NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Blackhawks vs. Senators

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Blackhawks vs. Senators article feature image

André Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Cam Talbot (33) and his Ottawa Senators teammates.

  • The Ottawa Senators host the Chicago Blackhawks as part of Friday night's NHL slate.
  • While Ottawa has been playing well, Chicago is limping through the season and our expert expects more of the same Friday.
  • Tony Sartori digs into the matchup and offers up his best bet below.

Blackhawks vs. Senators Odds

Blackhawks Odds+215
Senators Odds-265
Over/Under6.5 (-102/-120)
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

To kick off Friday's slate, the Atlantic Division's Ottawa Senators host the Central Division's Chicago Blackhawks.

These clubs are trending in opposite directions as the Hawks have lost seven of their past nine games and the Senators have won six of their past seven.

Here's a look at the odds, as well as our betting pick and prediction for Blackhawks vs. Senators.

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Chicago Blackhawks

The Chicago Blackhawks' tank for Connor Bedard is going swimmingly as of late — the Blackhawks have lost 21 of their past 30 games. Not only are they losing games, but they are getting blown out. In fact, a whopping 19 of those 21 losses have come by at least a two-goal margin.

Based on the construction of their roster and the extremely low effort of late, nothing should change as the season winds down. Possessing a brutal blue line, Chicago ranks second-to-last in the league in expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60) at 5-on-5.

Backing up this leaky defense is goaltender Petr Mrazek, who has been one of the worst netminders in hockey this season. Through 24 starts, Mrazek is 5-15-2 with a .884 save percentage (SV%) and a 4.00 goals against average (GAA).

Based on his metrics, positive regression is unlikely as he ranks third-to-last among starting goaltenders in goals saved above expected per 60 minutes (GSAx/60) at 5-on-5. Combining his poor play with the defense in front of him is a recipe for disaster, especially against an Ottawa Senators team that Mrazek has previously struggled against.

Over his past five starts against Ottawa, Mrazek possesses a .886 SV% and a 3.44 GAA. To make matters worse, goal support will come at a premium for the Hawks, who rank last in the league in expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60) at 5-on-5.

Ottawa Senators

Across the board, the Senators are the superior team in this contest. At 5-on-5, they rank ninth in the league in xGF/60 and 18th in xGA/60.

The main question mark in this contest is Ottawa's goaltending situation, since both Cam Talbot and Anton Forsberg are injured. In their absence, we should expect Mads Sogaard to start in net.

While it is about as small of a sample size as one could have at this point in the year, Sogaard's statistics are strong. Through two appearances, he is 1-0 with a .925 SV% and a 2.71 GAA.

He has not necessarily looked as impressive as those numbers would indicate, but one doesn't have to be too sharp to quell Chicago's disaster of an offense.

Blackhawks vs. Senators Pick

Even if Sogaard regresses, he'll still likely be a better option in net than Mrazek. Additionally, the Senators are better offensively, defensively and possess home-ice advantage. They should be able to take care of business.

Chicago has lost 21 of its past 30 games, with 19 of those losses coming by at least a two-goal margin. This contest likely won't go any differently.

Pick: Senators -1.5 | Play to +100

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