NHL Picks: Red Wings vs. Blues

David Schwab

Thursday, February 7, 2013 12:28 PM GMT

Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013 12:28 PM GMT

This Thursday night will mark the third time this shortened season that the Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues will face one another is this Central Division rivalry. WHo do we back for our NHL picks?

NHL Game Preview and Pick- Detroit Red Wings vs. St. Louis Blues

Year-to-Date NHL Record: 12-2-1

All the action from the Scottrade Center is set to get underway at 5 p.m. (PT) and the game will be available on NHL Center Ice.

Red Wings Overview

SBR Forum betting odds had the Red Wings listed at 6/1 to win the Western Conference this season according to Bovada’s futures but a 6-0 shutout at the hands of the Blues on opening day set the tone for what has been a disappointing 4-4-1 start. Detroit lost as a 124 road underdog in that game but evened the season series up with a 5-3 victory last Friday night as a 105 underdog at home. The total went OVER in both games but it has stayed UNDER in three of its last five games.

The problems with the Red Wings have been across the board starting with an anemic offense that is averaging 2.4 goals a game. Add in the fact that they are giving-up an average of 3.1 goals a game and it is easy to see why Detroit is currently in 10th place in the conference standings. The team has also been ineffective on both ends of the power play with a conversion rate of just 12.2 percent and a kill rate of 69.8 percent.

Blues Overview

St. Louis won the Central Division last season and was the No.2 seed in the West but garnered little respect from the NHL Odds makers heading into this season as the fifth-favorite to win the conference at 7/1. With a 6-3 start, the Blues have already served notice they plan to be a factor in this year’s race as well.

Known for its defense last season behind goalies Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak, St. Louis has shown some tremendous firepower on offense this year with a goals-per-game average of 3.4. It leads the league on the power play; scoring on 33.3 percent of its chances and boasts nine different players with at least two goals so far. Patrik Berglund and rookie Vladimir Tarasenko have led the way with five goals apiece and Tarasenko is the team’s point leader at 10 with five assists.

Red Wings vs. Blues Betting Lines and Trends

BetOnline has opened St. Louis as a 165 home favorite on the money line with Detroit listed as a 156 road underdog. The total line for this contest has been set at 5.5

The Red Wings are 2-6 in their last eight division games and 3-13 in their last 16 games on the road. The total has stayed UNDER in six of their last nine games on one day’s rest.

The Blues are 37-16 in their last 53 games on one day’s rest and 38-15 in their last 53 games against a team with a losing record. The total has gone OVER in six of their last 10 games in the division.

Head-to-head in this matchup, the home team is 7-1 in the last eight meetings and the total has gone OVER in eight of the last 11 games played in St. Louis.

[gameodds]7/217427/43/us[/gameodds]

Red Wings vs. Blues Free NHL Pick

Given the current form of each team coupled with the fact that the home team has dominated this series in recent years, the free NHL Pick in this matchup is St. Louis. While they have had some issues keeping the puck out of the net so far, the Red Wings are still struggling to get into any kind of consistent groove on offense.

Free NHL Picks St. Louis 4 - Detroit 2 (lines provided by BetOnline)

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