NHL Betting Guide: Friday 1/29/21

Patrick Kane leads the Blackhawks with seven points through eight games. Is tonight a good spot to back the Blackhawks?

Friday night is the calm before the weekend storm in the NHL, with only one Central Division matchup tonight. Favorites have been a reliable trend this week, hitting at 65.5% rate through 29 games.

Here's a look at tonight's lone game!

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

Blackhawks moneyline (+108): 3-star Rating Out of 5
Blackhawks +1.5 (-235): 4-Star Rating Out of 5

The Columbus Blue Jackets take to the road to face the Chicago Blackhawks on the second night of a back-to-back. The Jackets are winless in their last five in this scenario and have only one win through four road games this season.

The Jackets went with Elvis Merzlikins last night, meaning that Joonas Korpisalo is the probable tendy for tonight. Korpisalo has fared poorly against the Hawks in his career. The Finnish netminder is winless in two starts while posting a 3.36 goals-against average and stopping only 88.1% of shots.

Columbus' offense has been a little stagnant to start the season. They've scored more than three goals in a game just once this season and are averaging just 2.0 goals per game on the road.

That should be good news for the Blackhawks, who are starting Kevin Lankinen on Friday night. As mentioned, the Hawks play differently in front of Lankinen. Although their relative metrics took a dip after their game versus the Nashville Predators, the pronounced difference between goaltenders remains and their absolute chances are still much better with Lankinen between the pipes.

Home ice was certainly an advantage against the Detroit Red Wings in the Hawks' only two home games this season. Chicago never trailed against Detroit and trounced them by a combined 10-3 score.

Back-to-back with travel is a tough spot to be in, but this will also be the Jackets' third game in four nights, with the first two going to shootouts. Our projections have the Hawks as substantive favorites against the Blue Jackets, giving them a 59.2% chance of winning. That leaves significant advantages on taking them on the moneyline, which we rate as a 3-star play, and puckline, rated as a 4-star play.