NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Red Wings vs. Blackhawks — A Perfect Spot for the Plus-Money Home Team (October 21)
Photo by David Berding/Getty Images. Pictured: Alex Stalock.
- Despite a 2-0-1 start to the season, Detroit's underlying metrics are concerning.
- The Blackhawks, on the other hand, are a bad team that won't lie down for anyone.
- Given the situation, taking Chicago at home makes a lot of sense at plus money.
Red Wings vs. Blackhawks Odds
|Red Wings Odds||-125|
|Time||8:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Oddshere.|
In one of just the three games on Friday's slate, the Central Division's Chicago Blackhawks host the Atlantic Division's Detroit Red Wings. Last season, these teams split the two meetings they had against each other.
Will the Red Wings take care of business, or can the Blackhawks pull off the upset as a short home underdog?
Detroit Red Wings
The Detroit Red Wings enter this contest following their 5-4 overtime loss at home to the Los Angeles Kings. Despite starting the season 2-0-1, Detroit's metrics have been concerning.
At 5v5, the Red Wings rank just 23rd in the league in expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60) and 27th in expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60). These poor figures are a continuation of last season, as Detroit ended the year ranked 23rd in xGF and 29th in xGA at 5v5.
While this team is certainly trending in the right direction under general manager Steve Yzerman, the group is still in a transitional period. I am bullish on this team and think they absolutely will have a strong year, but they are still figuring things out despite the 2-0-1 record.
Their two wins thus far in the season came at home against a tanking Canadiens team and on the road against a New Jersey team that is still trying to figure out its identity. Over their last 10 games against the Blackhawks, Detroit is just 3-7 straight up.
Entering this game on almost a week's rest, the Chicago Blackhawks will look to grab a victory on home ice to improve to .500. While this Chicago team is terrible and is going to be terrible all season long, they are not just going to lie down — especially on home ice.
A surprise for the Blackhawks through the first three games is how good their blue line has been. At 5v5, Chicago ranks second in the league in xGA/60.
This defensive corps could also get an added boost on Friday with the return of Jake McCabe, who missed the start of the season with a neck injury. A stay-at-home defenseman, McCabe was very strong on the back end last season.
We should expect to see goaltender Alex Stalock backing up this defense, who was brilliant in his season debut against the Golden Knights. In that game, he stopped 36 of 37 pucks for a .973 SV%. Among starting goaltenders, Stalock ranks seventh at 5v5 in goals saved above expected per 60 minutes (GSAx/60).
In his one career start against Detroit, Stalock is 1-0 with a .962 SV% while allowing just one goal.
Red Wings vs. Blackhawks Pick
We are getting a home team at plus money coming off five days rest. In most circumstances, that is a blind bet.
However, this game is particularly an advantageous spot to take the home team. Chicago has had Detroit's number over the last couple of seasons and are coming off the best game they have played thus far.
Stalock looked incredible against Vegas and dominated Detroit in his one start against them back in 2020. Meanwhile, the Red Wings are still figuring out how to most efficiently utilize the new personnel and have not looked like they are clicking as a group just yet.
I do not expect Detroit to put up a ton of scoring in this game, so 3-4 goals from Chicago should be enough to win this one.
Pick: Chicago Blackhawks ML (+105) | Play down to (-110)