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Blackhawks vs. Kraken | NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction

Blackhawks vs. Kraken | NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction article feature image

Christopher Mast/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Jared McCann of the Seattle Kraken.

  • The Chicago Blackhawks take on the Seattle Kraken in Saturday night NHL action.
  • The Kraken enter this matchup as huge favorites, so Ryan Dadoun has turned his attention to the over/under.
  • Check out Dadoun's top bet for Blackhawks vs. Kraken below.

Blackhawks vs. Kraken Odds

Blackhawks Odds+285
Kraken Odds-365
Over/Under6.5 (+118 / -144)
Time10 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

After winning three straight games, Seattle has secured entry to playoffs for the first time in franchise history. But the Kraken can’t rest now.

Who they will face in the first round remains to be seen, and Seattle might be able to make its situation better by taking two points from the lowly Blackhawks on Saturday.

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Chicago Blackhawks

With a 25-47-6 record, Chicago has been an easy opponent for most teams this season. But one squad the Blackhawks have had at least some limited success against is Seattle.

Chicago managed a 5-4 victory over the Kraken on Oct. 23, and while the Blackhawks did lose the Jan. 14 rematch, 8-5, they at least turned things around a bit after falling behind 6-1 by the end of the first period.

However, both of those games were before Max Domi and Patrick Kane were traded. Domi had two goals and an assist, while Kane provided a marker and two helpers in the Blackhawks’ first two games against the Kraken, so it’s fair to say their absence will be felt Saturday.

That’s especially true because Chicago lacks forwards capable of filling that void. The Blackhawks have the worst-ranked offense with 2.41 goals per game. They don’t have any particularly hot scorers either. Dating back to the start of March, Taylor Raddysh and Andreas Athanasiou have been the team’s scoring leaders with 11 points each over 18 outings.

But it gets worse: Raddysh sustained a lower-body injury during Thursday’s 3-0 loss to Vancouver, so he might not even play Saturday. If he isn’t available, then Chicago will dress a squad without a single player who has recorded at least 35 points this season. To give some context for just how bad that is, there are currently 229 players — an average of 7.16 per team — with at least 35 points.

Seattle Kraken

This game is going to be a true David-and-Goliath scenario in terms of offenses. While Chicago is dead last in that regard, Seattle ranks fourth offensively with 3.54 goals per game this season.

The Kraken don’t have a superstar forward or arguably even anyone who can be called elite. Jared McCann and Vince Dunn are having great seasons with McCann and Dunn providing 66 and 64 points, respectively. But that pales in comparison to the similarly-effective Buffalo Sabres, who have Tage Thompson (45 goals, 92 points), or Florida Panthers, who have Matthew Tkachuk (39 goals, 105 points).

Unlike those teams, Seattle’s strength is in its forward depth.

That’s never more obvious than when you compare the Kraken to the Blackhawks. While Chicago might not dress a single player with at least 35 points Saturday, Seattle is projected to have 10 — 11 if Andre Burakovsky returns from a lower-body injury that has kept him out since Feb. 7.

In contrast, Seattle’s goaltending does leave plenty to be desired. Philipp Grubauer has stopped 47-of-50 shots over his last two contests, but he still has an underwhelming 2.96 GAA and .892 save percentage through 36 appearances this season. Martin Jones is no better with a 2.97 GAA and .886 save percentage in 47 contests.

Chicago isn’t well positioned to take advantage of Seattle’s goaltending weakness, but exploiting it is still the Blackhawks’ best path to victory.

Blackhawks vs. Kraken Pick

This is one of the most lopsided moneylines you’ll find in 2022-23, so if you’re feeling bold, you could always roll the dice by betting on the Blackhawks for that big potential payout. Even on the puck line, the oddsmakers feel Seattle is a sizeable favorite.

I can’t bring myself to take Chicago, though. The Blackhawks are even too big of a risk on the puck line. Chicago has lost by two or more goals in nine of its last 10 games, so the Blackhawks have usually been unable to beat the spread recently.

If you’re looking for a good return on a bet that also has a decent chance of playing out, the lopsided nature of this game makes it tough to find one.

The best I see is over 6.5 at plus-money, which is a great potential payout. While Chicago does have the worst offense in the league, I can see this turning into a decently high-scoring contest — just as the first two Seattle-Chicago games were — when you combine Seattle’s top-tier attack with the largely ineffective goaltending on both sides of the ice.

If you want a safer bet, though, taking Seattle on the puck line is my alternative recommendation.

Pick: Over 6.5 (+116 · Play to +105)

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