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

Betting On NHL Hockey?

Weekly NHL Betting action sees the Chicago Blackhawks taking on the Anaheim Ducks May 17 at Honda Center. Cappers Picks provides free NHL handicapping tips all season long.

Two of the best teams in the NHL’s Western Conference meet in Game 1 of the Western Final on Sunday afternoon.

Daily NHL Hockey Odds

Game 1
Chicago (56-30-3-3) at Anaheim (59-24-3-5)
When: 3:00 PM ET, Sunday, May 17, 2015
Where: Honda Center, Anaheim, California
Broadcast: CBC, NBC, TVA
Blackhawks NHL Betting Odds: +1½ -250 +120
Ducks NHL Betting Odds: -1½ +210 -133
NHL Over Under Betting Odds: Un 5 +109, Ov 5 -120
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Both teams have looked tremendous so far in the playoffs – the Hawks have needed just 10 games to advance to this point and the Ducks have needed just nine. So who draws first blood in what could be a classic series?

Let’s take a look.

The Chicago Blackhawks enter Sunday’s Game 1 on a five game win streak after they dispatched the pesky Minnesota Wild in four games. They have had some time off – hopes are that it hasn’t cooled a number of the scorching Hawks players.

Let’s start with the offense. Patrick Kane has been a nightmare for his opposition in every game so far in the playoffs – no reason to think the 2013 Conn Smyth winner slows down here. He had five goals and recorded six points in the semifinal series and now has seven goals and 13 points in Chicago’s 10 playoff games.

Kane has fared well against Anaheim as well he had four goals and an assist in three regular season games against the Ducks – two goals the last time the Hawks visited the Duck pond.

Marian Hossa has one goal and seven assists in the playoffs, captain Jonathan Toews has four goals and seven assists so far and Patrick Sharp has four goals and five assists. Sharp had four assists the last time the teams met January 30.

The best players for Chicago have been their best players – expect their experience and professionalism to be evident out of the game in Game 1

Chicago looks to have the defense to be able to slow Anaheim’s big guns in this series. Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Johnny Oduya are a formidable top four that should make life miserable for Perry, Getzlaf, Kesler and company.

Chicago will go with Corey Crawford between the pipes in Game 1 and why not? After struggling to start the playoffs he has turned things around. Against Minnesota Crawford went 4-0 with a 1.75 GAA and .947 save percentage.

The Anaheim Ducks have yet to lose on home ice in the playoffs – they are 5-0 so far. Simply put they have been dominant in the postseason so far and enter Game 1 with a ton of swagger.

Anaheim bring the playoffs best offensive lineup to Sunday afternoon’s clash – they have averaged 3.89 goals per game so far.

Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Patrick Maroon, Ryan Kesler, Matt Beleskey, Jakob Silfverberg and Andrew Cogliano have all been solid contributors so far – Perry currently leads the postseason in points (15).

Getzlaf has 12 points on two goals and 10 assists, Silfverberg has three multipoint games, Maroon has four goals, Beleskey had an incredible five goals against Calgary, netting a goal in each of the series’ five games and Ryan Kesler has scored four goals through two rounds.

10 Ducks forwards have at least a goal in Anaheim’s nine games, eight players have five or more assists in the playoffs and nine Ducks have two or more goals so far in the playoffs – incredible balance that will be paramount against a stingy Hawks team.

That balance becomes even more important when looking at the regular season matchup between these teams – Perry had just one assist in the three regular season meetings and Getzlaf was somehow held pointless in the series!

Anaheim will lean on Frederik Andersen in goal again – he has passed every test so far. Andersen is certainly peeking at the right time – 8-1 record with a 1.96 GAA and a .925 save percentage in the playoffs.

He’s allowed more than two goals in just two of nine games this postseason.

NHL Gambling Trends

• Under is 6-2-1 in CHI last 9 vs. Pacific.
• CHI are 36-16 in their last 52 Sun. games.
• ANA are 24-8 in their last 32 Sun. games.
• ANA are 37-14 in their last 51 vs. Central.
• Over is 7-3 in ANA last 10 games following a win.
• Under is 20-6 in the last 26 meetings.
• CHI are 8-21-2 in the last 31 meetings in Anaheim.

Both teams head into Game 1 after some time off – my guess is that it take some time for the boys to get back to full speed.

Because of that I’m taking the Over in this game – 5 goals. It’s true that two of the hotter keepers in the playoffs will be going head-to-head but so too will the two best offenses in the postseason.

NHL Betting 4* Free Play

Crawford and Andersen will be under siege and after a layoff won’t be all that sharp.

The Over – 5 goals

Expect some goals to be scored Sunday afternoon!

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