NHL Hockey Betting: Chicago Blackhawks at Anaheim Ducks

Added May 25, 2015 by Levi Watkins

The Western Conference Finals has been a great matchup so far and after four games the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks are deadlocked at two games apiece. The teams will contest Game Five tonight at the Honda Center in Anaheim and it’s difficult to say that either has the edge or for that matter any real momentum. Both teams have shown incredible character throughout the postseason. The Ducks are still undefeated in regulation. The Blackhawks are the first NHL team to win four multiple overtime games in one playoff season. Both teams have shown a ridiculous level of intensity and will to win. It’s a series that neither team deserves to lose but unfortunately one will have to.

The statistical comparison between these two teams tells us little at this point. We know that the Ducks’ regular season numbers didn’t look particularly impressive despite their glossy win/loss record. We know the Blackhawks were a solid defensive team despite questions about goaltenders Corey Crawford and Scott Darling. One stat that does seem to matter is shots on goal–when the Blackhawks can generate 30+ shots on goal they win. The last three wins over the Ducks dating back to the regular season saw Chicago get 30+ shots on net. The Anaheim Ducks have done a good job bouncing back from bad defensive efforts–they’re 19-9 after allowing 4+ goals in a game.

So how do you a handicap a coin flip game? Simple–you look for the value and take the price. In a 50/50 proposition laying money with a favorite is clearly negative EV while taking plus money with the underdog is positive EV. That’s definitely simplifying the many variables that go into a hockey game but remember that we’re not ‘picking winners’. That’s what losers do–we’re ‘finding value’ and when you do that the ‘winners’ take care of themselves.

So we’ll take the price with the Chicago Blackhawks. We also get the best coach, the most experienced team and a team that is very confident once the game goes to overtime–and it very well might. Look for Chicago to win this game and head back to the United Center with a chance to book a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals.


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