Free NHL Picks: Blackhawks at Flames Odds
by George Monroy - 11/26/2013
Playing on the road in the NHL can be a difficult task for just about any team, unless that team is the Chicago Blackhawks. The defending Stanley Cup Champions have won three straight road games, and looks like they are ready to dominate the rest of the seven-game road stretch that they are currently on. The team started out their trip against the Colorado Avalanche on Nov. 19 and do not return home until Dec. 3 when they host the Dallas Stars. If Chicago can end that stretch still atop the Western Conference standings, they will have left little doubt as to who is the best squad in the NHL heading into the New Year.
The Calgary Flames have won two of their last three, and they are probably playing their best stretch of hockey since the beginning of the season. The team has played three straight overtime games, and they do not have a win in regulation since an Oct. 26 victory over the Washington Capitals. The Flames are sitting near the bottom of the Western Conference with only 20 points on the year and have the fourth-worst record in the entire league. However, if Calgary is planning on stealing a win from the Blackhawks, doing so Wednesday night at home might be their best chance.
Blackhawks at Flames Betting Story Lines
Chicago has played through a road-heavy month of November where 10 of their 15 scheduled games have been away from the United Center. The team performed well over that span and earned a 9-3 record, and they have three road games left in the month. Last season the Blackhawks had the best road squad in the league, and they have become accustomed to earning victories in tough situations.
Chicago is coming off of a four-goal blowout of the Edmonton Oilers on Monday where they managed to score five times on only 27 shot attempts. The team continues to get offense from all areas of their roster and have four players with more than 20 points on the season and another 12 that are in double-figures.
The Flames have reached the point in their season where trade rumors are starting to pop up. There have already been whispers across the league that Calgary is willing to move forward Mikael Backlund if the right offer came along, and those distractions may only send the team into more of a rut.
The Flames are coming off of a solid victory over the Florida Panthers on Friday night, and they should be well-rested for their bid to win consecutive games for the first time since early October. Calgary scored three goals on 24 shots during their last outing, but they gave up a two-goal lead in the third period before finally beating the Panthers in a shootout. Flames’ goaltender Reto Berra has struggled this season, but he has been particularly ineffective over his last five starts where he has given up 16 goals on only 131 shot attempts.
Blackhawks at Flames NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
Chicago opened as a -186 road moneyline favorite over the +169 underdog Flames, according to BetOnline. The total was set at 5.5 goals, with the “over” at -131. The Blackhawks are currently 19-7 over their last 26 games against the Pacific Division and 8-2 in their last 10 overall games. The team is 3-3 against their last six pucklines, and they have gone over eight times during their last nine road games. In fact, the Blackhawks have gone over in 13 of their last 16 overall games.
The Flames are 2-7 over the last nine overall games, and they have a 3-14 record against the Western Conference over their last 17 games. The team has gone over six times during their last eight home games and four times over their last five against the Western Conference.
Free NHL Picks: Blackhawks at Flames Predictions
The Flames have value receiving + 169 odds at home against a road-weary Blackhawks team. Chicago could easily come into this matchup without any energy or focus and give a victory away to a desperate Calgary team. Or they could come in their regular, dominant selves and blow out an overmatched Flames team. Every once in while bettors have to take a chance and wager on a team simply because of the price, and Wednesday night’s matchup is that game. Chicago has been on the road for two weeks, Calgary has won two of three, and the price is just too good to pass up on a home team playing solid hockey. Take a shot on the Flames to pull off the upset.
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