Blackhawks at Avalanche Picks and NHL Betting Odds
by Dave Schwab - 3/8/2013
The Chicago Blackhawks and Colorado Avalanche will wrap up the back end of a home-and-home series this Friday night at the Pepsi Center. The puck is set to drop at 9 p.m. (ET) this time around, and the game will be broadcast nationally on the NHL Network.
Chicago not only struck first blood in this series with a 3-2 victory as a -208 home favorite on Wednesday night, but they extended their unbeaten streak in regulation to 24 games. The Blackhawks are now 21-0-3 overall and 10 points ahead of Anaheim in the Western Conference.
This was the Avalanche’s third-straight loss, and they are now 8-10-4 on the year with a total of just 20 points. Colorado may have better luck trying to end the Blackhawks’s amazing streak on its home ice where it is 6-2-1 in nine previous outings this season.
Blackhawks at Avalanche Betting Storylines
Like a well-oiled machine, nothing seems to faze Chicago as it continues to rack up win after win. It trailed 2-1 after the first two periods on Wednesday night but was able to pull out the victory on Daniel Carcillo’s game-winner with less than a minute to play in regulation. The only kink in the works for this contest is the health of both Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp, who are each listed as questionable with injuries.
Ray Emery was in goal for the Blackhawks and came up big in the third period by stopping all seven shots he faced. In relief of Corey Crawford this season, Emery has a goals-against-average of 2.02 and a .925 save percentage. Crawford has been even better with a 1.53 GAA and .940 save percentage, so it really does not matter who is in goal for Chicago. Overall, the Blackhawks are averaging 3.1 goals a game while allowing just 1.8 goals on the other end of the ice.
Colorado certainly had its chances to end Chicago’s 11-game winning streak, but like much of this season, it came up short in the end. The problems have been two-fold with an offensive attack that is ranked 24th in the NHL in scoring with 2.4 goals-per-game and a defense that is allowing an average of 2.9 goals a game.
These problems have been magnified on the power play with a conversion rate of just 11.9 percent, which is ranked next to last in the league. The Avalanche have also struggled killing off the man advantage with a penalty kill rate of 77.4 percent. Semyon Varlamov stopped 29 of the first 31 shots he faced on Wednesday but could not come up with the big save when he needed to the most. Overall, he has a .910 save percentage this season and a GAA of 2.80.
Blackhawks at Avalanche NHL Betting Odds and Trends
5Dimes has the Blackhawks listed as -135 road favorites with the home Avalanche listed at +125. The total is set at 5.5.
The Blackhawks are 5-0 in their last five games against the Northwest Division and 20-8 in their last 28 road games. The total has stayed “under” in eight of their last 10 games on the road.
The Avalanche are 3-7 in their last 10 games against the Central Division and 6-13 in their last 19 games on one day’s rest. The total has stayed under in six of their last nine home games.
Head-to-head in this series, Chicago is now 3-3 in the last six meetings after Wednesday win and 2-7 in its last nine trips to Colorado. The total has gone “over” in five of the last six meetings at the Pepsi Center.
Blackhawks at Avalanche Picks and Betting Predictions
It has been crazy and costly to bet against Chicago this season in an effort to try and predict when this streak will end as it has found ways to win 21 of its first 24 games. The Avalanche gave it their best shot in Game 1 of this home-and-home series and still came up short, so it does not make too much sense going against the Blackhawks on Friday night. Even with some injury concerns, someone else will just step up their in game to help notch another win.
Doc’s Sports is offering $60 worth of member’s NHL picks absolutely free – no obligation, no sales people – you don’t even have to enter credit card information. You can use this $60 credit any way you please on any of our top hockey handicappers. Click here for more details and take advantage of this free $60 picks credit today.
Read more articles by Dave Schwab
Get all of Tonight's NHL Picks.
Get all of Tonight's guaranteed Expert NHL Picks.