NHL Odds & Pick for Predators vs. Red Wings: Fade Nashville, Bet Detroit All Day (Tuesday, Feb. 23)
Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Dylan Larkin.
- Matt Russell lives by a few simple truths: Bet the Red Wings; fade the Predators.
- Those teams face off Tuesday in the NHL's Central Division, which makes it easy for Russell to make his pick.
- He details why Detroit has value in the betting market and Nashville does not below.
Predators vs. Red Wings Odds
|Red Wings Odds||+140|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Monday night and via BetMGM.|
I don’t know if it was the evolution of our taste buds or the eventual creation of more flavorful and savory spreads, but somewhere along the line we went from calling something our “bread and butter” to those same things “going together like peanut butter and jelly.” We’re probably 10 years away from “avocado and toast” replacing both in our cultural lexicon.
This season in the newly cooked up Central Division, backing the Red Wings as significant underdogs has been my peanut butter, and fading the Predators as favorites has been my jelly.
On Tuesday night (and again on Thursday, if necessary), we get to smash the two together and take a big bite out of the sandwich.
The Predators are 5-10 in their last 15 games, so fading them has been a relatively bright idea. That said, Nashville put together the best game of its season on Saturday night — a performance that was even more dominant than the scoreboard indicated.
For just the second time all season, the Preds racked up a High-Danger Chance (HDC) count in the double-digits with a season-high 13. On top of that, they held the Columbus Blue Jackets to just three in the 4-2 win.
Unfortunately, putting back-to-back quality performances together hasn’t been something the Predators have been able to do often this season. They’ve won two consecutive games just twice this season. The first was the season-opening pair at home with Columbus when they managed the second win despite being outplayed considerably at even-strength. The second was at home to the Blackhawks, a team I have rated lowest in the Central, according to my “Let’s Do That Hockey” model, as heard on “THE WINDOW: Sports Betting Podcast.”
Now, the Predators are expected to transfer momentum from Columbus over to Detroit, and to do so as a -160 road favourite. For a team that my model has rated as 1% below average, this feels like a tall task against a team that has had success against the middle of the Central.
Expected goals (also known as xG) is a predictive statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as shooting luck or outstanding goaltending.
Simply put, an expected goals rate (xGF%) above 50% is considered good because it means a team is creating the majority of the scoring chances. Anything below 50% is usually a sign that a team is struggling to control play.
xG numbers cited from Evolving Hockey.
Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings won’t likely have a “minus” next to their moneyline price at any point this season, given they were home underdogs to the Blackhawks recently, and there’s no one in the Central perceived as poorly as those two teams. This is fine by us, though, because it never requires more than a unit’s investment to take a shot with the Wings at plus-money.
This betting strategy hasn’t always gone as smooth as peanut butter, with a tough stretch early on for Detroit. Even in an eight-game losing streak, the Red Wings only had a 1.33 Expected Goals Against (xGA) which is well below league average. That’s including a xGA-booster against the Blackhawks (2.24 xGA).
The point is you can rely on the Red Wings to put up a good defensive effort and stay in games that way.
In their last eight games, the Wings have had more success getting into the win column by getting a little more going offensively at even-strength with a 1.58 Expected Goals For (xGF). Detroit has generated 50 HDC at even strength and allowed 47 in winning three of the eight games, thus becoming a more profitable outfit at the prices they’re being evaluated at.
Betting Analysis & Pick
My model makes the Red Wings just 2% below average 5-on-5 in Central Division play this season. Against upper-echelon teams who will expose the Red Wings league-worst power play and 28th-ranked penalty kill, backing the Wings can be more daunting beyond their decent rating at even-strength. That shouldn’t be an issue against the Predators and their 24th-ranked power play, and a Nashville penalty kill that is second last in the league.
This game, like many in the mid-tier of the Central, shapes up as a coin flip, with my true win probability for Nashville at 51%. Given an enticing +140 moneyline for the Red Wings, that’s just a bet that has to be made.
It’s not a filet mignon, or even a hot home-cooked meal, but we won’t put too much thought into this meal and take the old reliable “PB&J.”
Pick: Red Wings (+140 or better)