It was interesting to see what oddsmakers had in store for the January 21st NHL free betting pick as Florida visits the Blackhawks. Both teams are on a roll heading into the all-star break with 5 consecutive wins each. Chicago is a -125 favorite not only because they are at home, but also because the Panthers will be playing on 0 days rest after a battle in Minnesota on Monday.
This will also be an emotional tilt as Florida coach Joel Quenneville returns to Chicago for the 1st time as the coach of the Panthers. Quenneville won 3 Stanley Cup championships with this core of Blackhawks players. There’s no hard feelings towards “Q” who was fired mid-season last year, but both teams want to get this win to push their streak to 6 games heading into the break.
Will Florida Have Questions in Net Tuesday?
The Panthers were able to extend their winning streak to five games with a 5-4 win in St. Paul on Monday with a line of FLA -103. The xCel Energy Center is a tough place to go get a victory and it wasn’t easy for Florida as they needed three goals in the 3rd period to secure the 2 points. How does a hard fought game like that carry over for Florida on 0 days rest in the January 21st NHL free betting pick?
Sergei Bobrovsky went in net for Florida on Monday, giving up 4 goals on 33 shots to the Wild. Bobrovsky has played on 0 days rest twice this season, allowing 2 goals on 6 shots to Vancouver back in October and stopping 30 of 31 shots to San Jose in early-December. Chicago’s offense has scored 4+ goals in 4 of the last 5 though. Does Quenneville go with Sam Montembeault instead making just his second start since the end of November?
Does Chicago Push the Gas On Their Old Coach?
The Blackhawks are at a huge advantage being home and with Florida playing on 0 days rest. They should also know the Panthers major game plan since Quenneville spent a decade coaching Chicago – but that works both ways.
Each offense is on a roll coming into the January 21st NHL free betting pick. Florida has netted 4+ goals in five straight games while Chicago has scored 4 or more four times during their winning streak. Considering the tired legs of the Panthers defense, Patrick Kane should be able to continue his 9 game point run, tallying 14 over that span. Rookie Dominik Kubalik also looks to wrap up a strong first half as he has 9 goals in the last 7 games.
Who does Chicago go with in net on Tuesday? Both Corey Crawford and Robin Lehner are on a nice roll as of late. Lehner has allowed 2 goals or less in three straight and has an 8-1 record over his last 9. Crawford has allowed 2 goals or less in 4 of 5 and was in net for wins at Montreal and at Toronto in his last two starts. Chicago chooses which streaking goaltender to put in net while Florida has to decide between a guy on 0 days rest or one that has made a single start in the last two months.
January 21st NHL Free Betting Pick
This one should be a higher scoring affair as evidenced by the 6.5 total. Chicago has to have the edge though with a goaltending advantage and the fact they are at home. Not a bad price on the Hawks either.
Free Pick: Chicago Blackhawks -125