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Sunday January 6th NHL Free Pick: Blackhawks at Penguins

Can Chicago Continue Their Recent Dominance over Pittsburgh

No one would argue the fact that it’s been a down year for the Blackhawks. That being said one thing they have continued is their dominance over the Pittsburgh Penguins. After their 6-3 win on December 12th, Chicago is now 10-1 in their last 11 meetings vs. the Penguins. Oddsmakers don’t seem to mind however, making Pittsburgh a hefty -250 favorite in the January 6th NHL free pick. Are the ‘Hawks worth a play at +210 or is it wasted money?

Can Kane Lead the ‘Hawks to the Huge Upset

January 6th NHL free pick
Toews has found his offensive stride lately but it hasn’t correlated into wins for Chicago.

At the very least Chicago has a chance in every game lately the way Patrick Kane has been playing. #88 scored another goal vs. the Islanders on Thursday, his 6th in the last 4 games. The Penguins are riding an 8-game win streak into the January 6th NHL free pick so the ‘Hawks are going to need some offense. Jonathan Toews had 3 points in Chicago’s win over Pittsburgh in early December and brings a 5-game point streak into Sunday night’s game.

The Blackhawks are probably going to need to score 3-4 goals to steal an upset win with the way Cam Ward has been playing in net. The veteran goaltender has gone 2-5 in his last 7 starts and has allowed 4+ in four of those outings. Chicago has given up power play goals in 5 of the last 16 chances, making their penalty kill just 73% (last in the NHL.) Pittsburgh’s offense meanwhile…5th in the league on the power play.

Penguins Surging Nicely Right Now

January 6th NHL free pick
Rust had a hat trick vs. Chicago early in December but it wasn’t enough for a W.

After an up and down start to the season, Pittsburgh seems to have found a groove as they’ve won 8 straight. The Penguins have climbed all the way into the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference and have been riding a very hot offense lately. Nine different Pittsburgh players have scored in the last two games alone. The Penguins are averaging 5 goals per game over their last five contests. Over that span Mike Sullivan’s team is 9 for 13 in the power play – a huge Chicago weakness.

Despite a hat trick from Bryan Rust the Penguins did lose that 6-3 contest in Chicago in early December. The Blackhawks were even playing on the 2nd leg of a back-to-back but they still slipped 4 of 27 shots past G Casey DeSmith. That’s who gets the nod in net for the Penguins on Sunday. DeSmith has won 4 of his last 6 starts even though he’s given up 3+ goals in 3 of his last 5. Both teams are well rested which should put this game a high scoring affair (the O/U is 6).

January 6th NHL Free Pick Betting

So what is the reason for Chicago’s success over the Penguins? The Blackhawks have won 4 straight in Pittsburgh which gives them hope despite losing 3 of their last 5 overall. The Penguins have been clicking on offense, but have little value at -250. 3/4 of the public is on Pittsburgh yet the line hasn’t adjusted at all. With Chicago offering such a nice ROI, it’s time to see if they can stay hot vs. the Penguins.

NHL Free PIck: Chicago Blackhawks +210

Carl Taylor

Every loss is a chance to learn a lesson. That being said, wins are so much more enjoyable. Follow along to tap into the wisdom I've learned from 20 years as a sports bettor. Follow along on Twitter for more picks and DFS news @dailydogsports.

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