NHL Picks: Capitals vs. Blackhawks

Ross Benjamin

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 2:21 PM GMT

The Chicago Blackhawks open their season on Tuesday night as the defending Stanley Cup champions and take on the Washington Capitals. Where are bettors best suited to place their NHL picks tonight?

Face off is set for 8:05 PM ET at the United Center in Chicago. According to current NHL odds the Blackhawks are -170 on the money line and the total is 5.5. In addition the puck-line shows Chicago -1.5 at +175.

Take a look at our NHL Picks of the Day article for more free plays.

Can the Hawks Repeat?

One of the toughest things to do in professional team sports is to repeat as champions. The last team to repeat as a Stanley Cup champion was the Detroit Red Wings in 1998. As a matter of fact they were just one of 2 teams to repeat since the start of the 1988-1989 year. The only other team to accomplish the feat in that time span was the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992. I have stated during the offseason and I’m sticking to my guns on my opinion that I truly believe the Blackhawks may be the best equipped team to repeat since the turn of the century.

Unlike many teams coming off a championship season in the salary cap era in which we live, Chicago management was able to keep the vast majority of their roster from a season ago intact. In addition they have a disciplined and demanding coach that’s highly respected by the players in Joel Quenneville. Since coming to Chicago Quenneville has guided the Hawks to a terrific 186-99-39 record and captured 2 Stanley Cups.

Win and Advance 

The Washington Capitals are coming off a season that saw them win the Southeast Division. Unfortunately for the Capitals they were eliminated in the 1st round of the playoffs by the New York Rangers. It has been an all too familiar scene for the Capitals and their fans. It was another successful regular season campaign only to be spoiled by an early exit in the playoffs. Nothing short of a deep run in the playoffs will be acceptable this season. As long as Alex Ovechkin stays healthy, he has a strong enough supporting cast for this team to have no excuses.

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Final Analysis

When it comes to placing your NHL picks, I’m not an advocate of laying this kind of juice on the money line with the prohibitive favorite. I believe we will see a wide open exciting game in this one especially with the matchup being this early in the year. These two clubs both have a surplus of firepower and I have a very small lean on this game to go over the total. 

Free Pick: Washington/Chicago Over 5.5 (+100)