NHL Picks: Wild vs. Blackhawks Game 1 Odds & Predictions

David Lawrence

Thursday, May 1, 2014 2:58 PM UTC

Thursday, May. 1, 2014 2:58 PM UTC

The Minnesota Wild survived a seven-game series with the Colorado Avalanche. Now they have a quick turnaround for Friday when they start their second-round series with the Chicago Blackhawks. They’re a big dog on the NHL odds for Game 1.

The Minnesota Wild Can Win Because…
They are very confident right now. The Wild have a big adrenaline flow after going into Colorado and upsetting the Avs in overtime of Game 7. This is a team that finished the regular season 6-1-1 and was supposed to be a sacrificial lamb in the first round. However, they won four of the last five games in the series and come into Round 2 on a hot streak.

The Wild were 3-1-1 against Chicago in the regular season, so they won’t be intimidated. They’re a huge dog in Game 1 but if the Blackhawks underestimate that as the Avs did, they could be offering great value for your NHL picks.

Take a look at our Wild vs. Blackhawks Series Price Predictions

The Chicago Blackhawks Can Win Because…
The Wild are going to be exhausted. They had a long, draining series with the Avs and only get one day off before facing Chicago. On top of that, the Wild didn’t play particularly well on the road in the opening round, losing three of four games while 17 goals in the four road games. That spells trouble.

The Blackhawks are a better team than the Avs and they’re well-rested. They ousted the Wild in the first round of the playoffs last season and they’ll take the first step towards doing it again with a win on Friday.

Outlook & Pick
The Wild are going to be in a tight spot on Friday. However, I’m not interested in laying a ton of juice. That being the case, I’ll take the 'over' with my sports picks. Five of the Wild’s first seven playoff games went over and the two teams averaged 5.8 goals per game in their five meetings this season. 

NHL Pick: Over 5.5 at TheGreek


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