NHL Picks: Wild vs. Red Wings

David Schwab

Thursday, January 24, 2013 8:32 PM GMT

The new-look Minnesota Wild will try and keep their fast start going this Friday night when they pay a visit to Joe Louis Arena to tangle with the Detroit Red Wings in this Western Conference matchup.

NHL Game Preview and Pick- Minnesota Wild vs. Detroit Red Wings

 Year-to-Date NHL Record: 2-1

The puck is set to drop at 4:30 p.m. (PT) Nationally on the NHL Network. Let's review the betting odds that the bookmakers have set for this one and try to some winning hockey picks today.

Wild Overview

Minnesota heads on the road for the first time this year after going 2-1 at home in its first three games of the new season. All of which they were favored on the NHL odds boards. The Wild opened things up 4-2 victory over Colorado as 130 favorites and shutout Dallas 1-0 as 152 favorites before falling to Nashville 3-1 this past Tuesday as 144 favorites at home. The total had been set at five for all three games; staying UNDER in two.

With both Zack Parise and Ryan Suter joining the fold as prized free agents this past offseason, Minnesota took a major jump up the futures boards and is currently listed at 10/1 odds to win the Western Conference. Parise has made an instant impact on offense with a goal and three assists while Suter has helped bolster a defense that has given-up just five goals in its first three games.

Red Wings Overview

The Red Wings kicked things off last Saturday with an ugly 6-0 loss to St. Louis as 124 underdogs on the road. They stayed on the road to grind-out a 4-3 shootout victory over Columbus this past Monday but came out flat in their home opener the following night in a 2-1 loss to Dallas as 127 favorites. The total went OVER in their first two games but stayed UNDER the 5.5-point line against the Stars. 

While there is some obvious rust on offense for Detroit with four regulation goals in three games, the bigger concern could be the play of Jimmy Howard so far in goal. He put forth a much better effort in the one-goal loss to Dallas, but he has an overall save percentage of just .892 to complement an inflated 3.65 goals-against-average. Offensively, Pavel Datsyuk leads the team with three points (one goal and two assists) including a game-tying goal midway in the third period to send the game against the Blue Jackets to overtime.

Wild vs. Red Wings Betting Lines and Trends

BetOnline Money Line: Wild +119        Red Wings -131

Bet Online Total Line: 5.5

The Wild are 5-21 in their last 26 road games and 2-11 in their last 13 games against the Central Division. The total has stayed UNDER in seven of their last 12 games when playing on two day’s rest.

The Red Wings are 7-3 in their last 10 games on two day’s rest and 29-14 in their last 43 games against the Northwest Division. The total has stayed UNDER in six of their last seven home games.

Head-to-head in this matchup, the road team is 5-3 in the last eight meetings and the total has stayed UNDER in five of the last seven games. Minnesota is 10-29-3 in its last 42 games against Detroit.

[gameodds]7/218149/43/us[/gameodds]

Wild vs. Red Wings Game Prediction

This is definitely not the same Minnesota team that the Red Wings have been used to playing in the past which tends to heavily discount the trends in this matchup. The one trend you cannot discount is Detroit playing in its own building. I suggest that you count on the Red Wings to show why they are still one of the best home teams in the league for one of my free picks. They should get another win at Joe Lewis Arena on Friday night.


NHL Free Picks: Detroit 4 - Minnesota 2(lines provided by BetOnline)