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Blackhawks vs Panthers Betting Preview (January 17th, 2021)

Sports Betting

The Chicago Blackhawks continue their trek through the Sunshine State with a two-game series in Fort Lauderdale against the Florida Panthers.

Let’s dive into this Sunday showdown in our Blackhawks vs. Panthers betting preview with odds, picks and predictions.

Blackhawks vs. Panthers Betting Preview

The Chicago Blackhawks enter this contest fresh off back-to-back losses to the defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning, dropping a 5-1 decision on Wednesday and then suffering a 5-2 setback on Friday night.

 

 

The Hawks showed a lot more energy and effort in the second loss, but still couldn’t match the top talent of Tampa late in the game. This is the season opener for the Florida Panthers, after having a pair of games against the Dallas Stars postponed due to the Stars having numerous players with positive COVID-19 tests.

It will be interesting to see if the extra practice time will help head coach Joel Quenneville’s squad against the old club he helped win three Stanley Cups, or if Chicago will have the advantage of playing two games against one of the best clubs in all of hockey.

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Blackhawks vs. Panthers Odds

Here are the lines for Blackhawks vs. Panthers at FanDuel Sportsbook:

Spread: Blackhawks (+1.5 -210); Panthers (-1.5 +175)
Moneyline: Blackhawks (+125); Panthers (-145)
Over/Under: Over 6.5 (-125)/Under 6.5 (+105)

Bets We Like With a Blackhawks Win

Dylan Strome to Score a Goal (+280 DraftKings)

The 23-year old Ontario native has looked really good since being elevated to the second forward line with Alex DeBrincat & Philipp Kurashev, and also seeing some top Power-Play time with DeBrincat and Patrick Kane. He already has one goal and one assist with seven shots on goal over two contests. I like him to continue getting good looks on net and firing one home in this game.

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Bets We Like With a Panthers Win

Panthers Team Total (OVER 3.5 Goals -114, DraftKings)

In order for Florida to win this opening game, they will have to copy the blueprint from their in-state rivals in Tampa Bay and fire off a ton of shots on this mediocre Blackhawks defense and goaltending. Getting screens in front of the goalie and clean cross-ice passing is the way to get solid chances against Chicago. They have to utilize the speed of players like Alexander Barkov, Anthony Duclair and Jonathan Huberdeau and score often.

Bets We Like Independent of the Outcome

First Period OVER 2 (+118, DraftKings)

The Panthers will start the season without starting goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who is dealing with an injury. It will be Chris Driedger in net with Sam Montembeault as the backup. Driedger was solid in a limited role for Florida last season, going 7-2-1 with a 2.05 goals-against average and a .938% save percentage. However, he’s not as sharp as Bobrovsky and with this Hawks offense building some momentum last game, they will be able to get some shots through this Panthers blue-line corps.

On the flipside, Chicago’s goaltending woes have already shown up, with Malcolm Subban turning in a terrible first start on Wednesday night. Colin Delia looked good early on Friday night, but suffered a shaky second period, where he allowed three goals along with a pair late in the third. Both teams have speed on offense, mid-range defensive units and questionable-to-bad goaltending, which means we should see goals early and often in this contest.

Blackhawks vs. Panthers Prediction

These are two teams that will most likely hang around the bottom of the Central Division this season, with the Blackhawks having a lot of issues with their lineup and the Panthers dealing with a few things as well thanks to their late start on the new campaign.

I feel that the Hawks have a bit more momentum with already having a pair of games in hand, and this looks like the spot for them to get their first win of the 2021 season with a 5-3 road victory.

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Author: Alex Smith

Alex Smith is a sports betting contributor.