Squaring off for the fourth and final time this year, the St. Louis Blues and the Chicago Blackhawks collide at the United Center. The opening face-off takes place at 7:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 8, and fans at home are able to catch this divisional matchup live on NBC Sports Network.
St. Louis Blues vs. Chicago Blackhawks Odds
With a -140 moneyline, St. Louis heads into the contest as the heavy favorite. The line for Chicago now stands at +120, and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at an even 6 goals. If bettors want to put some action on this game’s total, they’ll be looking at odds of -110 for the over and -110 for the under.
St. Louis is 40-28 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 3.9 units this season. Through 68 regular season outings, 34 of its games have gone over the total, while 32 have gone under and just two have pushed. As the away team in 2019-20, the Blue Notes are 17-17 SU.
St. Louis currently touts the third-strongest power-play unit in the NHL, as it’s found the net on 24.5 percent of its extra-man opportunities this season. Its penalty kill is ranked 18th overall, and the team’s successfully killed off 79.7 percent of all penalties.
For the team as a whole, the Blue Notes have been penalized just 3.3 times per game during the 2019-20 season, and 2.2 per game over its last five. The team has had to kill penalties just 6.2 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Averaging 26.0 saves per game with a .911 save percentage, Jordan Binnington (30-19-7) has been the primary option in goal for St. Louis this year. If St. Louis chooses to rest him, however, the team may turn to Jake Allen (10-12-3), who has a .922 save percentage and 2.31 goals against average this year.
The visiting Blues have relied on David Perron and Ryan O’Reilly this year. Perron has 60 points on 25 goals and 35 assists, and has recorded multiple points 12 times. O’Reilly has 12 goals and 47 assists to his name, and has logged at least one point in 39 games.
Over on the other bench, Chicago is 31-37 straight up (SU) and has lost 0.3 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 68 regular season contests, 34 of its games have gone under the total, while 33 have gone over and just one has pushed. The team is 15-17 SU at home this year.
The Blackhawks have converted on just 14.7 percent of their power play opportunities this year, a figure that places them in the bottom overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 10th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 82.2 percent of all opponent power plays.
Blackhawks players have been penalized 3.4 times per game this season, 3.0 per game over their last five contests total, and 3.6 per game over their last five at home. The team has been forced to kill penalties just 5.8 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Corey Crawford has stopped 29.7 shots per game as the primary netminder in goal for the Blackhawks. Crawford has 15 wins, 23 losses, and three overtime losses to his credit and has maintained a mediocre 2.81 goals against average and a .916 save percentage this season.
The Hawks will be led on offense by Patrick Kane (31 goals, 51 assists).
St. Louis Blues at Chicago Blackhawks Free Picks
Prediction: SU Winner – Blues, O/U – Over
Five of St. Louis’ last ten games have been decided by two goals or more. The team is 4-1 in those games.
Power plays and penalty kills could play a critical role tonight. The Blues are 16-8 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 32-19 in games where they’re in the penalty box for fewer than 10 minutes, in total. The Blackhawks are 9-15 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 21-27 in games where they’re in the box for less than 10 minutes.
St. Louis is 2-3 in games decided by a shootout this season while Chicago is 4-4 in shootouts.
St. Louis may hold an advantage if this one comes down to the wire. The team’s an impressive 18-12 in one-goal games, while Chicago is only 11-17 in such games.
The over has hit in three of the last five matchups for each of these teams.
One of the best at stickhandling and crisp passes, St. Louis is ranked fourth this season with just 7.5 giveaways per game. That figure has trended down recently, however, as it’s averaged 6.5 giveaways over its last 10 games and 5.8 giveaways over its last five.
Chicago has averaged 11.6 giveaways over its last five home games, a rise over its season average of 10.1 giveaways per game (ranked 17th in the league).