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NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Red Wings vs. Lightning (March 4)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Red Wings vs. Lightning (March 4) article feature image
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Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Alex Nedeljkovic.

Red Wings vs. Lightning Odds

Red Wings Odds +255
Lightning Odds -325
Over/Under 6.5 (+100 / -120)
Time 7 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The two-time defending champion Lightning will look to bounce back after a rare home loss last night to the Penguins, against whom Tampa Bay was truly competitive, against some much more middling competition in the developing, young Red Wings.

Can we see Detroit build on a strong home win over the Hurricanes here in a potentially favorable spot as a massive underdog?

Upstart Red Wings Showing Promise

After a surprisingly strong start to the year, Detroit have slowly tailed off toward the more mediocre play most would have expected. Altogether, the season has offered some serious positives for the club, with two legitimate Calder Trophy candidates skating on the same side in Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider.

Over its last seven games, Detroit has still competed at a respectable level, with a 4-3-0 record and a 49.02 expected goals rate. All of that is quite positive, especially considering five of those games have come against well above-average competition.

The Red Wings bounced back after a wild 10-7 loss to the Leafs with a very strong home 4-3 overtime win over an excellent Hurricanes team last time out. It seems that result was something this young group had been trending toward.

There are certainly some below-replacement-level pieces on this roster, but general manager Steve Yzerman’s young crew has shown some meaningful upside this season.

Alex Nedeljkovic should draw the start for Detroit between the pipes, He’ll be looking to build on some middling starts behind this young Red Wings core with a -2.5 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx) rating and a .903 save percentage in 38 games this season.

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Heavily Favored Lightning Coming Off Defeat

The Lightning suffered a rare loss at Amalie Arena last night against Pittsburgh and will look to bounce back here.

The Lightning have seemed, if anything, to be somewhat less dominant than a 54.5 expected goals rate over their last seven games suggests. They’ll need to play somewhat of a sharp game against a Red Wings team that has given quality opposition some tough tests of late.

The Lightning will be going with their backup in Brian Elliott for this one. He has played to a -2.4 GSAx with a .902 save percentage in 10 starts this season.

Red Wings vs. Lightning

Detroit hasn’t been in tremendous form by any means, but a 5-5-0 record over its last 10 is respectable. The Wings catch Tampa in a favorable spot here in the second leg of a back-to-back, in turn not having to face Vasilevskiy.

Tampa will be looking to bounce back quickly after losing last night, but I still feel that Detroit can hang around here and make this a contest more than the line suggests. It’s easy to feel that Tampa may be in somewhat of a coast mode until the meaningful contests come in the spring, similar to last season.

Detroit has been a league average team of late, and I do not see this as an easy spot for the Lightning to come out and simply run the Red Wings out of the building. Considering the parity in the NHL this season, I just do not feel the line should be this drastic.

Tampa Bay is priced as a massive -340 favorite, which I definitely don’t think provides any value to bettors. I see value backing the Red Wings at +1.5 at the current line of +120, and I’d play it down to +100.

I lean toward the over still at 6.5, but my best play on this one is with the Red Wings at +1.5.

Pick: Red Wings +1.5 (+120, play to +100)

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