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

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Weekly NHL Betting action sees the Chicago Blackhawks taking on the Minnesota Wild May 7 at Xcel Energy Center. Cappers Picks provides free NHL handicapping tips all season long.

Daily NHL Hockey Odds

Blackhawks lead series 3-0
Chicago (55-30-3-3) at Minnesota (50-33-5-3) at
When: 9:30 PM ET, Thursday, May 7, 2015
Where: Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota
Broadcast: NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports 2
Blackhawks NHL Betting Odds: +1½ -305 +109
Wild NHL Betting Odds: -1½ +255 -120
NHL Over Under Betting Odds: Under 5 -118 / Over 5 +107
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The Minnesota Wild will be playing to stay alive in the 2015 NHL playoffs Thursday night when they host the Chicago Blackhawks – the team that is on the verge of ending their postseason dreams for the third straight year.

Not a whole lot has gone right for Minnesota so far in the second round while the Hawks – they seem to be pushing all the right buttons so far.

The Chicago Blackhawks have looked every bit the Stanley Cup contender they fancy themselves through the first three games of their Western Conference semi-final series. They have beaten the Wild in all aspects of the game so far. Offensively the Hawks are clicking and defensively they have held Minnesota in check.

Perhaps the biggest surprise for Chicago is the play of Corey Crawford who has been sensational after a terrible first round series. Crawford has won four straight starts with a .963 save percentage.

He is clearly in the heads of the Wild players and after a 1-0 shutout in Game 3 there is no reason to think that Crawford can’t keep his magical run going. He is 11-3 with a 1.60 goals-against average and .942 save percentage in 14 postseason games against Minnesota – amazing.

The Hawks offense has also been doing its job despite only scoring once in Game 3.

Patrick Kane has as many goals as Minnesota’s entire roster this series (4) and has 11 points so far this postseason, Patrick Sharp and Duncan Keith have six points in four games and Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa have been dangerous each and every time they have hit the ice.

Chicago has dominated the face-off circle, they have controlled the physical play and they have held the Wild to just four total goals in the three games so far.

The Minnesota Wild picked precisely the wrong time to hit the skids – nothing has gone right for the team in their second round matchup. They have netted just one total goal in the last two games against Chicago and look frustrated by their inability to generate any offense.

Jason Pominville, Matt Cooke and Nino Niederreiter have gone pointless in the series, Jared Spurgeon is pointless in four games and Jordan Leopold hasn’t recorded a point in his last nine games.

Thomas Vanek looks disinterested and Zach Parise has been neutralized the last two games – not good.

Devan Dubnyk has looked ordinary and is being outplayed by his counterpart so far – he now has a .911 save percentage in the playoffs – not nearly good enough for a team that has ridden him to where they are now.

NHL Gambling Trends

• Over is 6-2-2 in CHI last 10 overall.
• Over is 6-2-2 in CHI last 10 vs. Central.
• CHI are 7-3 in their last 10 Thu. games.
• MIN are 7-2 in their last 9 Thu. games.
• Under is 3-1-4 in MIN last 8 home games.
• Over is 5-2-4 in MIN last 11 overall.
• CHI are 8-2 in the last 10 meetings.
• Home team is 20-8 in the last 28 meetings.

The difference in talent and depth has become evident in the series – the Chicago Blackhawks are a confident juggernaut and they are definitely on fire. The Wild on the other hand are in a tailspin.

NHL Betting 4* Free Play

I’ll take the Hawks as underdog all day long here. The Wild simply haven’t had an answer yet – I can’t see them coming up with a solution Thursday night.

Chicago Blackhawks +109

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