A number of sharp minds in the media and betting community felt that the Ottawa Senators had sleeper potential in the 2013-14 season. After exceeding expectations with a nice playoff run in the lockout-shortened season, their young roster was supposed to take a step forward. So far, the Senators have just 10 points in 11 games and enter Tuesday’s affair with Chicago as losers of three of their last four. The Blackhawks will be looking to keep them in a slump.
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The Ottawa Senators can win because…
They’ve been more effective on the road than they have at home. People making their sports picks should note they are 3-2-2 on the road this season compared to just 1-3-0 at home. They’ve won their last two road games – at Phoenix and at Detroit – and should feel very comfortable in this spot. The difference seems to be goaltender Craig Anderson, who has a .925 save percentage on the road compared to .909 at home.
The Blackhawks have not been a reliable home bet this season. They are 4-1-2 at the United Center but have cost bettors on the NHL odds a number of times. Home losses to Tampa Bay, Minnesota and St. Louis were quite costly if you had the Blackhawks in those games. They’ve lost two of their last three at home and also find themselves in a back-to-back situation. That means the Senators should have a shot on Tuesday.
The Chicago Blackhawks can win because…
The Senators just aren’t scoring enough. On the season, their total tally is at 30 but that’s a bit misleading. Before you take them with your NHL picks, notice that Ottawa has scored 16 goals in their four wins and just 14 goals in their seven losses. That’s the definition of hot-and-cold.
The Blackhawks won’t need much to get the job done here. If their explosive scorers can give them an early lead, Ottawa will have a tough time digging out of the hole.
Outlook & Pick
This is a tough spot to be laying -185 on the NHL odds with the Blackhawks. They played last night, it’s their third game in four nights and they haven’t even been that reliable at home this season. Sure, Ottawa is nothing special but do you really want to get busted losing -185?
Instead, we’ll go with the under. Ottawa’s offense has been unreliable while the Blackhawks have only seen more than five goals twice in their last 10 games. Take the under.
NHL Pick: Under at 5Dimes