NHL Winter Classic Odds, Betting Guide: Can the Blackhawks Figure Out the Bruins?
The NFL has Thanksgiving, the NBA has Christmas and the NHL wants to believe it has New Year’s Day.
Since 2008, the NHL has hosted it’s Winter Classic on New Year’s Day in an attempt to seize the day. It started out as a fun idea, but the NHL does what it does best and beat the novelty right out of something cool.
This will be the fourth Winter Classic for the Chicago Blackhawks and the third for the Boston Bruins. It will be the first time that Notre Dame Stadium has hosted the event, however.
The good news is that sources are reporting the 2020 Winter Classic will take place in Dallas, which will provide the event with a much-needed breath of fresh air.
That’s enough grumbling, though, let’s break down Tuesday’s game.
NHL record: 29-31, +8.77 units
NHL Winter Classic Odds: Boston Bruins at Chicago Blackhawks
- Bruins moneyline: -143
- Blackhawks moneyline: +125
- Over/Under: 6
- Puck drop: 1 p.m. ET
- Channel: NBC
The Bruins come into this game at 21-14-4 and in a Wild Card spot, which is impressive given the injury issues they have dealt with through the first half of the season.
The B’s won’t be at 100% at Notre Dame Stadium, either, as first-pair defenseman Charlie McAvoy and forward David Backes are set to miss the game. Boston will get Brad Marchand back for the game, however.
Once again, the B’s are one of the best teams in the NHL at suppressing scoring chances. Boston allows the fewest high-danger scoring chances in the NHL and ranks second in the league with a .949 expected save percentage at 5v5.
The Blackhawks are basically the polar opposite of the Bruins. Chicago allows the most high-danger chances against per 60 minutes, the second-most expected goals against per 60 and owns the worst expected save percentage in the NHL.
Neither of these teams are particularly prolific at creating chances, but the Bruins average more high-danger chances and expected goals per 60 than Chicago and with the way Boston defends, it should control this game pretty handily.
The goalie matchup also gives a clear edge to the Bruins. Tuukka Rask isn’t anything to write home about and is the clear No. 2 behind Jaroslav Halak this season, but he’s definitely the A-side in this goalie matchup against Cam Ward.
Ward, after a few horrendous seasons in Carolina, has actually been OK in his first year with the Blackhawks. His .916 5v5 save percentage may not jump off the page, but he’s outperforming his .912 expected save percentage, which is the third-lowest in the NHL.
The line for this game is all over the place and some offshore books have yet to make the game live. I think Bruins at anything lower than -140 is a fine wager, but wouldn’t go higher than that.
The Bet: Boston Bruins -140 or better