Free Picks: Florida Panthers vs. Chicago Blackhawks

Blackhawks vs Panthers NHL week 16
Florida Panthers vs Chicago Blackhawks, NHL, United Center

Everyone knows the key to success is the first period. For this free pick, I take a look at the puck line between the Blackhawks and Panthers. Florida’s puck-line has been a success for me in previous bets, so I look to keep drinking from the well. How will that go? Only time will tell.

The key to success is scoring early.

Getting the early lead on your opponent can dramatically impact the rest of the game. When a team has to trail in the opening period, that affects the outcome of the contest.

For this free NHL prediction, I want to take a look at how strong the Panthers have been in the first period this season.

Statistically, the Panthers’ first period is their lowest-scoring period of the game. That may concern you as I take a look at the puck line, but with Chicago boasting similar numbers in terms of the first period being their lowest-scoring period, I think we could catch fire with this bet.

The Blackhawks rank in the lower third of the NHL in terms of goals against, which is a positive. On top of that, Chicago has scored only 38 of their 140 goals this season in the first period. So, while this may not be the best period for the Panthers in terms of goal production, the Blackhawks are significantly worse.

This season, the opposing team has tallied more shots against the Blackhawks in the first period, so Chicago is on their heels in the first 20 minutes.

Florida is also one of the highest-scoring teams in the NHL, so I think we see a quick start from the Panthers in this game. Defensively, the Panthers are strong right out of the gate.

Of the 142 goals allowed this season, only 40 have come in the first period.

Florida can bury relatively well in the first period. Adding to that fact, the first frame is their best in terms of goals allowed. Those two facts give me great confidence in this BetPicks Prediction.

I think Florida handles Chicago in the first frame. From there, anything can happen, but I am only worried about the first period.

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FREE PICKS: Florida Panthers' 1st Period Puck Line -0.5


  • Florida has scored 26% of all goals in the first period.
  • The Panthers rank 3rd in total goals.
  • Chicago has allowed 40 goals in the first period.
  • Chicago ranks 23rd in total goals against.

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have always wanted to be a writer and sports are my favorite thing in the world, so I combined the two to make a career. I have been a long-time gambler and sports betting writer that isn't afraid to look at the underdog or specials. I am covering the NHL, MLB and NCAA Football for and am a huge fan of both sports - as well as many others. Follow me on Twitter (@Patrick_Trudeau) so we can talk betting, sports, or why ketchup DOES belong on Poutine.