There’s an element of watching a prizefight between an aging former champion and an up-and-coming contender in this Stanley Cup qualifying round series between the Chicago Blackhawks and Edmonton Oilers.
Chicago Blackhawks – Edmonton Oilers Preview August 1
The Oilers are the sexy, young sensation. Forward Connor McDavid already has Art Ross and Hart Trophies in his possession. Teammate and frequent linemate Leon Draisaitl won the Art Ross this season as NHL scoring champion and is a finalist for the Hart Trophy.
At the same time, there’s legitimate concern about whether the Oilers are ready for prime time players? Their goaltending is suspect and the current core has earned one playoff series triumph as a group.
In terms of postseason success, the Blackhawks own a rich resume, although granted, the pages of that list of achievements are beginning to yellow and fade. Chicago won three Stanley Cups between 2010-15. Much of the core of those championship squads – Hart and Art Ross Trophy winner Patrick Kane, Norris Trophy winner Duncan Keith, captain Jonathan Toews and goalie Corey Crawford – remain intact. Kane, Keith and Toews were all Stanley Cup MVPs.
However, veteran defenseman Brent Seabrook was left off Chicago’s 31-player roster that headed to the playoff bubble in Edmonton. Crawford only recently returned to practice after dealing with a case of COVID-19.
No wonder Chicago’s odds are rapidly lengthening. Since the beginning of July, Chicago’s betting line to win the Western Conference has grown from +2250 to +5000, the current line on the Blackhawks at William Hill Sportsbook (use promo code WHGAMBLER150). The Blackhawks are the longest shot on the board to win the Stanley Cup at +7500.
Edmonton Oilers – Chicago Blackhawks Betting Prediction (August 1 2020)
Chicago is a +145 underdog to win its series against Edmonton. At BetRivers Illinois, the Blackhawks are listed as +210 underdogs to in Game 1 of the series on Aug 1.
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