The Minnesota Wild got off to a sluggish start this season, but they’ve really hit their stride in the past month. They should have no trouble tonight against the weakest club in the NHL. Our Blackhawks vs. Wild betting preview has more information.
The Minnesota Wild face the Chicago Blackhawks in a Central Division matchup as part of Friday’s three-game schedule. Minnesota is laying over four dollars on the moneyline, indicating that the books are beginning to take Chicago’s tank in the pursuit of Connor Bedard seriously.
Will the Wild finish off the Blackhawks, or will the road underdogs surprise everyone? How will the Blackhawks and the Wild do on December 16? Find out with our free OKBET Betting NHL selections and predictions.
Blackhawks vs Wild best odds
Blackhawks vs Wild picks and predictions
Minnesota Wild enter this game on a three-game winning streak and have won nine of their past 12 games to start turning around their disappointing season. They should continue to dominate this competition in every way imaginable.
Expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60) and expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60) place Minnesota 26th and fourth in the league, respectively, while playing at 5-on-5. However, the Hawks are ranked 29th and 31st in those areas.
The Chicago Blackhawks have sold away virtually their entire roster in preparation for a “tanking” season in which they want to draft Connor Bedard. It’s likely that Kane will be traded before the trade deadline this year, which will be disappointing for Hawks supporters but important for the team’s future success.
Its defense allows an abnormally high number of goals to be scored while its offense has little depth beyond its top six scorers. Due to the Blackhawks being on the second leg of a back-to-back, they will likely start Petr Mrazek in goal.
Mrazek’s performance and the Blackhawks’ offense have combined to make this a trying season for the Chicago goaltender. His overall record is 2-6-1 after 10 starts, with an.873 SV% and a 4.37 GAA.
The experienced goalie is unlikely to see an improvement in his statistics. If he was eligible, Mrazek would be ranked second-to-last among starting goaltenders in goals saved above anticipated per 60 minutes (GSAx/60) for 5-on-5 play.
Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is expected to start for the Wild against his former club. While Fleury’s season has gotten off to a rough start, his last game against the high-powered Oilers was one of his finest. He only allowed one goal on 21 shots, good for a save percentage of.952.
Though his numbers aren’t great, he beats Mrazek in GSAx/60 for 5-on-5 play. That debut may have been the confidence-booster Fleury needed, and this game should come easily for the future Hall of Famer.
All three phases of play (offense, defense, and goaltending) favor Minnesota in this matchup. Minnesota should win and cover, so there’s no reason to overthink it.
Blackhawks vs Wild moneyline analysis
Taking the puck line for the favorite is something I often avoid doing since the value is rarely there. With that said, this year is an exception because Chicago is obviously tanking.
“Players don’t tank, organizations do,” goes a popular adage. There is a lot of truth to what you said, and the Blackhawks players aren’t tanking on intentionally, but they have definitely given up as a team.
Their performance has deteriorated over the previous two weeks, becoming sloppier and less focused as they have put up less effort. Their Thursday night encounter against the Golden Knights seemed more like a scrimmage than a real game to everyone watching.
After losing the first game of a back-to-back against a divisional opponent, the Hawks are expected to lose the second game by the same margin.
Blackhawks vs Wild Over/Under analysis
The Blackhawks are one of the few teams in the league that has trouble scoring and shutting down opposition attacks, making them a difficult club to handicap when it comes to the over/under. If you’re looking for a safe bet, the Under is your best bet, but keep in mind that their lackluster defense can potentially result in six goals being scored against them.
Against Fleury and the Wild defense, this attack should have a tough time scoring. Furthermore, their defense is likely to leave Mrazek high and dry once again, which is bad news for the goaltender’s already broken confidence.
Considering Chicago’s play so far this year, it’s difficult to set a line for this game’s total.
Blackhawks vs Wild betting trend to know
The previous 10 games Chicago has lost by two or more goals. Explore other patterns in NHL wagering on the Blackhawks vs. Wild.