Free NHL Picks: Flames at Red Wings Odds
by George Monroy - 12/18/2013
When the Detroit Red Wings get into a slump, they really get into a slump. The team is currently in the middle of a six-game losing streak to go along with the four- and seven-game losing streaks it already owns through 36 games this season. Detroit’s roster has been crippled by injury over the last month as the team is currently missing many of its key players. The Red Wings’ center and team captain Henrik Zetterberg has not played in over two weeks due to a herniated disk in his back. The only silver lining for Detroit is the fact that it plays in the slow-moving Eastern Conference, and a seven-game skid has not kept the team out of playoff contention.
The Calgary Flames currently have two more games to play in a five-game road trip. The team has dropped back-to-back matchups and still must play the Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins before finally heading home to close out the year with four straight games inside the Scotiabank Saddledome arena. Let’s take a closer at Thursday night’s matchup and figure out which side of the moneyline has the most value to wager on.
Flames at Red Wings Betting Story Lines
The Red Wings have managed to stay afloat in a soft Eastern Conference and are currently tied for the fifth seed in the playoff standings. The team struggled to make the switch between conferences, and just when Detroit was beginning to find a grove in the Atlantic Division many of its key players went down with injuries. Zetterberg is not expected to rejoin the team until the end of December, at the earliest. Until then, the team will probably continue to lose games and sink further down the playoff standings.
Detroit has not been competitive over its last six losses and has been outscored 17-7 over that span. Goaltender Jonas Gustavsson has given up 10 goals during the team’s recent slump and has missed two games during that span. The Red Wings gave up four first-period goals during its last matchup against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday and have begun building a habit of giving up early leads. The team has not scored more than two goals in a game in nearly two weeks.
The Flames have played .500 hockey through the first half of December and are sitting on a 4-4 record with a two-game winning streak and a two-game losing streak. The team is coming off a shutout loss to the Boston Bruins on Tuesday where it took only 21 shot attempts on the night and wasn’t able to score a goal in three power-play attempts. Calgary is currently the second-worst team in the Western Conference, but it has been able to make bettors a small puckline profit with $214 on the season.
Calgary has struggled to score goals over its last eight games and is averaging only two goals during that span. The team’s points leader, Jiri Hudler, has struggled a bit over his last five games and has earned only three points in that span. Calgary also does not have a player that has scored more than 10 goals this season.
Flames at Red Wings NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
The Red Wings opened as a -152 moneyline favorite against the +138 underdog Flames at BetOnline. The total was set at 5.5 goals, with the “under” being favored at -126. Calgary is 4-1 over its last five games against teams with a losing record and 5-2 in its last seven after scoring two goals or less in its previous game. However, the team is only 1-7 over its last eight Thursday games and 5-13 against the Atlantic Division.
Detroit has struggled in just about every category and is 0-6 during its last six overall games and 0-5 against the Western Conference. The team is 1-6 in its last seven games following a loss of three goals or more and has gone “under” in six of its last seven overall matchups. Head-to-head, the “over” its 9-3 during the last 12 meetings in Detroit, while the Flames are 5-11 during the last 16 matchups in Detroit.
Free NHL Picks: Flames at Red Wings Betting Predictions
Detroit has no business being such a big favorite while in the middle of a six-game losing streak and missing so many key players. Unless most of the players on Detroit’s injured reserve are planning on playing Thursday night (they are not), then the team will probably still struggle to score goals and play an effective offensive game. The Flames have struggled as well, but at least they are healthy. Both squads will probably have trouble scoring goals during this matchup, so the best bet is taking the under on the 5.5 goals. There is also value on the Flames at +138, but I would skip it and just stick to the under.
Want free NHL betting picks? Doc’s Sports is offering $60 worth of picks – any handicapper from Doc’s Sports expert stable of NHL hockey experts – and this offer contains no hidden fees and no credit card is required. Just sign up for a free account and start using your free $60 credit today! Also, for a limited time get three hockey handicappers for the price of one! Click here for our 3-for-1 NHL picks offer.
Read more articles by George Monroy
Get all of Tonight's NHL Picks.
Get all of Tonight's guaranteed Expert NHL Picks.