Chicago Blackhawks at Tampa Bay Lightning - 1/13/21 NHL Picks and Prediction

Chicago Blackhawks at Tampa Bay Lightning - 1/13/21 NHL Picks and Prediction Photo by Gerry Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Lightning (0-0) vs Chicago Blackhawks (0-0)

Game Info: Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 8:00 pm (Amalie Arena)

Betting Odds: Tampa Bay Lightning -250 / Chicago Blackhawks +220 --- Over/Under: 6.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Chicago Blackhawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning meet in NHL action from the Amalie Arena on Wednesday night.

The Chicago Blackhawks come into the 2021 season looking to improve on a 2019-20 season that had its ups and downs, but ultimately ended with the Blackhawks finishing with a 32-30-8 record which was last in the Central division, but due to the modified playoff format thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Blackhawks received one of the four additional playoff spots, sneaking into the playoffs as the 12th seed, making an instant impact by eliminating the Edmonton Oilers before being disposed of by the Vegas Golden Knights in five games in the next round. Not much is going right in the Windy City, with Jonathan Toews out indefinitely with an undisclosed illness, and rising star Kirby Dach injured just before the World Junior Hockey Tournament. Patrick Kane will be tasked with leading the Hawks through the ensuing rebuild year while goaltending duties will most likely be left to Malcolm Subban after Corey Crawford retired just last week. Tough times appear ahead for the Blackhawks and it doesn’t get any easier on opening night.

The Tampa Bay Lightning will look to build on their 2019-20 season that saw the Bolts lift Lord Stanley’s mug for the second time in franchise history. The Lightning finished 2nd in the Eastern Conference and Atlantic division, taking down Columbus, Boston and the New York Islanders before upending the Dallas Stars in six games to emerge as Stanley Cup champions. The usual suspects are back for Tampa, with Steven Stamkos as captain and Nikita Kucherov starting the year on injured reserve. Victor Hedman is back to anchor the point and key pieces like Tyler Johnson, Anthony Cirelli and Brayden Point are all back as well as all-star and Vezina trophy winner Andrei Vasilevskiy after leading the league in wins for the 3rd straight season with 35 victories. The future is bright for Tampa in their new home as they jump right to the top of the ladder in the division.

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Chicago is 0-4 in their last 4 road games and 1-4 in their last 5 games overall while the over is 4-1 in their last 5 games as a road underdog. Tampa Bay is 38-16 in their last 53 games as a favorite and 99-45 in their last 144 home games while the under is 2-0-3 in their last 5 games as a home favorite. The under is 12-5-1 in the last 18 meetings between these two teams.

I mentioned that it’s going to be tough sledding for the Blackhawks early on, but I do still think Chicago can have some success offensively as there are still some decent pieces on this team. On the other hand, the Lightning are who they’ve been for some time now and that’s a team that lights up the scoreboard. I’ll side with the over as my free pick for this game but my stronger value play is on the side and I have that available as a premium pick that you can find here.

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

Mitch's Take...

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