Although you might think that a Boston Bruins-Chicago Blackhawks matchup could be a potential Stanley Cup final preview, the truth is that neither team has looked really good of late. Even so, the Bruins find themselves as a massive underdog on the NHL betting lines on Sunday.
The Boston Bruins Can Win Because…
The Blackhawks are again slumping. They’ve now lost four of six and the bigger concern that all four of the losses have been at home. The United Center is supposed to give the Blackhawks a significant edge but that hasn’t been the case of late. Arizona, Vancouver, Detroit and Colorado have all beat them there during this six-game home stand and looking further back, the Blackhawks have lost six of nine in front of their own audience. Clearly, something has gone awry.
The main issue hampering the Blackhawks right now is that their offense isn’t doing their part. Chicago has averaged just 2.11 goals per game in the month of February, which is the 26th worst average in the NHL. This is a team that has so many offensive weapons but they’re really not playing the way they’re supposed to be playing right now.
The Bruins have been struggling but now that they’re finally facing a team that’s similar having a tough time too. This is a much more even matchup than the NHL betting odds indicate.
The Chicago Blackhawks Can Win Because…
Boston is a complete mess these days. The Bruins have lost six straight and can’t figure out how to win hockey games anymore. Their goaltending has been a complete mess as Tuukka Rask has a mediocre .904 save percentage this month and the Bruins – as a team – are giving up 3.63 goals per game. That’s the most goals per game in the NHL this month. Yes, the Blackhawks offense is struggling but this is a team that could help them wake up.
With the Bruins, it seems like their issues run deeper than just x’s and o’s. There’s been a power change at the top of the organization with Charlie Jacobs taking over and it seems like a once stable organization is fractious. General Manager Peter Chiarelli is on the hot seat, as is head coach Claude Julien and something isn’t quite right in the locker room. Beyond that, there has been some attrition on this team talent-wise – mostly due to the salary cap – and they’re just not as good as they once were. In this spot, they’re in their last stop on a five-game road trip and are a complete mess right now. Bet against them here.
Both teams are in a funk, so there’s no play on the side. Boston is a hot mess while Chicago has been unreliable as a home bet of late. That being the case, we’ll look to the total. Chicago isn’t scoring much these days and has played a lot of unders recently. With Chicago being at home, I expect to see more of that as they dictate the pace. That’s why I’m going under the number with my NHL picks.
NHL Pick: Under at The Greek