Free NHL Picks: Red Wings at Devils Odds
by George Monroy - 12/5/2013
Just as the Detroit Red Wings were finally starting to become accustomed to Eastern Conference and their new Atlantic Division opponents, injuries may send the team into another extended losing streak. After the offseason realignment that sent Detroit from West to East, the team struggled to find its footing in an unfamiliar conference. Detroit lost four games in a row during the month of October and had a seven-game losing in the middle of November. The team has since won five of its last seven matchups and was slowly moving up the Eastern Conference standings—that is until the team’s two best players, Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, were forced to miss time due to injury.
The New Jersey Devils are coming off consecutive losses during a home-and-road situation against the Montreal Canadiens. The team is right in the middle of a three-way tie for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference Playoff standings with 28 points. New Jersey cannot afford to give away wins by falling into extended slumps throughout the season. The team has currently lost five of its last seven matchups but is hoping that a home game against the Red Wings, before taking off on a three-game road trip, will be the cure to its losing ways. Let’s take an in-depth look at Friday night’s matchup between the Red Wings and Devils with predictions and analysis.
Red Wings at Devils Betting Story Lines
Detroit seemed to finally be over a brutal seven-game losing streak that plagued the team during the month of November. The Wings had won four in a row and five of their last six before Zetterberg was forced to miss his first game of the season against the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night. Detroit played poorly and only managed to score one goal in seven power-play opportunities throughout the game. The team took 35 shots and won 40 face-offs but was unable to put those advantages to use. Detroit’s trouble was a massive third-period breakdown where the squad allowed four goals and gave up a 3-2 lead.
The Red Wings may be in for another rough patch over the next few weeks as it is evident that the team will struggle without Datsyuk and Zetterberg, who may be out for an extended amount of time. Zetterberg missed Wednesday’s game due to a herniated disc that is expected to sideline him for at least two weeks. Datsyuk has already missed five games because of a concussion and is not expected to return anytime soon.
New Jersey may have started to feel like it was on the upswing after two impressive wins at the end of the month. The team held the Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes to a combined three goals and looked to build its first extended winning streak of the season—that was until New Jersey ran into the Canadiens. The Devils were able to score only four regulation goals in two games against the Montreal earlier this week. The team fell behind early in both matchups and was never able to produce much offense on 64 combined shot attempts. New Jersey has lost nine straight shootouts dating back to last season.
Red Wings at Devils NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
New Jersey opened as a -116 favorite over the +105 underdog Red Wings, according to BetOnline. The total was set at five goals, with the “under” favored at -121. Detroit is 4-1 over its last five overall games and 4-1 in its last five versus the Eastern Conference. Detroit’s “over” is 7-2 in its last nine against the Eastern Conference, while the team is only 1-5 during its last six games played on one day of rest.
New Jersey’s under is 6-2-2 over its last 11 home games and 3-1-1 against the Atlantic Division. Head-to-head, the under is 7-1 over the last eight meetings in New Jersey and 5-1 over the last six overall matchups. Detroit has won six of the last eight meetings.
Free NHL Picks: Red Wings at Devils Predictions
New Jersey has not scored more than two regulation goals in three games. The team has been struggling on offense and has averaged only 2.2 goals in regulation over its last 10 games. Detroit will probably start to feel the effects of losing its top-two points leaders and may struggle to find a competitive offense over the next few weeks. Taking the Devils feels like the only play to make on this matchup since the home team is getting a decent price against an underdog missing its two best players. The under also feels like a strong play to make on Friday night’s game as both teams will probably struggle to score goals. Take New Jersey and the under.
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