NHL Picks: Blues vs. Blackhawks Game 1

Ross Benjamin

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 3:47 PM GMT

Tuesday, Apr. 15, 2014 3:47 PM GMT

A couple of teams that are very familiar with each other open their playoff series on Thursday when Chicago travels to St. Louis. Our NHL picks guru takes you through the breakdown on both teams in the contest, and then provides you with a free pick to aid you in your sports betting experience.

Old Rivals Clash in 1st Round
The Blues will host the Hawks on Thursday at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri with the opening face-off slated for 8:05 PM ET. This will be the opening game of the Western Conference Quarterfinal best-of-7 series between the #4 seed St. Louis and the #5 seed Chicago. This game will be televised nationally in the United States on the NBC Sports Network. According to NHL betting odds the Blues are a -130 money line home favorite and the posted total is 5.5. The home team has won 18 of the last 24-games in this head-to-head series. These teams have seen 5 of their last 7 meetings stay under the total, including 4 of the last 5 played in St. Louis.

 
Stumbling into the Playoffs
The St. Louis Blues need to turn it around quickly or else they can start scheduling tee times at their golf course of choice in the next 7 to 10-days. The Blues finished the regular season by losing their last 6-games in a row, and went from looking like a virtual lock #1 seed in the West to the #4 slot. Then to add insult to injury, they have to face the defending Stanley Cup champions in the 1st round of the playoffs. The most disturbing part of the Blues recent funk is their inability to score. During that recent 6-game losing streak the Blues scored a total of 5-goals, and was shutout on 3 separate occasions, including their final 2-games. As a matter of fact, the Blues scored 2-goals or less in their last 9, and 12 of the last 14-games. On a positive note they were a stellar 28-13 versus the money line at home this season.

Compare Live NHL Stanley Cup Betting Lines

Start to Defending the Crown
The Blackhawks may not have had the kind of year that they expected, but when all is said and done it was a pretty good one nevertheless. The good news is that they accumulated 107-points on the season. The unfortunate part of that equation is the 4 other teams in the Western Conference earned 111-points or more. Despite all that now meaningless data, this is still a very dangerous team, and one that’s fully capable of being the first 2-time defending champion since the Detroit Red Wings accomplished the feat back in 1998. Unlike a lot of past champions of the modern sports era, the Hawks had very little changeover in their roster from a season ago. Even more important is that they enter the postseason relatively healthy. Chicago was 2nd only to Anaheim in goals per game scored. The Hawks also sustained 15 losses in overtime this season, and were a subpar 19-22 versus the money line on the road this season.

 
NHL Betting System
Any road team that’s facing an opponent which has lost 6 or more games in a row, and that opponent is playing on 3 or more days of rest, has gone 22-5 (81.5%) versus the money line during the last 18 seasons.

Free Pick: Chicago +110 over St. Louis

[gameodds]7/263955/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

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