NHL Picks: Look For Blackhawks To Bounce Back At Home Over Blues

Bruce Webster

Sunday, January 24, 2016 4:29 PM GMT

The St. Louis Blues meet the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday night in a Central Division battle. Don't miss our preview for this game and find out our best NHL picks.

St. Louis Blues vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Line: CHI -170 / STL +150
Total: 5
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Free NHL Pick: Blackhawks -160
Best Line Offered: at William Hill

 

The NHL odds are out for this game as the St. Louis Blues (28-15-5; 20-31 ATS; 18-26 O/U) will head on the road to the United Center on Sunday evening for a matchup against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks (32-15-4; 24-27 ATS; 16-25 O/U). Chicago’s 12-game winning streak catapulted them into first place in the Central Division standings (68 points), leaving the Blackhawks in prime position to defend the Cup in this year’s renewed playoff format. Joel Quenneville’s squad snapped the longest winning streak in franchise history on Thursday with a 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning and followed that up with a disappointing effort in a 4-0 defeat on the road in Florida versus the Panthers. After Sunday’s contest at home, the Blackhawks will kick off a four-game road swing beginning in Carolina on Tuesday night.

 

Blues May Not Deal Shatterkirk
Despite currently being comfortably slotted into the NHL playoff picture, the St. Louis Blues are expected to be one of the more active teams come the NHL trade deadline. Despite rampant speculation, it seems that it is no longer a foregone conclusion that defenseman Kevin Shatterkirk will be on his way out of town. A recent report by TSN’s Bob Mackenzie states that the Blues may not be so eager to move Shatterkirk this season. St. Louis is coming off of a shootout loss in Colorado, where they were able to salvage a point on the road. The Blues have managed to notch a point in nine of their last 10 games (5-1-4).

 

Kane On Historic Scoring Pace
The Chicago Blackhawks remain the team-to-beat in the NHL after putting together an impressive 12-game winning streak to seize first place in the Central Division. Chicago ranks in the top-10 in the NHL in most major statistical categories, including goals per game (2.8), goals against (2.3), power play percentage (21.6%), and penalty kill percentage (82.3%). The defending Stanley Cup Champs have benefitted from a historic season by forward Patrick Kane. The Blackhawks’ winger has racked up 72 points (30 G, 42 A) with 33 games left to go. Using hockey-reference.com’s adjusted player production formula, Kane is on pace to surpass Gretzky’s single season points record. Extrapolated over a full season, Kane would be on pace for an NHL-record 229 points (97G, 132 A). He is currently en route to scoring 118 points, which would be the fourth-highest total since 2005-06.

 

Trends for St. Louis:
4-12 in their last 16 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game
1-4 in their last 5 vs. Central
1-4 in their last 5 vs. Western Conference

 

Trends for Chicago Blackhawks:
4-0 in their last 4 vs. Central
5-0 in their last 5 vs. Western Conference
10-1 in their last 11 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game

 

Betting Analysis
It’s hard to go against Chicago here with our NHL picks. The Blackhawks have lost back-to-back games after piling up 12 wins in a row and are coming off of a lackluster 4-0 defeat against the Panthers. For your Sunday's NHL picks, look for Patrick Kane and company to get back on the board in this one as they handle the low-scoring Blues at the United Center in a battle between two of the Central Division’s top contenders.

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