Predators to Cash Road Ticket Against Red Wings

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Dana Lane

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 4:38 PM UTC

Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018 4:38 PM UTC

Nashville lost to Detroit a few nights ago and can avenge that defeat tonight. Is the revenge aspect strong enough to bet on the Predators with your NHL picks?

Tuesday NHL: Predators vs. Red WingsFree NHL Pick: Predators -108Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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Another cut-and-paste introduction after the Los Angeles Kings rolled to an easy 3-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night. It seems every day we can use the same headline that talks about how we stuffed more money in the bank. In addition to this column, I’m on an 18-4 run on "The Ice Guys" show.

For a winner with Tuesday's NHL picks, let's look at the game in Detroit. The Red Wings host the Nashville Predators, renewing an old Central Division rivalry. The number on the NHL odds board has been bet in the Wings direction after Nashville opened at -113. Bettors then jumped on Detroit, pushing the line to just -108 at 5Dimes. That trend isn’t consistent with every book, where we see -115’s. Another example of how important it is to shop.

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Back at it again tonight. #NSHvsDET

— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) February 20, 2018

The Red Wings beat the Predators 3-1 on Saturday in a victory fueled by goalie Petr Mrazek, who knew he was on his way out of Detroit. His last two games with the Wings were final dress rehearsals for the Flyers, so he allowed four total goals as a goodbye gift.

Jimmy Howard will get the start tonight and it’s not unreasonable to expect an inspired effort now that Mrazek has left town. However, can we really lean on Howard? If you anticipate a rejuvenated effort from a goaltender you better make sure he has the ability to deliver. Howard (18-18-6, 2.83 GAA, .910) has allowed 26 goals in his last eight starts (3.25) and nine in his past three. He is not a goaltender I think can give a better effort just because he doesn’t have his back-up looking over his shoulder.

The glaring problem with betting on Jeff Blashill’s Wings is that you can never rely on them to give a complete 60-minute effort, even when they have the lead. In fact, when the Wings score first they manage to hold the lead just 56 percent of the time; only six teams are worse. If the Predators score first you can forget a Detroit comeback; they’ve managed a comeback in just six of 26 chances (23 percent).

Those numbers might be better if they won a few key faceoffs. Detroit wins just 48 percent of their draws, a number that gets worse in 5-on-5 situations (28th) and not much better on the power play (25th).

I can’t back a team that is a horrible possession team against the caliber of opponent such as Nashville, especially in a revenge spot.

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