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NHL Free Pick: Blues vs. Blackhawks Betting Lines & Preview

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Weekly NHL Betting action sees the St. Louis Blues taking on the Chicago Blackhawks December 3 at United Center. Cappers Picks provides free NHL handicapping tips all season long.

Two Western Conference Heavyweights meet in the Windy City on Wednesday night when the St. Louis Blues visit for the first time since the Chicago Blackhawks eliminated them from last year’s playoffs.

Daily NHL Hockey Odds

St. Louis (16-6-0-2) at Chicago (15-8-1-0)
When: 8:00 PM ET, Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
Broadcast: NBCSN,TVA
Blues NHL Betting Odds: +1½ -240 +129
Blackhawks NHL Betting Odds: -1½ +200 -142
NHL Betting Over/Under Odds: 5
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Although the game itself is worthy of headlines perhaps the biggest story ahead of this game is the Blues’ backup goaltender – the legend Martin Brodeur will dress for the Blues and is expected to see some action during St. Louis’ fur game road trip.

Blues

The St. Louis Blues have re-asserted themselves as one of the league best teams after dropping two straight games to Boston and Montreal. They have gone 4-0-1 in their last five games.

For the Blues it has been largely due to their strong defensive play that has thrust them into the upper echelon of NHL teams – something they will need against a strong Blackhawks offense.

The team is allowing just 2.04 goals per game and starting goaltender Jake Allen is 8-2-1 on the year with a 2.16 GAA. As mentioned, defense and goaltending will be key Wednesday night – the Blues offense doesn’t quite match up with Chicago.

The Blues have scored 2.62 goals per game this season. TJ Oshie and Vladimir Tarasenko each have three points in their last two games, and Alex Pietrangelo has six points in his last five games but the Blues will need more from David Backes and Kevin Shattenkirk – each have just two points in seven games and Jaden Schwartz who is pointless in three games.

Chicago

The Chicago Blackhawks return home after their annual Circus Trip – a swing that has traditionally gone very well for this team. This year they went 5-1-0 and enter Wednesday night’s clash on a three game win streak. The Hawks have really come around – they are clicking in both ends of the rink and have once again emerged as a serious threat in the West.

After struggling early to find the back of the net Chicago has really come on and has averaged 3.70 goals per game in their last 10 games. Brad Richards has three goals in the last two games, Patrick Kane has 12 points in his last seven games, Kris Versteeg has four points in two games, Marian Hossa has nine points in seven games and even Dan Carcillo has two points in two games. Chicago is dangerous, they are deep and they are mighty impressive!

As good as the Hawks have been offensively they have been better defensively. They allow just 2.00 goals per game – among the best in the NHL. Starting keeper Corey Crawford will miss Wednesday’s game with an undisclosed injury however – backup Antti Raanta will get the start which is some reason for concern.

Raanta is 1-2-0 this year but does boast a very good 2.03 GAA and .933 save percentage in those games.

NHL Gambling Trends

• Over is 5-1-4 in STL last 10 vs. Central.
• STL are 6-2 in their last 8 road games.
• STL are 36-16 in their last 52 vs. Central.
• Under is 7-1-1 in CHI last 9 vs. Central.
• CHI are 7-1 in their last 8 vs. Western Conference.
• Under is 8-2 in CHI last 10 home games.
• STL are 6-21 in the last 27 meetings in Chicago.
• Home team is 35-16 in the last 51 meetings.

Teams returning from a long road trip often struggle in their first game back – the Hawks are in that unenviable position.

NHL Betting 4* Free Play

The Blues are as hot as the Hawks right now and will be motivated to beat their old foe.

St. Louis Blues +129

Add in the fact that Annti Raanta between the pipes is a step back for the Hawks and it looks like the Blues may be in a good position here! Take the underdog to get it done.

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