NHL Odds: Blackhawks Continue Uphill Battle Against Top Competition

The Hurricanes remain a powerhouse in the NHL


October 29, 2021

After several days of high-scoring hockey, we saw the revenge of the Under on Thursday night’s nine-game slate, with seven of the contests staying under the total.

We have six games to look forward to Friday night, before a relatively quiet weekend in the Chel. As usual, we’re breaking down some of our favorite betting spots from Friday’s docket.

These are the wagers we’re high on from FanDuel Sportsbook.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Carolina Hurricanes Moneyline, Total and Odds
Blackhawks +168 | Hurricanes -200

Spread: Blackhawks +1.5 (-140) | Hurricanes -1.5 (+116)

Total: 6 Over -115 | Under -105

Seven games into the season, and the Chicago Blackhawks are still looking for their first win. They’ll likely still be looking after Friday night’s contest with the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Hawks don’t have the most flattering metrics this season, and they’ve been even worse on the road. Overall, the Hawks sit with the second-worst expected goals-for percentage at five-on-five, with a 42.9% rating. Somehow that drops to 33.0% as the visitors, as the Hawks continue to get thoroughly outplayed game after game.

Chicago has been outscored 11-2 at five-on-five and 13-7 overall as the away team. Their system is not working, as the Hawks have been out-chanced in scoring opportunities 82-49 and in high-danger chances 30-15, getting out-shot and out-possessed in every game. They will have a tough hill to climb against one of the better teams in the league.

The Canes have six straight wins to start the season, giving up just five goals at five-on-five along the way. Carolina doesn’t jeopardize defensive zone coverage for a few extra opportunities, as they’ve out-chanced their opponents at five-on-five in four of their six games. They rely on possession to control play, out-possessing four of their six opponents and out-shooting five of six. The Hawks have been out of their element this season, and they face a step up in competition against the Canes.

Frederik Andersen has looked revitalized in Carolina, stopping 95.6% of shots with 8.0 goals saved above average. The Canes are doing what they can to make life easy for Andersen, limiting opponents to 30.3 shots per game, 28.3 scoring chances and 13.1 high-danger chances, resulting in the eighth-best high-danger save percentage and top-ranked save percentage.

The Canes are above sustainable levels, but this spot against the Blackhawks isn’t the spot to expect regression. Carolina should bully the Blackhawks, and Andersen should continue to shine.

The Pick: Hurricanes -200

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. New York Rangers Moneyline, Total and Odds
Blue Jackets +160 | Rangers -190

Spread: Blue Jackets +1.5 (-176) | Rangers -1.5 (+146)

Total: 5.5 Over -104 | Under -118

Odds courtesy of Fanduel Sportsbook. Sign up for FanDuel Sportsbook today and get your first bet risk-free for up to $1,000.

Chances will be at a premium when the New York Rangers host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night. The Rangers are still looking for their first home win of the season, but they won’t get a ton of offensive pressure from the Blue Jackets.

The Blue Jackets have attempted nine or fewer high-danger and 21 or fewer scoring chances at five-on-five in four of their six contests. Decreased production has resulted in reduced output, as the Jackets remain one of the low-scoring teams at five-on-five. After a breakout performance in their first game, in which they tallied five goals at five-on-five, the Jackets have gone on to record just five more over their next five games. High-danger goals have been even harder to come by, with Columbus recording four goals from high-danger areas this season.

Columbus will feel the pinch from the Rangers, who continue to stymie opponents. At five-on-five, the Broadway Blueshirts have limited their opponents to nine or fewer high-danger chances in six of seven games this season and an average of 6.6 per game. That has facilitated some gaudy goaltending metrics, as Rangers goalies have combined for the sixth-best save percentage and eighth-best high-danger save percentage in the league.

This season, the Blue Jackets have struggled with output, and the Rangers have strong defensive systems to limit opponents. Both teams have outstanding goaltenders that they can rely on to make big stops when needed. That should lead to a low-scoring game as these intradivisional rivals fight for two critical points in a tight-checking affair.

The Pick: Under 5.5 -118

All NHL predictions and picks are courtesy of SportsGrid.

Thumbnail photo via David Banks/USA TODAY Sports Images

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