NHL Hockey Betting: Minnesota Wild at Detroit Red Wings

NHL Hockey Betting:  Minnesota Wild at Detroit Red Wings

Two teams scrapping for wild card spots in their respective conferences meet at the Joe Louis Arena on Friday night as the Detroit Red Wings host the Minnesota Wild. The Wings are currently on the outside looking in. They trail the red hot Philadelphia Flyers (6-2-2 L10) by 2 points and unless the Wings improve upon their current form (5-5-0 L10) that math just won’t work out and there will be no octopuses thrown in Motown this year. Minnesota is in a better position–they’re currently in the final wild card slot in the Western Conference with a 5 point lead over Colorado. They’re also in good form with a 7-2-1 record in their last 10 games though they’re coming off a loss on Thursday night night against Ottawa. Detroit has been idle since Tuesday when they lost to the Montreal Canadiens.

As far as Western Conference teams go the Wild have a pretty easy schedule down the stretch–after tonight’s game they’ll play Sunday at Winnipeg, Tuesday at home against San Jose and conclude the season on April 9 against Calgary. Detroit doesn’t have it so easy–they play at Toronto on Saturday, take on Philadelphia at home next Wednesday, play at Boston on Thursday and at Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers to conclude the season on 4/9. They’ve also got Carolina just three points behind and the Hurricanes haven’t “officially” been eliminated from the playoffs yet.

One of our favorite NHL handicapping situations in recent years has been taking Western Conference teams in non-conference games against comparable Eastern Conference teams. That would put us on Minnesota here anyway but based on our power ratings the wrong team is favored. The Wild haven’t been a great road team this year but they’re playing well when it counts. They’ve also got more stability in goal with Devan Dubnyk. The Wings can’t figure out if they want to stay with Petr Mzrak are roll the dice with his predecessor, Jimmy Howard. The Wild do have some key players listed as ‘questionable’ including Thomas Vanek but even without their full roster they’re better than this overrated Detroit team.