NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Canucks vs. Blackhawks

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

Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Elias Pettersson

  • The Blackhawks host the Canucks in Sunday night NHL action.
  • Chicago is one of the worst teams in the league this season and our expert is expecting Sunday's results to fall in line with the Blackhawks' record.
  • Tony Sartori is backing Vancouver here and details his best bet below.

Canucks vs. Blackhawks Odds

Canucks Odds-175
Blackhawks Odds+145
Over/Under6.5 (-107/-112)
Time6 p.m. ET
Odds via BetRivers. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

On Sunday evening, there is a Western Conference tilt with the Central Division's Chicago Blackhawks hosting the Pacific Division's Vancouver Canucks.

Vancouver has dominated this matchup over the past couple seasons and has won five of the past six meetings.

Here's a look at the odds, as well as my Canucks vs. Blackhawks betting pick.

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Vancouver Canucks

Turning a corner since the hiring of head coach Rick Tocchet, the Vancouver Canucks have been playing an incredible brand of hockey recently. Vancouver has won nine of its past 11 games and five of those wins have been by at least a two-goal margin.

While the Canucks' underlying metrics still aren't anything to brag about, they do outrank the Chicago Blackhawks in every key category. At 5-on-5, Vancouver ranks eight spots higher than Chicago in expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60) and seven spots higher in expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60).

Backing up this team is goaltender Collin Delia, who gets the opportunity to beat his former team on Sunday evening. Delia looked sharp in his latest outing against the Anaheim Ducks, a relatively easy outing in which he stopped 17 of 18 pucks (.944 SV%) en route to a victory.

Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks are right where one would expect in the standings considering the organization's efforts to tank for Connor Bedard. After trading any and all assets with value at the deadline, Chicago saw a brief uptick in performance with a bunch of AHL guys playing on the big stage with an opportunity to earn a future roster spot.

However, reality quickly set in for a team with this type of roster construction. The Hawks have now lost 11 of their past 14 games, with nine of those losses coming by at least two-goals.

One of the worst teams in hockey, Chicago is a disaster both offensively and defensively. At 5-on-5, the Hawks rank last in the league in xGF/60 and second-to-last in xGA/60.

Backing up this inefficient team is goaltender Petr Mrazek. It has been a difficult campaign for the veteran netminder, who is 8-19-3 with a .895 SV% and a 3.63 goals against average (GAA) through 33 starts.

Based on his underlying metrics, positive regression is unlikely. Among starting goaltenders, Mrazek ranks 21st in goals saved above expected per 60 minutes (GSAx/60) at 5-on-5.

Canucks vs. Blackhawks Pick

Delia was in net for Vancouver's 5-2 win over the Hawks in January, a result likely to occur again. Meanwhile, Mrazek allowed four goals in that same contest.

Over his past two starts against the Canucks, Mrazek is 0-2 with a .901 SV% and a 3.60 GAA. Chicago is in a tight race to get the best odds for the Draft Lottery, and while the players are obviously not tanking, there is only so much a lineup like this can do.

Not only have the Hawks lost five of the past six meetings between these teams, but all five of those losses came by at least two goals.

Pick: Canucks -1.5 | Play to (+130)

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