Stars-Blackhawks Betting Preview: Is the Wrong Team Favored?

Stars-Blackhawks Betting Preview: Is the Wrong Team Favored? article feature image

Christopher Hanewinckel, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Anton Khudobin

Dallas Stars at Chicago Blackhawks

  • Stars moneyline: +110
  • Blackhawks moneyline: -130
  • Over/Under: 6
  • Puck drop: 3 p.m. ET
  • Rest notes: Dallas back-to-back

Season record: 37-40, +11.52 units

>> All odds as of 12 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NHL odds and track your bets

Somehow the Chicago Blackhawks have hung around the playoff picture in the Western Conference and on Sunday they have a chance to crawl within two points of a playoff spot with a win over Dallas, one of the teams the ‘Hawks are chasing, on Sunday afternoon.

Is Chicago’s mini-resurgence for real or are the Blackhawks a mirage destined to fade into obscurity? Let’s take a look.

The first thing that jumps off the page is that Chicago is receiving a herculean effort from its talisman, Patrick Kane. The 30-year-old forward is currently working on a league-best 20-game point streak and has been the key cog in keeping the Blackhawks above water this season.

Kane isn’t the only one with a hot hand, though.

Over their last 21 games, Chicago has scored on 9.88 percent of their shots on goal at even strength. That is the second-highest mark in the NHL since New Year’s Day.

It’s hard to imagine that the Blackhawks, who are averaging 3.11 Goals For per 60 Minutes at 5v5 over their last 21 games, will be able to score at this level for much longer.

And any offensive regression would be a big problem in the Windy City as the Blackhawks have one of the most porous defenses in the circuit.

Chicago allows 2.91 expected goals against (31st), 14.02 high-danger scoring chances (31st) and 2.98 goals (30th) against per 60 minutes at 5v5. That doesn’t mention that their goaltenders, Cam Ward and Collin Delia, are not very good.

Dallas is largely mediocre but it plays a structured, low-event style that should be able to muddy the waters against the high-tempo Blackhawks.

Although the Stars do give up a good amount of shot attempts, they rank in the top 10 in terms of expected goals against and high-danger chances against at 5v5.

Offensively, Dallas is nothing to write home about but no team should have trouble scoring against Chicago, so if the Stars can keep this contest on-script and prevent Kane from wrecking the game, they should be in a good position.

The Stars are certainly not world-beaters, but I think they should actually be slight favorites in this game, despite being on the road and on the second night of a back-to-back. The market is simply flattering the Blackhawks based on a lucky streak and that is not something I’m interested in. I’d play Dallas at any number better than -110.

The Bet: Dallas Stars +110