NHL Best Bets: Ducks vs. Blackhawks Game Picks
Two of the NHL’s basement feeders are set to collide later tonight, with the Anaheim Ducks visiting the Chicago Blackhawks from the United Center.
All Odds Courtesy of FanDuel SportsbookAnaheim Ducks (+102) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (-122) Total: 6.5 (O-104, U-118)
There’s not a lot going right for either the Anaheim Ducks or Chicago Blackhawks this year, with both teams having their clear sights on the first draft pick in 2023. This will be the second of three meetings between the Hawks and Ducks, with Chicago opening the season series with a 3-2 victory back in November. The Blackhawks are listed as a slight home favorite on the moneyline at -122, while the Ducks are priced in the plus-money territory at +102.
Entering this contest, the Ducks have put together a reasonably mediocre stretch over their past ten games, which has seen them post a 4-4-2 record. On the other hand, the Hawks are sitting at 6-4 over that same sample size and are quietly playing some solid hockey. They’ll look to continue that as they get set to play their first post-All-Star break game.
Looking toward the projected goalie matchup tonight, the Ducks are expected to start Anthony Stolarz in net, while the Blackhawks should be countering with Petr Mrazek. The Ducks netminder has posted a 4-6 record, paired with a .895 save percentage, while Mrazek is sitting at 5-13-1, along with a .885 save percentage. It’s hard to have confidence in either goalie, which could create a high-scoring matchup tonight.
When two of the worst teams in the league are facing off, it’s hard to find a lot of conviction in going heavy one way or another. In saying that, the Blackhawks are at home tonight, providing a challenging atmosphere for Anaheim and playing for the second consecutive night. Targeting the Blackhawks should have some value at -122 on the moneyline.
Best Bet: Blackhawks moneyline (-122)
These teams already faced off and combined for just five goals, but the goalie matchup tonight could mean more goals are in store than you might have initially projected. In saying that, the Ducks and Blackhawks sit in the bottom two positions in the NHL in goals scored per game, meaning you might not have much confidence in expecting a high-scoring affair. Over the Ducks’ past five games, they’ve seen seven or more goals scored in three of them, while the Hawks have seen that transpire in three as well. That might give you some confidence in the over, but we’re not buying it because the level of competition just isn’t the same as those other matchups where higher goal totals have occurred.
Best Bet: Under 6.5 (-118)
There isn’t a lot of goal-scoring talent present in this matchup, and even though we’re projecting the Hawks to come out on top ultimately, we’ll be siding with a Duck for a player prop to score. Trevor Zegras has continued demonstrating why Anaheim views him as a foundational piece, tallying 43 points in 51 games to lead the team as a sophomore. With some question marks about who to target in this matchup, Zegras at least presents the skillset we are looking for in terms of a player who can be a game-breaker on any given shift. The Ducks forward is listed at +178 to score tonight, and that number has a lot of value.
Best Prop: Trevor Zegras to Record Over 0.5 Goals (+178)