Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:00 PM EST. Odds subject to change.
Chicago +199 over Boston
8:30 PM EST. OT included. This is already the second season meeting between the Bruins and Blackhawks, with the B’s getting the best of the ‘Hawks in a 3-1 decision back in Boston. That victory was the first of five in a row for the Bruins to start the season, who now sit 5-0 after knocking off the Ducks in Anaheim on Sunday. Sandwiched between wins one and five were victories over Los Angeles, San Jose, and Nashville. Of that lot of wins, only one team made the playoffs last season, and when the early season numbers are plugged into the computer, the B’s have played the second-weakest schedule in the NHL.
When a team plays a weak schedule, it allows for bad habits to form. That weak scheduling can also create a scenario where a team that is not that good can rack up the wins, and those wins are then overvalued in the market, creating a situation where a team that already has a ton of pedigree like the Bruins, to be overvalued greatly in the market. For some perspective, the B’s were not the better team versus the Ducks, and while we acknowledge that Boston was on the tail end of a back-to-back, the oddsmakers knew this too, and the Bruins were still a -246 favorite at puck drop.
A closer look at the Bruins underlying metrics shows that they have gotten progressively worse with each game. In game one versus the ‘Hawks, the B’s dominated puck possession, as they did in game two versus the Predators. Then Boston was even with lowly San Jose and then spent both of their games in Southern California chasing the puck. Perhaps the Bruins snap out of their poor play, but we can never recommend spotting an inflated price on the road on a “what if.”
The Blackhawks are undervalued after a 2-4 start. We’ll note that the ‘Hawks started the year on a five-game road trip that saw them visit Pittsburgh, Boston, Montreal, Toronto, and Colorado, which is not exactly a well-mapped-out venture, not to mention the overall quality of that competition which, by the way, is ranked as the toughest so far through the first two weeks of the season. All that to say, we love that the Blackhawks are at home for their second game after that trip after playing Vegas on Saturday night in a game the ‘Hawks went stride for stride with the defending champs. The value here on Chicago is tremendous and we’re not missing out.
Chicago +199 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.98)