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NHL betting free picks for Tuesday: Chicago Fire – SportsUntapped.com
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Added January 5th, 2010 by David Glisan

NHL betting free picks for Tuesday:  Chicago Fire
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Back to the NHL for our other free pick.  An important component of NHL betting–and particularly NHL totals handicapping–is weighing the significance of the current form of the teams involved against the individual matchup trends.  On many occasions, we’ll give precedence to the head to head matchups in handicapping NHL totals.  I always use the old boxing adage that ‘styles make fights’ in these situations.  Frequently, a specific matchup between two teams will produce a certain type of game stylistically that favors one side or the other or, in the case of totals, the ‘over’ or the ‘under’.  Sometimes, however, what a team has been doing recently is of greater importance and this looks to be the case in Tuesday night’s game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild.


This has been an ‘under’ dominated series, with 5 of the last 7 and 3 of the last 4 in Chicago failing to exceed the total.  In fact, the last five meetings between the two teams have produced 5 goals or fewer.  The teams have played once this year, with the Blackhawks winning a 3-1 verdict at home back in late October.  In this case, however, there are reasons to not pay as much attention to these head to head trends as in other matchups.  In years past, the Wild boasted a much better team defensively than this season.  Furthermore, the Blackhawks started the year with some injuries to key offensive cogs (particularly Marian Hosa) and generally sputtering on the offensive end.  During this time they were a great ‘under’ team as they leveraged their slick skating and playmaking to dominate on the defensive end of the ice.  They still lead the NHL in shots on goal allowed per game, as well as goals per game as they have for much of the season.

More recently, however, the Blackhawks have begun to click on all cylinders.  They’ve won 11 of their last 14 games and are currently tied with San Jose for the best overall record in the NHL.  They’ve gone ‘over’ in five straight games and have scored four or more goals in six straight games.  Chicago is starting to play as well on the offensive end as on defense, and they’ve improved to #3 in the NHL in scoring and are #2 in shots per game.  Look for an increased emphasis on offense as the season progresses to take pressure off of their defense and goaltending.  Minnesota, meanwhile, has lost three straight and five of their last eight.  They’ve allowed 4 or more goals in each of their last three games and have gone ‘over’ in five straight and 6 of 7.  They’ve slipped to 20th in goals against, and that doesn’t bode well against a Blackhawks team that will spend most of the game in their end.

In short, we look for both of these teams to continue their recent form with Chicago scoring goals and the Wild allowing goals.  That’s a formula for an ‘over’ and we’re getting plus money playing that way.


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