NHL Betting Odds and Picks: Blackhawks vs. Flames, Oilers vs. Panthers and More (Saturday, Feb. 15)

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Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images

It’s been a strange couple of days in the NHL. The Minnesota Wild fired Bruce Boudreau, Zack Kassian got suspended seven games for kicking someone in the chest and the New York Rangers have won four games in a row and now find themselves in should-we-go-for-it purgatory. Of course, one of those wins came via what looked like an illegal shooutout goal, but hey — why let the rules get in the way of a good story.

Let’s see what Saturday has in store.


Odds as of Saturday morning and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150). No strings attached. No rollover required.


Chicago Blackhawks at Calgary Flames

  • Blackhawks odds: +120
  • Flames odds: -140
  • Over/Under: 6.5
  • Time: 10 p.m. ET

You’ve got to hand it to the Chicago Blackhawks for hanging around, but it looks like we could be waving goodbye to Chicago’s slim playoff hopes. The Blackhawks come into Calgary looking to shake a five-game losing streak (0-3-2) and gain two points on one of the teams they are chasing for a playoff spot.

Chicago’s defense has ranked at, or near, the bottom of the NHL in expected goals for most of the season, but it has marginally improved over the past few weeks. In fact, despite their current swoon, the Blackhawks have actually posted a 52.6% expected goals rate in their last 10 games.

The Blackhawks have struggled defensively all season, but if they continue to win the territory battle those problems should be alleviated. Chicago is built to outscore its opponents and that job becomes a lot easier when the Blackhawks are controlling play like they have been over the past two weeks.

Heatmap via HockeyViz.com

The Calgary Flames have been playing pretty solid hockey over the past month, but they’ll be without No. 1 defenseman Mark Giordano and perhaps Travis Hamonic, so their defense figures to have its hands full with Chicago’s forwards.

The listed odds suggest Chicago wins this game 43.8% of the time and with Calgary’s injury issues, I think this game is pretty close to a coin flip and would play the Blackhawks at +110 or better.

[Bet now at PointsBet. NJ only.]


Around the League

The Edmonton Oilers (+135) were already missing Connor McDavid and now they’ll be without Zack Kassian for seven games after the mercurial power forward was suspended for seven games for kicking Tampa’s Erik Cernak. The Florida Panthers (-160) are also dealing with some personnel issues, as Sergei Bobrovsky is sick and Mike Hoffman missed practice on Friday.

The Panthers have struggled at 5-on-5 all season but they have really been coming apart lately, with a 43.8% expected goals rate in their last 10 games. Even without McDavid and, to a lesser extent Kassian, I think there’s value on the Oilers at +135 or better.

The Minnesota Wild (-180) fired Bruce Boudreau on Friday and bettors across all sports love to back teams playing their first game under a new coach, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the price San Jose Sharks (+155) continues to climb. Sure, Minnesota is tough to break down defensively, but its lack of offensive firepower and terrible goaltending make it hard to lay this kind of juice.

I haven’t played the Sharks yet, but if they get to +165 I’ll take a shot.

Good gravy the price on the Detroit Red Wings (+340) is hard to ignore. They are very likely to lose to the Boston Bruins (-460) on Saturday, but at these odds you only need Detroit to win this game 22% of the time to start showing value. I’m in.

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