The early line in the January 14th NHL free betting pick saw Ottawa a -115 home favorite vs. Chicago. Over 70% of public betting on the Blackhawks has shifted that number on Chicago’s side (CHI -115, OTT -105). Both teams are dwindling near the bottom of their respective divisions, but the ‘Hawks have a 5-game win streak in the series and a more realistic chance at the postseason.
Will Chicago Struggle Going on the Road?
The Blackhawks bookended their recent 4-game home streak with wins over bottom feeding teams in Detroit and Anaheim. They will look to continue that winning trend against poor teams and push their winning streak over the Senators to 6 games with a win in the January 14th NHL free betting pick.
Chicago has won 4 straight against teams with a losing record and have won 4 of their last 5 on the road. That includes big underdog wins in Colorado, Columbus, and Calgary so the Blackhawks have proven they can win on the road. What Jeremy Colliton’s team needs to avoid is the letdown game as Chicago also plays in Montreal on Wednesday night for the back-to-back.
The Canadian Tire Centre has proven a hard place to play at as the Senators are a very respectable 11-7-3 at home on the season. Chicago does have the firepower to get this win though with 4+ goals in 4 of their last 6 games. The ‘Hawks are getting great production from rookie Dominik Kubalik who has 4 goals the last 3 games and 7 points in his last 4. The always reliable Patrick Kane continues to shine with 9 points in his last 5.
Anyway Ottawa Solves Their Losing Ways?
Chicago has climbed back to .500 with a 20-20-6 record on the season. Their next step is erasing the current 7-point deficit for the postseason they face in the Western Conference. To do that, wins like Tuesday’s tilt in Ottawa are absolutely must-have. Chicago has not only won 5 straight in the series, they’ll be playing a Senators team in the midst of a current 7-game losing streak.
The Senators losing streak has included defeats to two of the worst teams in hockey. Ottawa fell to New Jersey on 12/29 as -132 favorites and at Detroit on January 10th as -117 favorites. During a three game stretch during the streak, Ottawa has been outscored 7-17 by Florida, Tampa Bay, and Washington.
Ottawa has scored just 4 goals total their last 3 games which bodes well for confirmed Chicago starter Robin Lehner, who stopped 35 of 37 shots Saturday vs. Anaheim. Ottawa will likely counter with Marcus Hogberg who was an ironman in net for consecutive nights in OT losses to Detroit and Montreal. Hogberg played 65 minutes in those games, allowing 4 goals total on 53 shots. He should at least be rested after Ottawa has had the last 2 nights off.
January 14th NHL Free Betting Pick
Chicago ABSOLUTELY must have this game if they want to prove any legitimacy or point to the remainder of the season. The Hawks have won 5 in a row in the series and Ottawa has dropped 7 in a row. The line isn’t as high in Chicago’s favor as one would think which does raise some red flags, but for the price the Blackhawks are the play.
Pick: Chicago Blackhawks -115