NHL Picks: Finding Value In Redwings' Last Chance At Playoffs

Dana Lane

Monday, March 28, 2016 2:00 PM GMT

If the Redwings lose this game it will be a serious blow to their chances of making the playoffs for a 25th straight season, so let's at the NHL Odds and game details befor placing our hockey bets.

The Detroit Redwings (37-27-11 85 pts) are not a very good hockey team and probably will not overtake the Philadelphia Flyers for the last wild card spot in the East even though they are tied in points now. This essentially a game Detroit must win with the Flyers owning a game in hand. This is not the time of year when I want to hear a head coach talk about team defense which we've heard Jeff Blashill refer to a few times recently.  I used to be confused as to the identity of the Wings but as of now they can only be classified as a below average.  The next four games will decide Detroit fate as they face teams who have been eliminated from the playoffs

Thankfully for them the Buffalo Sabres (31-34-10 72 pts) are worse despite their recent surge. The Redwings have completely dominated this series winning 29 of their last 34 meetings with two overtime losses including a 3-0 shutout back in January. They've won 16 of the last 18 match-ups at the Joe. 

Detroit has won three of four against Buffalo this season including the past two games by a combined 7-3 score. Buffalo has had a resurgence after officially being eliminated from the playoffs.  The Sabres are giving their young players some more ice time. Forward Hudson Fasching and defensemen Casey Nelson made their NHL debut in Buffalo's 3-2 win against Winnipeg Saturday.  However, young players seeing the Jets jersey will be a little different than the Wings.  Most of these guys were most likely inspired but the Wings success over the last 24 seasons. Perhaps we will see a unfocused Sabres team to start allowing Detroit to start strong. 

Chad Johnson will start in the crease for Buffalo. Johnson has won three of four straight starts filling in for Robin Lehner who is day to day with an ankle injury and this has impacted the NHL odds.  Inconsistency has plagued Johnson his whole career so with his recent success it's reasonable to think a bad start is coming.

It's also reasonable to think that Pavel Datsyuk will have find the scoresheet as he has seven points in his last six games and 23 in 24 career meetings against Buffalo. 

From a trend perspective it's simple.  The Sabres have not been a betting option for a long time.  In their last 239 games Buffalo is a horrific 40-87, 40-87 against the Eastern Conference in their last 127 games and 30-80 in their last 110 road games. When Buffalo is involved it's never the side I want to be on.

To compare historic numbers, the Redwings are 317-148-20 in their last 485 home games against teams with a losing home record.   

After dropping a 7-2 decision to Pittsburgh at home I would think that we are going to see the best out of Detroit tonight, so well make the Red Wings our NHL pick for this game.

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Free NHL Pick:  Red Wings -155
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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