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$FML's Best Bet for NHL Friday - 12/16

$FML's Best Bet for Friday's NHL mini-slate is here, check it out below!

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Minnesota Wild (16-11-2) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (7-17-4)

Fade Chicago

This tanking team has now dropped 13 of its last 14 games. Fading them on the puck line (i.e., to lose by 2+ goals) is currently on an 11-3 run. Tonight, they’ll skate for the 3rd time in 4 nights, and it’s a back-to-back (B2B) situation. Chicago is just 1-6 under these conditions since 2021, scoring a measly 2.0 goals per game while allowing 3.57. It’s also a Friday night. The Blackhawks’ last Friday night road win? 1,106 days ago (3.03 years) on December 6, 2019.

Back the Chalk

Minnesota swipes into Xcel Energy Center riding a 5-game home win streak. They’ve emerged victorious in 7 of their last 9 games overall. They’re also 10-2 on Friday nights since 2019, often winning in dominant fashion. They’ve outscored opponents 54-to-27 (by a factor of 2-to-1) in these Friday night spots. Tonight, their confirmed goaltender is Marc Andre Fleury the Great. He’s 7-1 vs. Chicago since 2019.

Preferred Angle

Any team can win any night, but Chicago does not deserve our money vs. any opponent right now, let alone Minnesota. Once a respectable franchise, the Blackhawks are clearly tanking for draft positioning this year. Arguably a smart move by them (this year’s draft class is STACKED), but that’s a discussion for another day.

Looking at pricing, the Wild are heavily favored to win the game (-400 ML or shorter) but just -105 to win the 1st period at FanDuel. How does that make sense? Minnesota were the 3rd most profitable home team in this market last season (+10.9% ROI). This year’s 1st period results have been mixed, but the trajectory of the trend is promising. Looking at their last 10 games only, betting the Wild to win the 1st has returned +19.96% ROI (5th best in that stretch). Meanwhile Chicago is the worst 1st period team in the league by far this season. In 28 games, they’ve only scored 13 goals in the 1st frame (0.46/game) while allowing 28 (1.0/game).

$FML's Best Bet

For what it’s worth: I also like this angle because in the event it loses, we’re guaranteed a chance to double down with a live bet at better pricing than we could otherwise get in the pre-game market.

The Pick: Minnesota to Win the 1st Period (-105) FanDuel

$FML Best Bet
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