NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Red Wings vs. Penguins (March 27)
Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Danton Heinen
- The Penguins are big home favorites against the Red Wings on Sunday evening.
- It's a tough spot for Detroit, which has been playing out a disappointing conclusion to the season.
- Our NHL betting analyst has a clear pick on the puck-line. You can read his full analysis as to why below.
Red Wings vs. Penguins Odds
|Red Wings Odds||+240|
|Time||5 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The well-rested Pittsburgh Penguins look to snap a two-game losing streak when they host the Detroit Red Wings for a Sunday matinee.
Detroit has struggled mightily of late, skating to a 2-6-2 record over its last 10. Could this be a perfect setup for a comfortable get-right win from the Pens?
Penguins Offense Continues to be Elite
The Penguins enter this one in the midst of a close battle for home-ice with the Rangers in the first round. They hold just a one-point edge for second in the Metropolitan with one game in hand.
Since March 1, the Penguins have the league’s best expected goals for rating at 59.74 and have simply played a lot of really good hockey, as you would expect from it’s well balanced roster.
We saw them play one of the sloppier games of the season Friday as they were firmly dominated by the Rangers, but those night’s happen and it’s more likely to be a one-off than anything else.
Evgeni Malkin is considered day-to-day with illness and is the only potentially notable absence, but should he miss the contest the team still holds a plethora of talent up front.
Tristan Jarry projects to start in goal for Pittsburgh, and has been excellent in a bounce-back season He suffered a poor stat line against New York, but it was clear that was on the nature of the chances faced and not his play.
Jarry holds a +14.1 goals saved above expected rating with a .921 save % throughout 51 games played this year.
Red Wings Skating Out the String
The Red Wings were scrappy in Saturday afternoon’s loss the Lightning, and even the defeat was somewhat of a bright spot in an otherwise lowly run of form.
The Red Wings have the fifth-worst expected goals rate throughout 10 contests this month (44.61), leading to a 2-6-2 record. That’s continued a trend we’ve seen from this team for most of the season since it got off to a hot start way back at the start, and it’s what we should continue to expect as the season winds down.
The top trio of Dylan Larkin, Lucas Raymond and Tyler Bertuzzi has started to produce less dominant results, and considering what lies behind that unit it isn’t surprising that Detroit now find itself scuffling to create chances. A 2.58 xGF/60 rating throughout the last 10 games runs in line with the eye test, which suggests that this is a one-dimensional offense.
Moritz Seider is the clear and deserving Calder favorite and offers a massive bright spot for the Red Wings moving forward, but we are seeing a developmental roster skate out the season at this point.
Alex Nedeljkovic will likely go back-to-back in goal with Thomas Greiss currently sidelined. As common logic might suggest, life has not been as easy for Nedeljkovic playing behind the Red Wings this season as it was in Carolina last year.
Nedeljkovic has played to a -6.9 goals saved above expected rating with a .904 save % in 47 games.
Red Wings vs. Penguins Pick
Even at -115 to cover the puck-line, I feel we have a lot of value in the Penguins, and until that number moves there is one clear way to wager on this contest.
Detroit has lost by two or more in 10 of its last 16 contests with -1.75 goal differential, so it’s easy to argue that getting a puck-line close to 2-to-1 already would blindly hold value.
Factoring in that this is a considerably tougher opponent and spot being a road back-to-back, this number is simply too close.
Books are less ridged on what their idea of true odds are regarding an NHL game, and this will likely be another instance of easy-to-predict line movement when everybody eventually piles in on the Pens.
I recommend grabbing the Pens -1.5 at -115 early, as it’s hard for me to imagine a better price coming available for any reason, and we could gain even more value should a third goaltending option outside of Greiss or Nedeljkovic get the start for Detroit.
Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins -1.5 -115
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