The Blackhawks stayed true to form in the first two games at home in this series by beating the Wild by a combined score of 7-3 as prohibitive favorites in each contest. This past Sunday on the road, Chicago was on the wrong end of a 3-2 decision in overtime as a 155 favorite. The total has gone 1-1-1 in these three games.
Minnesota actually had a great opportunity to take an early 1-0 edge in this series, but they came up short in a 2-1 overtime loss as a 143 underdog in Game 1 at home. The Wild were able to get back in this series by scoring first in the extra period in Game 3 on their home ice, where they went 14-8-2 during the regular season.
Blackhawks Betting Overview
While Chicago may have taken its eye off the prize in Sunday’s loss, look for it to quickly regroup on Tuesday night. It came into the postseason as the No.1 seed in the Western Conference for a reason. Behind a potent offensive attack, the Blackhawks averaged 3.1 goals a game. Patrick Kane led the way with a team-high 23 goals and 32 assists, but this team is loaded with players that can put the puck in the back of the net.
All this firepower was backed-up by a strong defensive effort that ranked first in the league in goals allowed. With both Corey Crawford and Ray Emery splitting time between the pipes, the team finished the regular season with a goals-against-average of just 2.0. With Emery still a bit nicked-up, it has been Crawford all the way so far. In the first three games of this series he has a GAA of 1.81 and a .935 save percentage which are both better than his stellar performance in the regular season.
Wild Betting Overview
Given that they came into the playoffs as the eighth seed in the conference as a result of a 2-3 record down the stretch, the Wild have to be pretty pleased with the current situation as heavy underdogs in this series. With the exception of an ugly 5-2 loss in Game 2 as a 233 road underdog, Minnesota has been able to stand toe-to-toe with the NHL’s top team in terms of total points.
The key to evening this series at two games apiece fall on the shoulders of both left winger Zach Parise and goalie Josh Harding. Parise led the team in scoring during the regular season and finally made his presence known in this series with a crucial goal in the third period of Game 3. Harding has been pressed into service due to an injury to Niklas Backstrom and has responded with a 2.42 GAA and a save percentage of .928. Backstrom is still listed as questionable for Game 4, so look for Harding to once again get the start.
Blackhawks vs. Wild- NHL Betting Odds and Trends
NHL odds makers had opened Chicago as a 173 road favorite on the money line with the Wild listed as 157 home favorites. The total for this game has been set at 5.
The Blackhawks are 20-7 in their last 27 road games and 7-1 in their last eight games after scoring two goals or fewer goals in their previous outing. The total has stayed UNDER in six of their last seven games on the road.
The Wild are 1-6 in their last seven games following a SU win and 3-7 in their last 10 games playing on just one day’s rest. The total has gone OVER in six of their last nine games following a win.
NHL bettors should note that head-to-head in this matchup, the home team is 6-1 in the last seven meetings and the total has stayed UNDER in three of the last four games played in Minnesota. Counting the first three games of this series, Chicago is 4-2 against the Wild this season.
Blackhawks vs. Wild- Free NHL Pick
Give all the credit in the world for Minnesota’s inspired effort but the cream is about to rise to the top in this series. The talent gap between the two teams is just too wide to overcome as Chicago makes a statement with another dominating win on Tuesday night. Our free NHL pick for this contest is the Blackhawks -1.5 on the +120 puck line.
Chicago 4 Minnesota 1 (lines provided by BetOnline)
YTD NHL Free Picks Record: 33-20-2