NHL Betting Odds, Pick, Prediction: Kraken vs. Blackhawks (October 23)

NHL Betting Odds, Pick, Prediction: Kraken vs. Blackhawks (October 23) article feature image

Steph Chambers/Getty Images. Pictured: Martin Jones and Carson Soucy.

 Kraken vs. Blackhawks Odds

Kraken Odds-121
Blackhawks Odds+104
Over/Under6.5 (-114/-105)
Time2 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

Chicago's extremely thin lineup has played better than many might have expected early this season.

The Blackhawks gutted out a comeback from down 3-1 on Friday night in their home opener versus the Red Wings and ultimately won, 4-3, in overtime.

The Kraken also managed an impressive victory Friday night, when they handed the defending champion Avalanche a second consecutive loss on home ice.

Chicago has looked more capable than I expected in the early going this season, but are they facing an even more underrated Kraken side in this matchup?

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Seattle Kraken

Seattle has already suffered some very painful and arguably undeserved losses this season, but that has simply been par for the course for the Kraken throughout their brief history.

The Kraken's 2-2-2 record has come against a tough slate of competition, as it's likely five of those teams will make the postseason. Seattle has also suffered two 3-on-3 losses that came on nights where the Kraken were the better team.

Breaking through with a massive win on Friday in Colorado was well deserved as the Kraken played to an expected goals score of 3.30 to 1.89 in their favor.

Seattle's 53.71 xGF% score is an elite mark, particularly when we evaluate the level of competition faced.

The Kraken will likely be somewhat less strong than their underlying analytics suggest this year due to holding less elite finishers than high-end rosters, and some poor goaltending, but I still believe this roster is highly underrated.

Seattle may not hold any of the league's truly elite forwards, but has assembled a very deep four lines capable of coming in waves, with Oliver Bjorkstrand and Andre Burakovsky both looking like massive additions on the wing and rookie Matty Beniers playing like a true top six center.

Seattle's defensive core shakes out similarly. There's not a lot in the way of top talent, but there are three steady units.

I believe we will see Seattle control play at better rates than most would expect and if the Kraken can get decent goaltending, they are certainly capable of claiming a shocking playoff berth out of a Pacific division which suddenly appears to be quite deep.

It's unclear whether Philipp Grubauer will return to for this contest after exiting Friday's matchup early.

If Grubauer can't start, that arguably shouldn't move the needle a ton handicapping wise.

With that said, Martin Jones has been better than Grubauer in the early going with a -0.9 goals saved above expected rating through four (basically three) appearances, and an .875 save %. He was also more successful last season.

Chicago Blackhawks

Chicago's 2-2-0 start is better than I would have expected from a roster that is skating a ton of below-replacement-level talent.

Analytically, the Blackhawks' start looks in line with what we expected entering the season. Chicago has played to the league's 27th worst xGF% (43.59) through its opening four contests.

Chicago has had some steady play from depth forwards, such as Philipp Kurashev and Sam Lafferty, in the early going, but that hasn't changed my belief that that Chicago's roster is holding little talent.

The group seems to have bought in and is competing at a professional level, but overreacting to the 2-2-0 start is far from necessary.

Alex Stalock has been confirmed as the Blackhawks starting goaltender for this game. He's played very well in the early going with a +3.5 goals saved above expected rating and a .979 save %.

Goaltending is always tough to predict, but it's still an easy argument to say Stalock won't be posting similar numbers moving forward from behind this Chicago defense.

 Kraken vs. Blackhawks Pick

With a high degree of confidence I say this … the Kraken will be significantly better moving forward than Chicago and have played considerably better than a 2-2-2 record suggests.

This line never should have opened anywhere close to a pick-em and I see value backing the Kraken down to -140.

Seattle has considerably better depth than the Blackhawks at essentially every position and I believe we should see the Kraken generate far more quality chances than the Blackhawks.

If the Kraken receive another reasonable goaltending performance — which has been very rare in the franchise's history — they should win handily.

If they don't get a strong goaltending performance, the Kraken will still have a great chance to best a poor Blackhawks team with shaky goaltending themselves.

Pick: Seattle Kraken Moneyline -125 (Play to -140)

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