NHL betting: Blackhawks large road underdogs to get first-ever win against Golden Knights

Shea Theodore (27) scores past Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Robin Lehner
Shea Theodore (27) scores past Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Robin Lehner (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
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The Blackhawks were 93 seconds away from upsetting the Golden Knights last month, but suffered a deflating shootout loss to the Western Conference favorites at United Center. Now on the road, Chicago is a +190 underdog for Wednesday night’s rematch (10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT, NBCSN).

Hawks rookie Kirby Dach scored his first career goal in the first period when these teams met on Oct. 22. Chicago was oh so close to upsetting the Knights as +110 home dogs, but Nick Holden tied the game at 1 late in the third period to force overtime. The score held until Shea Theodore netted the game-winner past Blackhawks goaltender Robin Lehner in the shootout.

The Knights’ win moved Vegas to 7-0-0 all-time against the Hawks, who enter Wednesday’s game at 6-7-4 with 16 points on the season.

The Blackhawks were the NHL’s best OVER bet last season, compiling a 52-26-4 OVER mark and contributing to betting totals unseen in over 25 seasons, but so far in 2019, Chicago has been an UNDER sqaud at 10-6-1. Wednesday’s total is set at 6.5, and Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton hopes a “happy medium” between last year’s style and this season’s defensive emphasis can get the offense roaring to life.

“We made a conscious effort to be a bit looser when the puck turned over, so we could create more out of the ‘D’ zone in transition, and it’s helped,” Colliton said Sunday via the Sun-Times. “There’s been a lot more plays available for us. (It’s) probably closer to how it looked last year, as far as our ability to make plays out of the ‘D’ zone and through the neutral zone, and probably fits our top guys. And you can see, they’re coming to life.”

Chicago has scored 12 goals its past three games and faces a Knights defense that has allowed 2.95 goals on the year.

Vegas (9-7-3) could receive a boost on the offensive end, as winger Alex Tuch, whose 52 points ranked fourth for Vegas last season, is expected back after missing 17 games this season.

• Over 70% of Vegas’ first goals this season have occurred within the first 10 minutes.
• OVER is 7-1 in Vegas’ last eight games at home.
• Chicago is 16-27 SU as a road dog since the start of last season (ROI: -3.3%), per SportsDatabase.
• Vegas is 29-22 SU as a home favorite since the start of last season (ROI: -12.4%)

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