Sunday NHL Odds & Pick for Red Wings vs. Panthers: Value Lies With Underdog Detroit in Battle (Feb. 7)

Sunday NHL Odds & Pick for Red Wings vs. Panthers: Value Lies With Underdog Detroit in Battle (Feb. 7) article feature image
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Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Dylan Larkin.

  • The Red Wings, thought to be one of the NHL’s worst teams entering the season, are living up to their billing so far.
  • Detroit enters a contest against the Panthers having lost eight consecutive games, although Florida is struggling as well.
  • Matt Russell sees value on Detroit ending its long losing skid and explains why below.

Red Wings vs. Panthers Odds

Red Wings Odds +185
Panthers Odds -220
Over/Under 5.5
Time 3 p.m. ET
TV NHL.tv
Odds as of Saturday night and via DraftKings.

Who ya got? Two teams, different shades of red. You can make the case for both. 

The Chiefs at a short number like -3?! Tom Brady as an underdog?!  It’s not so cut and dry.

As an appetizer for Super Bowl 55, though, there’s a slate of afternoon NHL action, including a matchup between the Detroit Red Wings and Florida Panthers.

This game isn’t clear cut either but from a betting standpoint, that’s actually a good thing, and the entire point to this bet.

Detroit Red Wings

The Red Wings continue their Florida swing and while the weather might be a nice change for Detroit, a nicer change would be actually winning a game.

The Wings have lost eight straight and are feeding the preseason narrative that they may be one of the worst teams in the league this year. 

Two of those eight losses came against the Panthers at home in games that were highly competitive. High-Danger Chances (HDC) 5-on-5 were in favor of the Wings, 10-9. The home team also led the way in Expected Goal Share at even-strength 2.84 to 2.23. However, all that was good for was a pair of 3-2 losses, one of which was in overtime.

The two most recent losses came at the hands of the defending Stanley Cup champions. The Wings had more HDC, 12-8, even if Tampa comfortably took the Expected Goal Share. 

Overall, the Wings have been better than the big losing streak would make it seem. In fact, in the NHL, that’s how long losing streaks happen. It’s not being overwhelmed for an extended period. It’s not getting that one key goal to turn a 3-2 loss into a 3-2 win.

Florida Panthers

The Panthers’ last two games were anything but the standard 3-2 type. On Thursday night, they lost a wild one to the Predators, 6-5, after giving up two late goals to tie the game before losing in overtime. One night later, with backup goaltender Chris Driedger in net, the Panthers put the clamps on Nashville for a 2-1 win.

The important takeaway here for Florida is about Driedger, in comparison to the incumbent starter Sergei Bobrovsky. With another excellent performance, Driedger improves his GSAA (Goals Saved Above Average) to 4.5, fifth in the NHL of goaltenders who’ve played 4 or more games. The Panthers are invested in Bobrovsky though, who’s tied for 50th in GSAA at -2.89. He’ll likely be back between the pipes for the Cats. 

The Panthers have quietly yet to lose a game in regulation, but even while they’re racking up the points, they still haven’t done much to improve their rating in my “Let’s Do That Hockey” model as heard on THE WINDOW: Sports Betting Podcast. They sit at just 3% above average while at even-strength. 

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Red Wings vs. Panthers Best Bet

My model makes the true win probability for DET/FLA at 58%/42%. So getting anything better than +160 is worth a bet on Detroit.

Beware the wounded animal, beware the desperate hockey team. The Red Wings have to be encouraged by their play, and should be confident that they can beat the Panthers to stop their skid. Meanwhile, the Panthers just battled with the Predators and are feeling pretty good about the fact they’ve gotten points in each of their first eight games this season. That streak has to stop some time. As does Detroit’s slide.

Whether it’s Sunday or Tuesday, the Red Wings will get back in the win column, which will turn us a profit now and then. Hopefully it’s on Sunday afternoon, so we can reinvest … in the Chiefs as a short favorite … or Tommy as an underdog … 

Pick: Red Wings +185 (+160 or better)

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