Wild at Red Wings Picks and NHL Betting Odds
by Dave Schwab - 1/25/2013
The Minnesota Wild will head on the road for the first time this season this Friday night for a Western Conference clash against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Lewis Arena. The game is set to get underway at 7:30 p.m. (ET) and it will be broadcast nationally on the NHL Network.
The new-look Wild got off to a solid start to the brand new season with back-to-back victories over Colorado and Dallas by a combined score of 5-2, but they could not find the back of the net in this past Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to Nashville. The total line for all three games was set at five with the last two staying “under”.
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Detroit fell to 1-2 on the year with a 2-1 loss to Dallas this past Tuesday as a -127 home favorite. This followed an ugly 6-0 loss to St. Louis as a +124 road underdog and a 4-3 shootout victory over Columbus as a -120 road favorite in its first two games. The total went “over” in those games but stayed under the 5.5-point line against the Stars.
Wild at Red Wings Betting Storylines
Minnesota finished 12th in the Western Conference last year and was 14 points out of the final playoff spot, but it is considered a team to watch this season at 10/1 odds to win the conference with the addition of free agents Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. Parise has made an instant impact on offense with a goal and three assists, while Suter has beefed-up a defense that was already ranked 13th in the NHL in goals allowed last season. The Wild have given up a total of five goals in three games this season.
Josh Harding and Niklas Backstrom have split the duties in net, with Harding stopping all 24 shots he faced in Minnesota’s 1-0 shutout over Dallas. Backstrom looked solid in the opening-day win over the Avalanche, but he gave up a couple of soft goals in the loss to the Predators. Overall, he has a save percentage of .906.
The Red Wings remain one of the top teams in the West. However, just like a few other high-profile teams in the league, they have shown some rust on both ends of the ice due to the extended layoff. The offense has been spotty with just four regulation goals in its first three games, but the greater concern could be with Jimmy Howard in goal. It appears it is going to take some time to get him back into shape after finishing his first three games with a save percentage of .892 and an inflated goals-against average of 3.65.
Last season, Detroit posted the best record in the West on its home ice at 31-7-3 and set a record along the way with 23 straight wins. After coming out flat in Tuesday’s home opener against the Stars, you can expect a much more inspired effort in front of Friday night’s crowd at Joe Lewis Arena. Pavel Datsyuk is off to a solid start with a goal and two assists, and it is only a matter of time before a few more sharp shooters on this team regain their form.
Wild at Red Wings NHL Betting Odds and Trends
The money line on BetOnline has Minnesota +105 and Detroit -125 with the over/under line set at 5.5 (as of our deadline for this article)
The Wild are 3-7 in their last 10 games playing on two day’s rest and 5-21 in their last 27 road games. The total has stayed under in six of their last eight games against the Central Division.
The Red Wings are 7-3 in their last 10 games playing on two day’s rest and 29-14 in their last 43 games against the Northwest Division. The total has stayed under in six of their last seven home games.
Head-to-head in this matchup, the road team has won five of the last eight meetings, with four of the games ending in overtime. The total has stayed under in five of the last seven games between the two, and Detroit holds a 5-2 edge in the last seven meetings.
Wild at Red Wings Picks and Betting Predictions
Given the Wild’s new-found star power, you can somewhat discount the past trends in this matchup. However, they are still playing on the road against one of the best teams at home in the league. Back-to-back losses at Joe Louis Arena are a rare occurrence, so stick with the Red Wings to even up their record with a win on Friday night.
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