Anne-Marie Sorvin, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Brock Boeser, Bo Horvat
Betting odds: Chicago Blackhawks at Vancouver Canucks
- Blackhawks moneyline: -135
- Canucks moneyline: +115
- Over/Under: 6 (-105/-115)
- Puck drop: 10 p.m. ET
>> All odds as of 12:30 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NHL odds and track your bets
There is just one (1) NHL game on Wednesday night and it doesn’t start until 10 p.m. ET. The NHL schedule is wonky thanks to the uneven number of teams, but in the first month of the season this 31-team league has had a night with zero games and now another with just one. So it goes.
The lone game isn’t a hootenanny, either, as two teams expected to end up in the draft lottery, Chicago and Vancouver, will do battle in British Columbia.
Both the Blackhawks and Canucks are off to decent starts. Chicago sits third in the Central at 6-3-3 while Vancouver is currently occupying third-place in the Pacific at 7-6-0.
We can get into the numbers-based nitty-gritty here, but I think there’s a simple strategy that shows you where the value is for this game.
The Canucks are the home team and home-ice advantage accounts for a roughly 3% advantage in the NHL. They are +115 underdogs meaning their chances to win, according to the odds, sit at 46.5% while the Blackhawks have a 57.4% (-135) implied probability.
This means that if this game was played on neutral ice, the Blackhawks would be -152 favorites and they’d be around -170 favorites at home. That is not an accurate description of the talent gap between these two squads.
Chicago is definitely the better team. The ‘Hawks have a better goalie, more high-end skill and a better defense, they also have much better possession numbers — though they give up the third-most High-Danger Scoring Chances per 60 minutes in the league — but to say they would win over 60% of games against the Canucks on neutral ice would not be very accurate.
This game is a virtual coin flip, so I’d play Vancouver at any plus-number.