NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Red Wings vs. Wild Wednesday Betting Preview (December 14)
Bailey Hillesheim/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Minnesota Wild forward Kirill Kaprizov.
- The Minnesota Wild take on the Detroit Red Wings in a Wednesday night doubleheader on TNT.
- The Wild have been playing better than their record suggests, which means they have the potential to dominate a Red Wings team that features Alex Nedeljkovic in net.
- Check out Tony Sartori's full betting preview for Red Wings vs. Wild below.
Red Wings vs. Wild Odds
|Red Wings Odds||+195|
|Over/Under||6 (-120 / +100)|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
For the first game of TNT’s weekly Wednesday doubleheader, the Central Division’s Minnesota Wild host the Atlantic Division’s Detroit Red Wings. These two clubs met once earlier this season as Detroit won, 2-1, on home ice.
Will the Wild grab revenge on their home ice, or can the Red Wings pull off the upset as a road underdog?
Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings enter this contest in poor form, losing three straight games and six of their last eight. To make matters worse, they’re on the second half of a back-to-back, which means starting goaltender Ville Husso will not get the start for Detroit.
Husso has stolen a bunch of games for this club already this season, which is bad news when he doesn’t start. In his absence, backup goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic is expected to start between the pipes.
It has been a tough season for the backup netminder, who is 2-4-2 with a .880 SV% and 4.09 GAA. In his last start, he allowed five goals on 41 shots for a .878 SV% en route to a 5-1 loss to the Florida Panthers.
Based on his metrics, positive regression is unlikely for Nedeljkovic. If he qualified, Nedeljkovic would rank second-to-last among starting goaltenders in goals saved above expected per 60 minutes (GSAx/60) at 5-on-5.
This poor play should continue against Minnesota, a team he has historically struggled against. Across two career starts against the Wild, Nedeljkovic is 0-1-1 with a .828 SV% and 5.50 GAA.
In front of Nedeljkovic is a fade-worthy defense that ranks just 21st in the league in expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60) at 5v5. This blue line is currently thin with the absences of Olli Maatta and Robert Hagg, which certainly will not help an already poor defensive group.
Meanwhile, this defense may not get much goal support as the Red Wings rank fifth-to-last in the league in expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60) at 5-on-5.
Like the blue line, the offense is riddled with injuries, as Tyler Bertuzzi, Jakub Vrana and Dylan Larkin are all expected to miss this game.
The Wild are starting to turn their season around, winning two straight games and eight of their last 11. This contest is a good opportunity to keep buying on a Wild team that’s better than their 15-11-2 record suggests.
Slated to take the crease for Minnesota is goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. While the future Hall-of-Famer has been only marginally better than the opposing goalie in this matchup, he’s coming off a strong performance against the high-powered Edmonton Oilers.
In that game, Fleury stopped 20-of-21 pucks for a .952 SV% en route to a big home victory. There’s no denying that it has been a forgettable campaign for the veteran netminder, but perhaps he found some confidence in that outing against Edmonton that he can build upon.
It helps that one of the better defenses in hockey skates in front of Fleury. Minnesota ranks fourth in the league in expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60) in 5-on-5.
Red Wings vs. Wild Pick
Like Detroit, the Wild’s offense has left a lot to be desired this season. However, Minnesota still boasts the better offense, defense and goaltender in this matchup.
Add into the mix that the Red Wings are currently crippled with injuries both on the front and back ends, and Detroit should struggle mightily on the road against a team that’s starting to find its footing.
Detroit has been a fade-worthy team all season, although Husso has bailed it out countless times.
With Nedeljkovic getting the start instead of Husso, the Red Wings likely won’t be as fortunate in this contest.
Pick: Wild -1.5 (+100 · Play to -110)