Blackhawks vs. Panthers Odds & Prediction: Betting Value on Chicago

Blackhawks vs. Panthers Odds & Prediction: Betting Value on Chicago article feature image

Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Jason Dickinson

  • The Florida Panthers host a struggling Chicago Blackhawks squad in Friday night NHL action.
  • While Chicago is looking toward the future, Florida is pushing for a spot in the postseason.
  • Continue reading for Carol Schram's best bet and analysis.

Blackhawks vs. Panthers Odds

Blackhawks Odds+345
Panthers Odds-455
Over/Under6.5 (+100 / -120)
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

On a light Friday night of NHL action, Chicago will play the Florida Panthers in the Blackhawks' second game of a three-stop road trip.

More concerned about their draft lottery position than winning games, the Blackhawks sit two points out of the NHL basement and are 1-4-0 since trading Patrick Kane.

As for the Panthers, they're still pushing to get back into the playoff picture. They've won three of their past four while getting some excellent goaltending from Sergei Bobrovsky.

Here's the latest on both teams, and your best bet for the game.

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Chicago Blackhawks

Kane wasn't the only player the Blackhawks traded ahead of the deadline. Forwards Max Domi and Sam Lafferty also have new homes, as do defensemen Jake McCabe and Jack Johnson. Additionally, Jonathan Toews isn't expected to play again this season as he continues to deal with symptoms related to long COVID.

Added to the Chicago roster at the deadline: forward Anders Bjork and defenseman Nikita Zaitsev.

Given Chicago's spot in the standings and general manager Kyle Davidson's unabashed pursuit of the best possible draft lottery odds, it's not surprising to see that the Blackhawks also sit 31st in expected goals share at 5-on-5 this season, ahead of only Anaheim.

Relatively speaking, Alex Stalock has been a bright spot since his return from a head injury. However, he's played Chicago's past two games and gave up two late goals to turn a lead into a loss in Detroit on Wednesday.

With the Blackhawks heading into a back-to-back set, expect to see Petr Mrazek get the nod in net Friday. Mrazek is at -6.6 goals saved above expected for the season, but has been playing decently over the past three weeks with a 3-3-0 record, a 2.78 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage.

Florida Panthers

The Florida Panthers haven't finished the job yet, but they have put themselves in reasonably good position in the crowded Eastern Conference playoff race.

Since the All-Star break, Florida has gone 8-5-0. A huge part of that push has been the play of Sergei Bobrovsky. He has appeared in 12 of those 13 games and has posted a 2.18 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage.

Under new coach Paul Maurice, the Panthers aren't the same offensive powerhouse they were last season. They're in the middle of the pack with 3.23 goals scored per game since the All-Star brea, but their power play has been struggling mightily and is just 3-for-35 (8.8%) since Feb. 1.

On the other side of the ice, the penalty kill has also been porous. It's ranked 30th in the league since the All-Star break with a 71.4% success rate.

Blackhawks vs. Panthers Pick

With 21 points separating these teams in the standings, it's no wonder the Panthers are heavy favorites in this matchup. But has the line been pushed too far?

In a sport with as much luck and variance as hockey, there are plenty of instances of underdogs picking up two points in games they have no business winning on paper.

Chicago prevailed 4-2 when these teams met back in October and, like the Blackhawks, the Panthers are playing back-to-back games this weekend.

As a result, the Panthers may start Alex Lyon in net. Lyon was recalled on Feb. 22, but hasn't seen any game action since his previous recall before the All-Star break.

Add that up, and it's not crazy to think Chicago's +330 moneyline could be a high-value opportunity. If you're feeling a bit more cautious and would rather bet the Blackhawks to keep it close, FanDuel is also offering plus money on the puckline.

Pick: Blackhawks +1.5 | Play to +115

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