NHL Odds, Preview & Prediction: Red Wings vs. Blackhawks (Jan. 26)

NHL Odds, Preview & Prediction: Red Wings vs. Blackhawks (Jan. 26) article feature image

Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Moritz Seider

  • The Detroit Red Wings are slight home favorites over the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night.
  • Grant White takes a look at the odds and suggests there's value on both a side and the total at Little Caesar's Arena.

Red Wings vs. Blackhawks Odds

Blackhawks Odds+100
Red Wings Odds-120
Over/Under5.5 (-105/-115)
Time7:30 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

There's always something special about an Original Six matchup, even if those teams have fallen on hard times. The Chicago Blackhawks come into Wednesday night's matchup against the Detroit Red Wings on a four-game losing streak, with just four wins over their past 14 games.

The Wings haven't been much better over their recent stretch, winning just three of their past 11. The good news is one of those records is improving after Wednesday night.

The Red Wings Are Trending Up 

Relative to last season, the Red Wings have made meaningful progress. Detroit was expected to be near the bottom of the standings with their rebuilding roster. Nevertheless, the Wings have been competitive thanks to their responsible defensive play and opportunistic offense, driven by their top line.

The key to the Wings' success this season has been limiting their opponents quality chances. Detroit has allowed nine or fewer high-danger opportunities at five-on-five, in five straight games. There's a strong correlation between the Wings solid defensive play and wins, as they are 7-4-1 at home this season when they limit their opponents to single-digit quality chances at five-on-five. They should have no problem improving those metrics against a Blackhawks squad that is struggling to generate offense.

As is the case with most young teams, goals come in bunches for the Red Wings. Detroit has scored three or more goals in three of four, scoring on 9.2% of shots over that span. That has helped stake them to expected goals for ratings above 50.0% across all strengths in three of four contests while only walking away victorious in two of those games. That trend extends further back, as the Detroit has outplayed five of its past nine opponents, while recording just three victories. The metrics are working in the Wings' favor and more wins should follow.

The Blackhawks Are Struggling for Goals

The Hawks offensive well is running dry, and there's little indication from their metrics that they are due for increased output. The Blackhawks have attempted more than seven high-danger chances just twice over their previous eight contests. Scoring chances are even more diminished with Chicago attempting 23 or fewer in 15 of its past 16 games.

Those atrocious metrics directly impact goal scoring, as the Hawks have been limited to two or fewer goals at five-on-five in 13 of 16 and three or fewer total goals in 12 of 14. What hurts the Blackhawks the most is that their shooting percentage is 7.8% over that 14-game sample, which is almost identical to their season-long 8.1% rating. The available metrics suggest that these inefficient outings are par for the course for the Hawks this season.

Thankfully, Marc-Andre Fleury has been keeping the Hawks competitive recently. The veteran netminder has put up above average save percentages in six of his past seven, with a cumulative 93.6% mark over that span. Somewhat unexpectedly, Fleury has been much better on the road, posting a 2.53 goals against average and 92.1% save percentage on the road, compared to his 3.01 and 90.6% averages at the United Center.

That's a good sign that Fleury will help the Hawks stay competitive against Detroit.

Red Wings vs. Blackhawks Pick

Purveyors of closing line value will want to hop on the Wings bandwagon at a discounted price, as this line is likely to move in their favor. We like their chances to extend the Hawks recent misery, as they use last change to their advantage to neutralize an underwhelming Hawks offense.

Goals should be hard to come by, as two tepid offenses compete against each team's respective strengths. All of which suggests the Wings should win a low-scoring affair.

Pick: Red Wings -125, Under 5.5 -110

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