Red Wings vs. Predators NHL Odds & Pick: Take Detroit to Avenge Loss on Thursday (March 25)
Brett Carlsen/Getty Images. Pictured Darren Helm #43 of the Detroit Red Wings and Calle Jarnkrok #19 of the Nashville Predators.
- When these teams met earlier in the week, a ref and his whistle made all the headlines.
- Nashville has won three of four and defeated Detroit 2-0 on Tuesday.
- Matt Russell explains why he likes the Red Wings' fortunes to flip in the rematch.
Red Wings vs. Predators Odds
|Red Wings Odds
|Thursday, 7 p.m. ET
|Odds as of Wednesday and via BetMGM
It wasn’t supposed to be a significant game in the NHL season. The Predators and Red Wings are two teams that don’t have much hope for a playoff spot, and their previous matchups have not been memorable. That changed on Tuesday night when a hot mic caught referee Tim Peel admitting he was looking to call a penalty on the Nashville Predators as a matter of a ‘make-up call’. Once the audio clip went viral, the NHL acted swiftly in sending Peel to early retirement.
This is making the rounds in the NHL media circles, particularly here in Canada. However, for hockey bettors, it couldn’t be less relevant. When it comes to Thursday night’s rematch between the Preds and Wings, we’re looking to act swiftly on our part, as oddsmakers seem to be making their own make-up call after adjusting their price on Nashville and Detroit.
The Predators were -145 home favorites on Tuesday night when the Red Wings came to Music City. This is in stark contrast to a month ago when the Predators were -160 favorites on the road in Detroit. Two weeks before that, Nashville was -200 at home in a pair of games with the Red Wings. Since then, the Predators have been beset by injuries to their blue line and inconsistency between the pipes which has dropped their rating in the market.
This drop in the Predators market rating comes after they’ve won three of four games. They made it four of five with a 2-0 win at home on Tuesday. Now Nashville is all of a sudden back to -175 in their opening price, just two days later. This might have to do with the potential return of a key piece to their defence. Even more likely is the win on the front-end of this back-to-back and the four recent wins may be making the market believe in the Predators again.
However, if we look deeper into this Nashville hot streak, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. In their last five games, the Predators have created 40 High-Danger Chances (HDC) at even-strength and have allowed their opponents’ 45 HDCs 5-on-5. From an Expected Goals standpoint, the Predators have been given credit for an average of 1.57 XGF, but 2.01 Expected Goals Against. Given that ratio, the Predators would be lucky to get out of this stretch with two wins, let alone four.
Expected goals (also known as xG) is a predictive statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as shooting luck or outstanding goaltending.
Simply put, an expected goals rate (xGF%) above 50% is considered good because it means a team is creating the majority of the scoring chances. Anything below 50% is usually a sign that a team is struggling to control play.
xG numbers cited from Evolving Hockey.
Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings had their own fortunate stretch recently, with wins against Tampa Bay, Carolina and Dallas — the three highest-rated teams in the Central Division in my “Let’s Do That Hockey” model as heard on THE WINDOW: Sports Betting Podcast. The Red Wings play a tight-checking brand of hockey which keeps them in the vast majority of games. Given this style of play, they’re often an attractive value play priced at or above +200. Imagine my surprise when they were just +125 underdogs on Tuesday night.
The Red Wings are more patient than I would be. They keep sending Thomas Greiss out there to stand in the crease, presumably expecting a different result. The 2-0 shutout loss, the Wings’ second-straight shutout , isn’t Greiss’s fault, but the three aforementioned wins have come when Jonathan Bernier either started the game, or relieved Greiss. Bernier’s 12th in the NHL with a +5.22 Goals Saved Above Average (GSAA), while Greiss is still in what we affectionately call “Hogberg Territory” with a -10.41 GSAA, 61st in the NHL.
If the Red Wings’ offence wasn’t among the worst in the NHL, you could make the case that after getting shutout twice, they’d be due for a few goals on Thursday. While that might be assuming too much, at least Bernier is more reliable in what could be another low-scoring game. A more encouraging sign may be that in the previous two instances when the Red Wings lost the first game to Nashville, they got immediate revenge scoring nine goals in two games. In one such case it avenged a 2-0 loss.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The Red Wings have gotten our money often this season, mainly when they’re around +200 underdogs. While we’re never going to be back in that territory against a scuffling Predators team, it’s good to see that we can fade Nashville with a +150 price again. I don’t know if the NHL betting community piled into the Preds at a relatively cheap price, and the books got burned, but they’ve immediately snapped back to their old ways making the moneyline NSH -175/DET +150.
Just like the NHL with referree Tim Peel, we’re not going to waste any time jumping on the Red Wings at a price that might be a make-up call from Tuesday. Hopefully intentionally putting ourselves out there will have a better result than it did for Peel after he accidentally did so with that hot microphone.
Pick: Red Wings (+150 or better)