NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Red Wings vs. Blues (Dec. 9)
Joel Auerbach/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Detroit Red Wings goaltender Thomas Greiss.
- The Red Wings are road underdogs against the Blues on Thursday night.
- Detroit has bounced back from a four-game losing streak to win five of their last six.
- Greg Liodice breaks down this matchup and shares his best bet below.
Red Wings vs. Blues Odds
|Red Wings Odds||+150|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Before the Detroit Red Wings shifted to the Eastern Conference, they shared a pretty heated rivalry with the St. Louis Blues.
Now that these teams only play each other twice a year, it’s not as easy to rekindle that old flame. Both teams enter Thursday’s game hot, though, so rivalry or not, this will be a battle.
Since winning the Stanley Cup three years ago, the Blues have veered off into mediocrity. Good enough to make the playoffs, but not good enough to do damage. However, this year could be fairly different, as they’re currently tied for second in the stacked Central Division.
Detroit was supposed to be in the middle of a rebuild, but that might have been amplified. The Red Wings are one of the hottest teams in the league, winners of five out of their last six contests, and show no signs of slowing down.
St. Louis Blues
While the Blues haven’t been as steady as Detroit, they’ve still been viewed as one of the better teams out west. Youngster Jordan Kyrou is having a breakout season with 24 points in 25 games, Robert Thomas has shown he’s a playmaker extraordinaire (although he’ll be out with an injury) as well. And despite all the offseason drama, Vladimir Tarasenko is playing his best hockey in a few years.
It’s hard to ignore the ascension for the Blues, because all they needed was some young guns to take over and they have that in Kyrou and Thomas.
The Blues are a pretty decent team at generating play. Currently standing 15th in the NHL, the Blues have a 2.49 expected goals per 60 minutes. While they don’t generate as many high danger chances as they’d like, the power play is where they shine and get most of their offense.
If Edmonton’s power play wasn’t historically good, they would stand first, but they’ll have to settle with the second-best power play that’s scoring at a 29.6% clip.
Jordan Binnington usually is the man in the crease, but due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, he won’t be starting in this matchup. Instead, Ville Husso will and he’s really done a fantastic job whenever he’s in relief and shaping up to be a top backup in the league.
Currently, Husso currently stands with a .929 SV% and a 4.4 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx), so it’ll be interesting to see if a consistent amount of starts help or hurt him.
Detroit Red Wings
Is it safe to say that the Red Wings are legit? The up-and-comers in the Motor City are rolling and they’re not afraid to let the league know about it.
Rookie Lucas Raymond is proving he’s an absolute stud, leading the team in scoring with 22 points, and fellow rookie Moritz Seider isn’t far behind, playing like a 10-year veteran on the blue line.
Unfortunately, they will be without star Tyler Bertuzzi, as he’s still in the COVID-19 protocol, but captain Dylan Larkin is carrying the load as well with 21 points. There’s a lot to like about this squad and they’re just getting started.
Detroit plays a completely different style game than St. Louis. They rank toward the bottom of xGF per 60 at 2.19, and generate a high number of high danger chances. Not to mention, their power play is abysmal. With all the young talent they have, the power play must get better since the group is only scoring at a 15.9% rate.
Alex Nedeljkovic has taken over the reins as starting goaltender in Detroit, even though he and Thomas Greiss often split starts. However, Nedeljkovic has really come into his own, starting with his .918 SV% and a quality 3.2 GSAx.
Greiss hasn’t had the same amount of success, with an .899 SV% and a -0.3 GSAx. Since Greiss hasn’t played in a little more than a week, I think he’ll get the nod for the matchup, but it’s still too early to tell.
Red Wings vs. Blues Pick
With everything that’s going on with the St. Louis, I’m inclined to pick Detroit in this matchup. St. Louis is missing Robert Thomas and Justin Faulk, as well as Binnington. While I like Husso, I prefer the young talent in Detroit over the Finnish goaltender.
This has the potential to be a close game, but in the end, I see the Red Wings taking the cake in this matchup.
Pick: Detroit ML (+150)