Sunday NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings Betting Preview
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images. Pictured: David Pastrnak.
- The Boston Bruins are favored on the road at Detroit ahead of Sunday’s NHL matchup.
- The Red Wings hold a slight edge in the standings, but two points for the Bruins can catapult them ahead.
- Nicholas Martin breaks down the game below and gives his top pick.
Bruins vs. Red Wings Odds
|Red Wings Odds||+120|
|Time||1 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Bruins will have an opportunity to avenge a 2-1 defeat in Boston last month, in a game where they outshot the Red Wings 42-16 but ultimately suffered a tough-luck loss.
Detroit is still clinging to the East’s second wild-card spot, and a win here over Boston would go a long way towards keeping their long-shot playoff hopes alive. A regulation win would boost their chances by 4.6% (according to our friends at MoneyPuck).
Bruins Returning to Form With Better Health
Boston returned to play with a solid win over Buffalo on Saturday, grinding out a 4-3 win, slowly tilting the ice more and more as the game ran along, with a final expected goals margin of 4.3 to 2.11.
The Bruins had not been afforded the luxury of playing with a full roster over two recent losses to the Knights and the Islanders, which did expose just how crucial the top line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak are to the team.
However, skating at full health Saturday, the Bruins looked true to form minus a slower start (as we have seen from many teams coming out of the layoff). Over their last eight games, the Bruins now hold an xGF% of 56.54, with a xGA/60 of just 2.00, posting a 4-2-2 record over that time among some key absences.
Boston’s excellent defensive core continues to do a great job leading the way, helping to drive play up the ice and move the puck effectively out of the defensive zone.
Offensive depth may be an area of need come the trade deadline, but as we have consistently seen during Bruce Cassidy’s tenure with this Bruins core, the team is notably tough to play against and will not offer up much in the way of cheap chances.
With the Bruins starting Linus Ullmark on Saturday vs. Buffalo, we will see Jeremy Swayman take the cage here.
Swayman has been solid throughout 14 games so far this season, with a .917 save % and a +1.5 goals saved above expected rating (GSAx).
Red Wings Have Hit Regression Wall
For many, Detroit was an obvious regression candidate after a notably strong start to the season, led by two unbelievable rookies in Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider.
That regression has started to kick in, as the Red Wings posted the league’s worst xGF% of 41.12 inside of December, with a 4-5-0 record.
Friday’s game against Washington offered a notable low point, as the Capitals appeared quite flat, skating a much shakier defensive unit than usual, and ultimately they still managed to stymie the Red Wings offense.
The reliance upon a top line of Lucas Raymond, Tyler Bertuzzi and Dylan Larkin appeared a notable flaw to Detroit’s early success, especially considering all were overachieving expectations. That has shown through more so of late with Detroit’s offensive outputs slipping with not much in the way of support.
It would seem logical to give Alex Nedeljkovic some minutes here after resting him in favor of Thomas Greiss on Friday to extend a long layoff. Nedeljkovic has been as advertised for the Wings, posting a .916 save % and +6.4 GSAx rating throughout 21 games played this season.
Bruins vs. Red Wings Pick
The Bruins seem to have flown under the radar to an extent so far this season, skating in a top-heavy Atlantic Division with the likes of Florida, Tampa and Toronto all grabbing much of the attention.
But as covered, Boston has still been very sound, with strong analytics and a positive record in its smaller amount of games played. Outside of a shortage of depth scoring, which we have often seen in recent years from the Bruins, the team still looks like a legit contender.
That weakness likely won’t be exposed tomorrow by the Wings, and I think that we should see Boston able to greatly limit Detroit’s high-danger chances, and it will likely take this one while holding Detroit to a lower total.
The Bruins really aren’t in much trouble with five games in hand over the Red Wings, but I feel this is a good spot to back them to claim a big win against one of my favorite candidates for regression.
At the time of writing Boston is available at -140, and I see a lot of value backing the Bruins to take this one at that figure. I would play them down to -160.
Pick: Boston Bruins -140 | Play down to -160