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The Chicago Blackhawks will host the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night, a game that will be the final game for both teams before the break. Handicapper Jason Yamaguchi is here with his best NHL bet for Wednesday night.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Minnesota Wild Prediction: Ride the Hot Hand

Wednesday will be the final day of action for the NHL leading into the All-Star break. We've got five matchups on tap, but only a couple stand out to me as potential bets. There's one play in particular that stands out to me—let's dive in.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Minnesota Wild Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

Date: Wednesday, February 2

Game Time: 9:30 pm ET

Where to Watch: TNT

Puck Line: Wild -1 (+115)

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Blackhawks vs. Wild Puck Line

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Minnesota Wild Prediction

The Minnesota Wild (27-10-3) are on the rise in the Western Conference playoff picture. They currently hold the third spot in the Central Division and are within three points of the second-place Predators with six games in hand. The Wild are on an absolute tear—they’ve won eight of their last nine, with the sole loss coming in overtime to the conference-leading Avalanche.

The Chicago Blackhawks (16-22-7) are trending in the opposite direction. It is looking like a lost season for the Hawks, as they've dropped six of their last seven and sit 11 points out of a playoff spot. Two of those losses came just over a week ago against this exact opponent when they dropped both legs of a home-and-home against the Wild.

Minnesota has been an above-average even strength team all season. Their expected goals share at 5v5 of 52.26% ranks 10th in the NHL. Chicago sits on the other end of the spectrum—their expected goals share is 46.35%, which ranks 26th. In other words, the Wild have been far better than the Blackhawks at generating quality chances on offense while minimizing their opponents' ability to do the same.

Minnesota's recent success has been in large part due to the excellent play of its stars. The Wild have been scoring in bunches, raising their goals per game to 3.8 (third in the NHL). The main catalyst behind this surge is Kirill Kaprizov, who hasn't missed a beat since his stellar 2021 Calder-winning campaign. Indeed, his 52 points are tied for 8th in the league with Artemi Panarin. 20 of those points have come in his last 11 games, a span over which he has recorded at least one point in every game.

The Wild will also have an advantage in goal. Cam Talbot will get the nod for them—he hasn't been spectacular this year, but he's been solid enough to win games (17 of them, to be exact). The Hawks will either go with Marc-Andre Fleury or Kevin Lankinen, both of whom are subpar options. They've allowed 9.6 and 12.5 more goals than expected, respectively.

Overall, this line seems off to me. Sure, the game is in Chicago, but that shouldn't be an issue for Minnesota—they've won their last three road games. I took them on Sunday against the Islanders, and I like them again in this spot. Bet them down to -160 on the moneyline.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Minnesota Wild Pick

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Article Author


Jason Yamaguchi is an avid New York sports fan. He has a proven record of providing +EV bets by combining traditional handicapping tactics with advanced statistics. You can follow him on Twitter @TopMoneyPicks to view all of his bets, including NFL, NHL, and MLB picks.


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