In this Central Division matchup Saturday, Chicago and St. Louis could labor to score goals. These teams have been struggling to light the lamp and their special teams, particularly on the power play, leave much to be desired. Chicago could pull off the upset if it keeps the scoring low. A bet on the Blackhawks and the “under” could be the best NHL bets here.
Blues Need To Bank on Goaltending
The St. Louis offense is “blue” from its shortcomings. On the road, St. Louis averages just over 2.4 goals per game. Its power play is a paltry 10.6%. To exacerbate its situation, the team has inconsistent goaltending. If the team is to be worth an NHL pick as a road favorite, one of these two situations need to improve.
St. Louis will need to be better at scoring goals with the man advantage. Against Chicago, the Blues take on a team that is ranked 21st in the penalty kill at 77.1%. The Blues will need to score at least three goals overall. Otherwise, Jordan Binnington or whoever is in goal will have to play above their average.
— Gateway Grinders (@gatewaygrinders) December 7, 2023
Binnington is just 3-6 (3-5-1) on the road with a 3.17 goals-against average (GAA). He did stop 32 of Chicago’s 34 shots the last time and he is 8-2 (8-1-1) in his career against it. This may be why the NHL lines have St. Louis favored.
Blackhawks Need To Toil To Win
Outside of Connor Bedard, the Blackhawks don’t have much in the way of scoring. This team is ranked in the bottom quarter of the league when it comes to offensive metrics from goals per game (2.5) to power-play percentage (12.5%). As such, Chicago’s best method of winning is to try and limit St. Louis’s scoring.
Chicago is not the best two-way team either. But it does have a potential ace up its sleeve: Petr Mrazek (should he start). The netminder is 3-3 at home with a 93.2% save percentage and only 2.36 GAA. The Blackhawks give up over 33 shots a game so Mrazek will have to stop over 30 of that.
This shouldn’t be as difficult given the Blues’ issues in scoring. Keeping a low score is Chicago’s best path to victory. It’s worth a bet online at underdog odds.
Low Scores Trending on Totals
Four of St. Louis’s last five road games have gone under the total. For Chicago, four of its last five games saw a total of six goals or fewer.
Blues vs Blackhawks Game Information
- Date/Time: Saturday, Dec. 9, 8:07 p.m. ET
- Location: United Center, Chicago, IL
- Blues vs Blackhawks Live Stream: NHL.TV
Blues vs Blackhawks Betting Lines
Blues vs Blackhawks Game Prediction
Predicted Score: Blackhawks 3, Blues 2 (SO)
Bet Against the Offenses Here
St. Louis and Chicago have had low totals due to the lack of scoring. Both of their PPs are subpar. And this is even worse for Chicago, which has scored just one goal in four of its last five games. The sportsbook set the totals a bit too high here. Bet the under.
NHL Pick: Blues, Blackhawks Under 6½
Back Blackhawks or Pass
As bad as Chicago’s offense is, it’s tough to lay money on St. Louis as a favorite when a mercurial goalie is its main advantage. Mrazek has been just as hot as Binnington given the circumstances. If they cancel each other out, we’re taking our chances with the underdogs.
NHL Pick: Chicago Blackhawks
Questions of the Day
Which strategy of Luke Richardson will have positive results on this game?
If Luke Richardson can adjust Chicago’s special teams to be more effective, the Blackhawks could just upset the NHL odds.
Which team is more likely to score a goal during a power play in the game?
The Blackhawks have a below average penalty kill while the Blues have a top-five one. Thus, the Blues are likelier to score a power-play goal.