It was a real nice night with my free NHL picks was I went 3-for-4 and was a little disappointed in myself for the loss we took.
That loss featured the Capitals vs. Panthers as I originally liked the over but identified some under trends as I went through my research, including two of the best penalty killing teams in the NHL and a couple of goaltenders with very good historical numbers coming off their best starts of the season. Well, that wasn’t the case as the two clubs each scored a goal in the game’s opening two minutes, setting a trend to come. The clubs traded goals back and forth and the total went well over 6.5 in a 5-4 Capitals OT win.
However, it was all gravy from there on out. It was close, but the Flyers stayed hot on home ice with a 3-2 overtime win over the Montreal Canadiens, notching us a winner at -115 odds.
Later on, we capitalized on a home underdogs as the Blackhawks indeed got their offense going while delivering the Canucks their defensive regression in a 5-2 ‘Hawks win. We collected that winner at nice +120 odds.
Finally, this one was much harder than it needed to be, but the San Jose Sharks edged the visiting Minnesota Wild. San Jose held a 6-2 lead going into the third, but the Wild scored three third period goals in a furious push to tie the game, however we managed to come away with a 6-5 win at -140 odds.
Season Record: 16-10
Let’s take a look at my first of two free NHL picks on the night featuring the Bruins vs. Red Wings from Little Caesars Arena in Detroit!
Bruins vs. Red Wings Betting Odds
Red Wings (+218)
Over 6.0 (-110)
Bruins vs. Red Wings NHL Pick Breakdown
Let’s go ahead and break down this Original Six matchup before getting into our final pick!
The Bruins are off to a hot start this season as they currently sit atop the Atlantic Division with an 11-2-2 record on the season, however both of their regulation losses as well as three of their four losses overall have indeed come on the road where they will be tonight in Detroit.
They sit second in the east as this point, but their +20 goal differential is indeed the best mark in the conference. While their offense has certainly been there at third with 3.73 goals per game on the season, however their defense has dominated as we expected entering the season as well.
Boston’s back end enters this one ranked third with 2.33 goals against per game this season, however their defense goes from just 1.75 goals against per game at home compared to an even three goals against per game on the road. To be honest, I would expect regression on both of those numbers moving forward. No one in the NHL allowed fewer than two goals per game at home last season while the Bruins’ defense is probably too good to allow three goals per game on the road.
Getting the nod in goal tonight will be Tuukka Rask who can be viewed as the front-runner for the Vezina Trophy at this point.
Rask enters this one sporting a 1.88 GAA and .936 Sv% on the season to go along with a pair of shutouts and a stout 7-1-1 record, however, his numbers drop to a 3.02 GAA and .904 Sv% on the road across three starts.
After winning six games in a row, the Bruins were cooled off with a 5-4 loss to the Canadiens their last time out. Boston has lost back-to-back games on just one occasion this season.
Detroit Red Wings
Needless to say, it’s been a tough go for the Red Wings to begin what was wildly expected to be another rebuilding season in the Motor City.
The Wings have just four wins to their credit in 17 tries this season, and just one win over their last 13 games after rattling off back-to-back wins over the Predators and Stars to start the season.
The problems persist at both ends of the ice. Detroit enters this one ranked dead-last with just 2.06 goals per game this season and that number doesn’t exactly get increased much at home with their 2.13 goals per game at Little Caesars Arena this season.
What’s interesting about the Red Wings at home is the fact that their -1.63 goal average goal differential at home is bar-none the worst number in the NHL with the Blue Jackets’ -1.00 mark ranking 30th. However, the Red Wings are actually out-shooting teams by an average of 1.9 shots per game at home this season and their 51.06% Corsi For% at 5v5 play at home ranks 19th. It’s not the best ranking, but they are indeed controlling the possession game at home and yet have been getting outscored by a large margin at home. It simply doesn’t add up.
One reason for the discrepancy – and their T-30th-ranked 3.75 goals against per game at home – is the .873 Sv% they’ve received from a combination of Jimmy Howard and Jonathan Bernier at home – good for 30th in the NHL.
Getting the nod in goal tonight will be Bernier who has certainly scuffled with a 3.51 GAA and .887 Sv% in seven starts and nine appearances this season. He owns a 2-4-1 record as a result and has been bad at home with a 3.90 GAA and .811 Sv% in two starts and three appearances at home.
However, keep in mind Bernier owns a much-improved 2.75 GAA and .913 Sv% for his career and has actually not lost in regulation at home this season despite the horrible numbers.
You know what, you can call me crazy right now if you want to, but I am going to consider the Red Wings at home as massive +218 home underdogs. First, you may not see a home underdog this big this season. Second, the numbers tell me that Detroit is due for some positive regression on home ice. I promise you they will not continue to out-shoot the opposition at home and get outscored by almost two goals per game.
Furthermore, the Bruins’ 52.36% Corsi For% at 5v5 on the road isn’t much better than the 51.06% mark the Red Wings have posted at home. I am concerned about the goaltending mismatch, but Rask actually hasn’t been that great on the road and he’s due for negative overall regression.
A final note: the Red Wings are 3-0-0 over their last three against the Bruins. I see a ton of value in the odds and I am going to roll with the home side tonight as massive underdogs.