NHL Betting Preview: Bruins vs. Blackhawks Winter Classic

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NBC’s coverage of the 2018-19 NHL season continues with the 2019 Winter Classic between the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks. Coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET from Notre Dame Stadium on Tuesday. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

The Chicago Blackhawks find themselves in unfamiliar territory well down the Stanley Cup odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com as they prepare to take on the Boston Bruins on New Year’s Day outdoors at Notre Dame Stadium.

The Blackhawks are well back as +17500 longshots on the latest odds to win the Stanley Cup with Patrick Kane and company having struggled to a 15-20-6 record through the first half of the season. That has them sitting well outside of the playoff picture in both the Central Division and the Western Conference.

However, Chicago has shown some signs of life lately, winning five of their last six games capped by a 3-2 overtime victory in Colorado against the Avalanche in their last game on Saturday night as +180 underdogs on the NHL odds. Kane had two goals and an assist for the Blackhawks in that win giving him a team-high 50 points on the season.

Chicago last played in an outdoor game in January 2017, falling 4-1 to the St. Louis Blues at Busch Stadium. The Blackhawks also fell 6-1 to the Minnesota Wild at TCF Bank Stadium in February 2016, and 3-2 to the Washington Capitals in January 2015 at Nationals Park.

The Blackhawks’ lone outdoor victory came in March 2014 when they defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 at Soldier Field. Prior to that they also lost 6-4 to the Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley Field in January 2009.

[WATCH LIVE – COVERAGE BEGINS AT 1 P.M. ET ON NEW YEAR’S DAY – NBC]

The Bruins are coming off a 3-2 road win at the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night at -115 on the NHL moneyline, putting an end to a two-game skid and improving their record to 21-14-4 on the season. That has them in the thick of the Wild Card race in the Eastern Conference, and just back of the Sabres for third place in the Atlantic Division.

Boston last played an outdoor game in January 2016, hosting the rival Montreal Canadiens at Gillette Stadium but losing 5-1. The Bruins beat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in overtime at Fenway Park in January 2010 in their only other outdoor appearance.

The Bruins and Blackhawks met twice last March, splitting the results with each team picking up a home victory. Boston topped Chicago 7-4 at home as -203 favorites on the NHL odds, and the Blackhawks beat the Bruins 3-1 at home as +122 underdogs.

Overall the Bruins and the Blackhawks have also split their last 10 meetings 5-5 dating back to January 2014, according to the OddsShark NHL Database. The OVER paid off on the totals for bettors in just four of those 10 contests, and in just one of their past four meetings.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Mike Tirico will host the network’s Winter Classic pre-game coverage alongside the NHL Live studio team of host Kathryn Tappen, and analysts Mike Milbury, Keith Jones and Jeremy Roenick. Six-time Emmy Award-winner and La Fontaine, Ind., native Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member Eddie Olczyk, and ‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst Pierre McGuire will have the call from Notre Dame Stadium.