NHL Odds, Preview, Expert Pick & Prediction: Red Wings vs. Senators (February 27)

NHL Odds, Preview, Expert Pick & Prediction: Red Wings vs. Senators (February 27) article feature image

Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Head coach Derek Lalonde of the Detroit Red Wings

  • The Red Wings and Senators meet on Monday night in what's likely each team's most important game of the season so far.
  • Detroit has employed a grinding, low-event style of play that's sparked a surge of recent success.
  • Below, Nicholas Martin explains why how that style if factoring into his betting angle for tonight's game.

Red Wings vs. Senators Odds

Red Wings Odds+115
Senators Odds-138
Over/Under6.5 (-105 / -115)
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.
There is just a glimmer of hope in the NHL playoff race for the Senators, who are being offered a 7.2% chance of sneaking in based upon MoneyPuck.com's NHL model.
Ottawa is favored over the visiting Red Wings at -130 on Monday night, which is likely a surprise to many considering Detroit's recent 7-2-0 surge up the standings.
This is the biggest game of the season for each of these sides, which could hold some significance in the betting market.
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Detroit Red Wings in Control

Coach Derek Lalonde was brought to Detroit with the reputation and belief that he would help stabilize the defensive structure that had been lacking through many developing seasons.

Over the last month, that notion has started to shine through while the Red Wings have fallen into a winning groove with notably low-event hockey games.

Detroit's last 15 games have averaged just 5.2 combined goals, and the Red Wings are 10-5-0 in those matchups while surging back into the playoff race.

The Red Wings have done an excellent job of avoiding costly breakdowns and looking to capitalize on the opposition's mistakes while not playing an overly aggressive game.

The numbers agree as Detroit has been one of the lowest-event teams in the league based upon game total of high-danger chances over that large 15-game sample. Detroit has generated just 2.86 xGF/60, which is the ninth-lowest rate in the league, yet has allowed little at the other end with an xGA/60 average of 3.03.

MoneyPuck rates the Red Wings' playoff hopes just a bit higher than Ottawa's at 10% despite Detroit holding a four-point lead on even games played. The reasoning being that the site's model does not view Detroit's recent play as highly analytically.

Part of the reason for Detroit's surprising upswing has been an excellent run in goal from both Ville Husso and Magnus Hellberg.

Hellberg is listed as likely for this matchup, but the ultimate decision does not hold significant bearing from a handicapping perspective.

Hellberg has played to a +3.8 GSAx and .907 save % throughout 10 games played.

Ottawa Senators' Playoff Hopes Not Dead

Ottawa has been on a similar tear and has put together an 8-3-1 run of its own over the last month of action to get loosely back into the playoff mix.

The Senators' elite scoring-chance creation has actually been down over that run, generating a 12th-best 3.49 xGF/60 throughout the sample.

Yet Ottawa has succeeded in converting more of its chances at a better clip.  That makes sense as the club's significant struggles to score at five-on-five early on did not make a ton of sense considering the talents on hand.

The Senators have allowed just 3.42 xGA/60 at the other end, and they have taken some steps forward defensively during this improved run of results.

Cam Talbot has been confirmed as Ottawa's starter for this matchup, and he has played to a +1.1 GSAx and .905 save % throughout 29 appearances.

Red Wings vs. Senators Pick

Throughout Detroit's surprising push toward the postseason, it has trended into playing a notably low-event brand of hockey and looking to make fewer mistakes than its opponent, which should be the idea here.

The result has been a lot of low-scoring Wings games, and the eye test matches the underlying results on that front.

The fact that Detroit matches up well with Ottawa here is why the total still sits at 6.5. As with the rest of the league, however, scoring will likely trend downward in the meaningful spots, which is exactly what this contest is.

This is a good spot to back the under given the way that Detroit is looking to win games right now. I believe the Red Wings can keep the favored Senators' offense at bay, yet they lack meaningful scoring punch themselves.

Pick: Under 6.5 (-115) | Play to -125

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