Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Chicago Blackhawks: Odds, Analysis, NHL Betting Pick

OddsShark.com@@OddsSharkFeatured ColumnistDecember 12, 2018

Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) celebrates with teammates after scoring against the Montreal Canadiens during the second period of an NHL hockey game Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)
Kamil Krzaczynski/Associated Press

The Chicago Blackhawks (9-18-5) will try to end an eight-game losing streak and beat the Pittsburgh Penguins (13-10-6) for the ninth straight time on Wednesday when they host them as home underdogs at sportsbooks.

The Blackhawks will be playing on back-to-back nights for the second time in a week as well after falling to the Winnipeg Jets 6-3 on Tuesday with goaltender Cam Ward in net for the first time since December 1.


NHL betting line: The Penguins opened as -200 favorites (wager $200 to win $100); the total is at 5.5 goals, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)

NHL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 3.3-2.2, Penguins (NHL picks on every game)

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Why the Penguins can pay on the NHL lines

This is obviously not the same Chicago team that Pittsburgh has lost eight consecutive games to, and it shows in the standings.

While the Penguins are still in the mix for a playoff spot, the Blackhawks are clearly in rebuilding mode after firing head coach Joel Quenneville and starting to deal some of their players such as Nick Schmaltz.

Pittsburgh has also won three of its last four games following a 2-1 shootout victory against the New York Islanders on Monday behind strong goaltending from Casey DeSmith (25 saves).


Why the Blackhawks can pay on the NHL lines

Chicago is long overdue to end its skid, and Pittsburgh would seem to be the ideal opponent to help build the team's confidence.

The Blackhawks have held the Penguins to only one goal in each of the past five meetings, outscoring them by a 24-5 margin during that stretch, including 12-2 last season alone.

Offense has not been the issue for them lately, either, as they have scored two goals or more in each game during their losing streak and at least three in four of them.

The key to Chicago earning a win in this spot is better goaltending, and they will be looking for Corey Crawford to return with a good effort.


Smart betting pick

Crawford has been much better at the United Center this season with a 4-5-1 mark and 2.39 goals-against average compared to 1-9 with a 4.02 GAA on the road. The problem is, the Blackhawks are just 1-9 the last 10 times when playing the second game of a back-to-back situation.

One of these teams will bust a slump here, and the odds are in Pittsburgh's favor for a reason.

Look for the Penguins to end their series slide with a rare win in the Windy City.


NHL betting trends

The total has gone under in nine of Pittsburgh's last 13 games when playing Chicago.

Chicago is 0-5 in its last five games.

Chicago is 1-4 in its last five games at home.


All NHL odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.


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