the under in this spot as the Red Wings defense and the Blackhawks lack of scoring should lead to another under.

NHL Pick: Under 5.5 at Bet Phoenix