Red Wings to Beat Panthers in Matchup of Middling Teams

Dana Lane

Monday, December 11, 2017 6:04 PM UTC

Monday, Dec. 11, 2017 6:04 PM UTC

With both teams' season hanging by a thread, the Detroit Red Wings look to take advantage of some home cookin’ when they take on the Florida Panthers on Monday with a puck drop at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Free NHL Pick: Wings -125Best Line Offered: Bovada

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Florida Panthers at Detroit Red Wings

The Florida Panthers haven’t exactly been the easiest of teams for the Detroit Red Wings to get by; in fact, the Panthers have beaten the Wings in 7 of their last 8 meetings in the Motor City, but we don’t make wagers based on historical elements considering the dynamics of tonight’s game has very little to do with past meetings. With the Wings eight points out of a playoff spot and Florida nine, you can understand the anxiety from both fan bases, but we know the pressures of past success weighs heavier on the Wings.

Make no mistake, with this being a home game the “spark” edge will be with Detroit. If Jeff Blashill’s team drops this one I question his ability to motivate against a team they are better than on home ice. The public backed the Panthers with the opening line moving from Detroit -125 to -121 at BetOnline. There are some places that are taking some Red Wings money; Bookmaker has moved their number to - 127. As always, make sure to shop around. The majority of numbers indicate that both professional and public money is on the Panthers, music to my ears.

One very simple rule that doesn’t always work but is a decent barometer is remembering that casinos and books aren’t in business because they lose. The Panthers sit dead last in the NHL in goals allowed per game (3.51). I can’t justify betting a team that can't stop its opponent and appears to be getting worse. In the Panthers' last five games they’ve allowed 4.2 goals per game on 36 shots. That may play into the hands of Detroit, which is better at home offensively averaging 3.0 goals per game at Little Caesars Arena.

Three per game is not great but good enough. As we know, a huge part of winning wagers is reliability on goaltending. James Reimer will get the start for Florida with Jimmy Howard likely for the Wings. Reimer comes in with a 5-7-3 record, supported by a horrible .888 save percentage and 3.81 goals against. That’s all I need to know, no matter who is in net for Detroit. Reimer hasn’t given up less than three goals since a 2-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils, ONE MONTH AGO.

In his last 12 games, Reimer has given up 43 goals, or 3.58 per game. Of his 16 games, only three times did Reimer end the game with a save percentage over 92%. Howard’s (9-9-4, .905, 2.95) numbers don’t jump off the page but at least I can point to a recent game where he’s had success against a good team when he allowed just one goal against Winnipeg. I thought the Wings' defensive play in front of Howard was exceptional.

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