NHL Betting Preview: Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues Odds, Analysis

OddsShark.comFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2016

Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane celebrates after scoring his goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Detroit Red Wings Sunday, March 6, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

The St. Louis Blues (38-20-9) have slowly but surely been closing ground on the Chicago Blackhawks (41-21-5) and Dallas Stars in the race for the Central Division title.

On Wednesday, the Blues host the Blackhawks and can pull even in the standings with a regulation victory as small -120 favorites (bet $120 to win $100) at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark.

Chicago and Dallas are tied atop the division with 87 points heading into Tuesday’s NHL action pending the Stars's matchup with the Montreal Canadiens.

St. Louis has split eight meetings with the Blackhawks since losing four straight en route to being eliminated in the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs. Last year, the Blues were knocked out in the first round by another Central Division foe, the Minnesota Wild.

Chicago has won two of the three meetings this season, including the last two. The Blackhawks also won the lone meeting at St. Louis 4-2 on November 14.

The Blues have won eight of their past 11 games overall to put themselves in position to not only win the Central but also claim the top seed in the Western Conference. They closed out a recently completed four-game road trip by winning the last three contests by a combined score of 13-7.

Before that trip, they lost two in a row at home to the New York Rangers and San Jose Sharks as comparable favorites.

Meanwhile, Chicago has won three of its last four games after dropping five of seven. Two of those wins came against the Detroit Red Wings on March 2 and March 6, with the Blackhawks outscoring them by a 9-3 margin.

The lone loss during that stretch came versus the Boston Bruins on the road by a score of 4-2 the night after they beat the Wings.

Chicago begins a tough three-game stretch at St. Louis followed by another road game at Dallas on Friday and a home matchup with the Los Angeles Kings on Monday.

The Blackhawks are just 3-7 in 10 games as underdogs this year, with all of them taking place away from home. They are also 3-7 in the past 10 road meetings with the Blues, according to the Odds Shark NHL Database.