We have a lonely Sunday on the ice with the sportsbooks just able to post betting odds on one game today. Despite this, we will make the best of looking to supply you with other betting information.
Took a hit as the New Rangers surprisingly gave a very poor performance in loss to Philadelphia. In fact yesterday was a odd day in general, as road teams won seven of the 12 games played and five of them were underdogs beating the NHL odds. Let's move ahead to today.
Detroit Ends Drought Against Florida
This is the first stop for Florida (9-13 SU) on five-game road trip and one they frankly do not mind. On the season the Panthers are just 3-6 as visitors and if they want to reach .500 and be in contention for playoff berth later, this road trip is a great place to start.
Florida has won four in a row at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit and has not lost in regulation in six games with 5-0-1 record. These confrontations have always been tight, with the final score by one goal, with a couple going into OT or shootouts.
Detroit (12-11 SU) has been hanging tough in their last half dozen contests with a 4-0-2 record, picking up points each time. "We got to continue to mature as a hockey team and learn how to win those games in regulation," coach Jeff Blashill said. "It's a process, it's something we're going to have to get better at."
The Red Wings have been getting contributions from different sources like rookie forward Dylan Larkin, who just tallied his fifth goal in six contests while teammate Tomas Tatar scored his fifth in eight games. Tatar has been relatively effective against Florida in his career with has two goals and four assists in nine matchups.
Wagerweb.ag opened Detroit as -140 home favorites for this afternoon affair and while this hockey handicapper would agree using Florida for NHL picks is tempting, we will go the home team and here is why.
While I am often a fan of betting on teams that know how to beat another, the Red Wings are playing steady right now and are 11th in goals a game allowed 2.52. The Panthers have not done well against these types of teams and are just 10-27 versus teams conceding 2.55 or fewer goals a game the last two seasons.
Free NHL Pick: Detroit Red Wings (-145) at 5Dimes
Look to Play Against Bad Penalty Killers
With a little more than a quarter of the season past, it is good for those assembling sports picks to keep abreast of trends. For example, one right now is to play against teams giving up to many goals when down a man because of penalties. Here is the penalty kill numbers starting with the worst percentages first, plus current records.
Calgary 70.8% (8-16 SU, -7.7 units)
Minnesota 74.5% (11-11, -1.1)
Boston 75.3% (13.9, +3.3)
Buffalo 75.4% (10-14, +0.3)
Tampa Bay 76.1% (11-14, -8.0)
Carolina 76.1% (8-15, -6.9)
Florida 76.8% (9-13, -3.9)
With the NHL having gone away from the heavy-hitting to a more free-flowing game, the inability to win in special teams situations has become critical. Though all teams lose for various reasons, some are very easy to point out, like those listed above.
Calgary, Tampa Bay and Florida are very easy to understand, with losing records and losing units records on the money line. Minnesota was not doing that well in this category to begin with and it is not a coincidence they have fallen to 29th, having lost six of seven. Buffalo has a losing record but has positive units mark by virtue of a few big upsets and you can bet they did a better job on penalty kills in those games. Boston does not fit the profile but how they have overcome this weakness in part is having the best power play, scoring an enormous 32.4 percent of the time.
If you are betting hockey like me, know all the edges you can.