In their third head-to-head meeting of the regular season, the Colorado Avalanche and the Chicago Blackhawks meet at the United Center. NBC Sports Network will showcase this divisional matchup, and the opening face-off is at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, December 18.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Chicago Blackhawks Odds
Colorado (-145) is currently favored over Chicago (+125), and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 7 goals (-120 under, +100 over).
Colorado is 21-12 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 9.5 units this season. 16 of its outings have gone over the total, while 15 have gone under and just two have pushed. As the road team in 2019-20, the Avs are 11-7 SU.
Colorado has converted on 19.0 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 25th overall, and it has successfully killed off only 77.4 percent of its penalties.
For the team as a whole, Colorado has been whistled for penalties 3.9 times per game overall this season, and 2.6 per game over its last five road outings. The team’s been forced to stave off opponent power plays just 7.4 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Averaging 27.4 saves per game with a .912 save percentage, Philipp Grubauer (11-8-2) has been the top option in goal for Colorado this season. If head coach Jared Bednar chooses to rest him, however, Colorado may roll with Pavel Francouz (10-4-1 record, .932 save percentage, 2.26 goals against average).
The visiting Avalanche have relied on Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar this year. MacKinnon (51 points) has tallied 20 goals and 31 assists, and has recorded two or more points 15 times. Makar has eight goals and 20 assists to his name, and has logged at least one point in 20 games.
Over on the other bench, Chicago is 13-21 straight up (SU) and has lost 5.5 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 34 regular season contests, 18 of its games have gone under the total, while 15 have gone over and just one has pushed. The team’s 8-10 SU at home this season.
Chicago has converted on just 16.5 percent of its power play chances this season, a figure that’s ranked 23rd in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 20th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 79.6 percent of all opponent power plays.
The Blackhawks have been penalized 3.6 times per game this season, 3.8 per game over their past five games total, and 3.8 per game over their last five home outings. The team has been forced to kill penalties 10.4 minutes per game over their last five home outings.
Robin Lehner has denied 32.4 shots per game as the top option in goal for Chicago. Lehner has seven wins, 11 losses, and five overtime losses to his name and has registered a mediocre 2.87 goals against average and a .924 save percentage this season.
The Hawks will be led on offense by Patrick Kane (18 goals, 22 assists).
Colorado Avalanche vs. Chicago Blackhawks Betting Picks
Pick: SU Winner – Blackhawks, O/U – Under
Chicago (1-4 in shootouts) has more experience this season in games decided by shootout. Colorado has yet to participate in one this year.
Colorado has managed 27.2 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Chicago is averaging 33.6 shots per game over its last five at home.
Over Colorado’s last ten games, eight of them have been decided by two or more goals (the team is 7-1 in those games).
The Blackhawks this season have dished out the seventh-most hits per game in the NHL (24.8), but that number has jumped up to 29.4 over their last five home games.