The Chicago Blackhawks snapped their 8 game losing streak on Wednesday with a 6-3 win over the Penguins as +152 underdogs. It’s a bit too early to call that upset win a turnaround for Chicago’s season but the +125 line tonight for the Blackhawks is indicative of at least a bit more respect from oddsmakers. In the December 14th NHL free pick the Winnipeg Jets come to town having won 7 of 8. The Jets beat up on Chicago 6-3 on Tuesday, are they another easy bet tonight?
Jets Come Into Tonight’s Game on a Roll
Winnipeg is listed at -145 in the December 14th NHL free pick which offers great value considering the Jets have won 7 of their last 8. The Jets are just a point back from the Predators in the West and have won 4 of the last 5 vs. the conference. The reason tonight’s line might seem on the low side is because the Jets are playing in a B2B situation tonight. Winnipeg scored a 5-4 OT win over Edmonton last night after the win over Chicago on Tuesday. The Jets are 6-1 in their last 7 of a 3-games-in-4-nights situation so they may be worth a play in this one.
Tonight’s O/U is a soaring 6.5. The Jets offense has netted 18 pucks in the last three games. Kyle Connor scored twice vs. Chicago on Tuesday, Patrik Laine has 4 points in 3 games, and Nikolaj Ehlers has 11 points in his last 9 contests. The Jets are 4th in the NHL in scoring and are up against a Chicago team that is 30th in goals/against. The ‘Hawks have allowed 3+ goals in 11 straight games.
Chicago Could Be a Bit Fatigued Too
One of the reasons that Winnipeg in a B2B situation tonight shouldn’t be as intimidating is because Chicago is playing in their 3rd game in 4 nights. The Blackhawks had dropped 8 straight before Wednesday night’s 6-3 win over the Penguins. Two of those goals were scored on the empty net so the Chicago offense isn’t as ‘back’ as you’d think. In fact, they rank 2nd to last in goals scored and aren’t getting opportunities ranking 27th in SOG. Connor Hellebuyck is in net for the Jets in the December 14th NHL free pick having won 5 of his last 6. He’s held thre of those opponents to just one goal.
Corey Crawford stopped 40 of 43 Pittsburgh shots on Wednesday but it still marked his 9th straight game with 3+ goals allowed. Crawford has now dropped 8 of his last 9 starts. Cam Ward started on Tuesday vs. the Jets but Crawford got the nod against Winnipeg on November 29th. It wasn’t pretty as he allowed 6 goals on 33 shots. Is there an O/U they could set that wouldn’t be too low tonight?
December 14th NHL Free Pick Betting
Chicago looked much better on Wednesday (obviously) and Winnipeg is on game two of a B2B. It’s still not enough to like the Blackhawks in this one though. The Jets have won 4 of the last 5 and they should keep that streak going on Friday.
NHL Free Pick: Winnipeg Jets PL -1.5 (+172)