Chicago has been on the radar of hockey bettors for much of the year already because the team's defense—or lack thereof—has helped produce a large number of OVER results on totals in high-scoring games.
The Chicago Blackhawks are playing some of their best hockey of the season, riding a five-game winning streak after routing the Edmonton Oilers 6–2 on Tuesday. However, Chicago has been on the radar of hockey bettors for much of the year already because the team's defense—or lack thereof—has helped produce a large number of OVER results on totals in high-scoring games like that road victory at Edmonton.
The Blackhawks have seen the OVER cash in 32 of 50 games so far at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, which was the most of any team in the league heading into Wednesday's action. The OVER is actually on a hot 10–1 run in their last 11 games too, as they have averaged 5.6 goals on their own during their current winning streak.
Still, Chicago is sitting in the cellar of the Central Division right now, and two other last-place teams in other divisions have seen similar trends to date.
The Ottawa Senators had seen the OVER go 31–18 in their 49 games going into an Atlantic Division matchup with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night, while the New Jersey Devils are at 28–20 for the most OVER results in the Metropolitan Division. The Senators and Blackhawks are the worst defensive teams in the NHL, surrendering an average of 3.73 and 3.65 goals per game, respectively.
Meanwhile, the Pacific is the lone division where the highest OVER teams are not in last place, as the San Jose Sharks (31–21 OVER) and Calgary Flames (30–22 OVER) reside in second and first place.
The Flames (3.72 goals per game) and Sharks (3.57) are among the top three highest-scoring teams in the league, with the Tampa Bay Lightning (3.83) leading the way. Tampa Bay's OVER/UNDER mark is 26–24 at betting sites, but that is due to the team also ranking in the top six defensively, allowing 2.79 goals per game.
The Metro-leading New York Islanders have been one of the biggest surprises thanks to great defense as well. Buoyed by netminder Robin Lehner and his league-leading 2.02 goals-against average the Islanders have seen the UNDER go 32–17 in their 52 games. The only teams close to them are the Dallas Stars (31–16 UNDER), Anaheim Ducks (33–19 UNDER) and Boston Bruins (31–19 UNDER) because their goalies have also played well.