NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction For Avalanche vs. Blackhawks: How To Bet Tuesday’s Total (Jan. 4)
Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Cale Makar
- NHL odds for Avalanche vs. Blackhawks have shifted in the final hours before puck drop, with Chicago now a +200 underdog.
- The total continues to sit at 6, though, which is where our betting analyst sees value for this Tuesday night matchup.
Avalanche vs. Blackhawks Odds
|Time||8:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Chicago Blackhawks have been inconsistent all season long and the wheels may be coming off once again. Chicago lost back-to-back games against Nashville and Calgary by an aggregate of 11-2 and now sit third-last in the Western Conference.
A visit from the Colorado Avalanche is probably the last thing that the Blackhawks would want right now.
The Avs Are an Offensive Juggernaut
The Colorado Avalanche may currently be sitting in a Wild Card spot, but that’s just because Colorado has played fewer games than every team in the Western Conference. In fact, by points percentage the Avs have the best record in the West as we enter play on Tuesday.
The fact that Colorado has kind of floated under the radar despite posting the best points percentage in the Western Conference speaks volumes of how good this team is — and was expected to be this season. And that the Avs have accomplished this feat despite all the injuries they’ve dealt with tells us they are deserving to be Stanley Cup favorites.
And now that they are healthy, we should probably all get used to the idea of the Avs steamrolling their opposition.
Colorado is the best offensive team in the NHL, scoring 4.21 goals per game, but its underlying metrics don’t jump off the page. The Avs rank 14th in high-danger scoring chances created and 12th in expected goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 this season.
That said, Colorado does not need to generate a lot of scoring chances to get results thanks to its incredibly talented roster. The Avalanche currently have six players averaging over a point per game this season: Nazem Kadri, Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog, Cale Makar, Nathan MacKinnon and Devon Toews.
That two of those players — Makar and Toews — are defensemen tells you everything you need to know about this team. They have a handful of players who can beat you on any given night.
Darcy Kuemper should get the nod in goal for the Avalanche and the veteran netminder has been just about league average this season with a .909 save percentage and a -1.0 Goals Saved Above Expected in 20 games this season. Kuemper doesn’t need to be spectacular for this team to have success, but an uptick in form from Kuemper will likely be required when we get to the postseason.
Chicago’s Offense Has Disappeared
The Chicago Blackhawks came into the season thinking that an improvement on defense could lead them back to relevancy. Well, the Blackhawks did improve their defense (though it’s still just middle of the pack), but in turn their offense has completely plummeted.
The Blackhawks rank 30th in the NHL with 2.22 goals per game, 32nd in 5-on-5 scoring, 32nd in high-danger chances created and 32nd in expected goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5. The Blackhawks do have talented offensive weapons to outscore their metrics, but it’s really hard to get results when you’re not generating good looks on a consistent basis.
Marc-Andre Fleury has been added back to the active roster missing time due to Covid-19 and is the likely starter. After a terrible start, Fleury sits with a -4.6 GSAx and .913 save percentage in 20 games.
Avalanche vs. Blackhawks Pick
As you’d expect the Avalanche are huge favorites in this game despite being on the road. Colorado is in another league compared to Chicago right now and should not have any issues finding the back of the net against a defense that, while improved from last season and the first part of 2021-22, is still not all that hard to break down.
And while Chicago does have issues generating scoring chances, the Blackhawks have enough scoring talent to believe that they can do their part to help over bettors get to the window, especially since Kuemper hasn’t been all that great in net this season.
Pick: Over 6 (-105)
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