Red Wings at Bruins Odds, Pick, Preview: Boston Will Cruise at Home
Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Jeremy Swayman
- The Bruins are becoming a bigger and bigger favorite for Thursday's contest against the Red Wings, moving from -255 to -295 at some sportsbooks.
- Detroit has been frisky to start the season, playing tight games against the Leafs, Lightning and Panthers.
- Get Nicholas Martin's Bruins vs. Red Wings pick and preview below.
Red Wings at Bruins Odds
|Red Wings Odds||+235|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings, updated Thursday at 4:30 p.m. ET. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.|
The Boston Bruins are big home favorites over the developing Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night, opening around -255 for the Original Six matchup.
Bookmakers certainly expect the B’s to have little issue dispatching the Red Wings, but is there more to this young Detroit team than meets the eye?
Red Wings: Glass Half-Full
After a surprising 4-2-1 start against tough competition, the Red Wings have slowed down with a three-game skid over the last week. Despite the losing streak and a rough 3-0 loss to the Canadiens on Tuesday, a 4-4-2 start is a step in the right direction for a club looking to get back to relevancy.
More encouraging is that the Wings are getting meaningful contributions from rookies Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider, the latter of whom was named Rookie of the Month for October.
Raymond and Seider are bright spots, but Jeff Blashill doesn’t have a ton of depth at his disposal on the blueline or up front, and I feel that the results are starting to trend closer to what we should see from this team over the long-term. The Red Wings have currently boast the third-worst goals against per game at 3.40, and the third-worst xGA/60 to match at 2.77.
Dylan Larkin, Tyler Bertuzzi and Raymond have been Detroit’s best line with 26 points in 25 man games, but Larkin’s status is unclear for Thursday night and they’ll likely be matched by the Bruins’ top line, so this one could be a slog for the Wings top players.
It is unclear whether the Wings will start Alex Nedeljkovic or Thomas Greiss for the contest, but both have been solid in the early going for the Wings, so there’s no real edge one way or the other depending on who gets the net.
The Bruins Are the Bruins
With how much success the Bruins have had under coach Bruce Cassidy in recent regular seasons, a 4-3-0 start may look underwhelming but considering the strength of competition Boston has faced, this is a pretty impressive start to the season.
Despite playing three of their seven games against Florida or Carolina, the Bruins have still managed the league’s top expected goals rate at 58.8% and are holding opponents to just 1.66 xGF per 60 minutes, an outright dominant mark.
The perfection line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak have been terrific out the gates, posting a 66.1% expected goals rate in 74.1 minutes together.
The top defensive pair in Matt Grzelcyk and Charlie McAvoy have been excellent as well, owning the league’s top xGF% (minimum 50 minutes played) at 76.1% over 71.9 minutes together.
Altogether Boston’s defense core is very deep, and do an excellent job of stepping up early to force uncontrolled zone entries, as well as moving the puck up the ice smoothly first time of asking. To think Cassidy’s bunch should continue to limit high-quality chances is very reasonable in my mind.
Jeremy Swayman has been confirmed as Boston’s starter and has stopped 93.4% of shots faced so far in his brief NHL career. The rookie should be a very reliable secondary option for Cassidy this season.
Bruins vs. Red Wings Pick
The Bruins have looked true to form defensively in the early going, even against two elite offenses.
Detroit’s top line has been great, but I don’t like the matchup against The Perfection Line and the Wings don’t have much threat behind Larkin, Raymond and Bertuzzi.
Altogether I feel this sets up as a good time to back Boston as a heavy favorite and I’ll make a rare play on a puck-line in this one as I think the B’s should get the separation needed to cover the 1.5 goals.
Should the game remain close, or Boston potentially trail into the later stages after a five-day layoff, I will be looking at potential in-play options as well.
Pick: Bruins -1.5 +105 (down to -105)