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Red Wings Predators Betting – Predators-Red Wings Could Be The Story Of The First Round

Posted by Don Melrose on 6/5/2014 4:01:51 AM

In a tough sports betting matchup to make a pick for, Nashville faces off with Detroit in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs and the Predators made a slew of moves at the trade deadline just for this time of the year. The Red Wings weren’t as strong this season, but with their experience anything can happen in the playoffs.

Detroit finished fifth in the West thanks to a shootout loss to Chicago in the regular-season finale, but this may actually work out better for the Red Wings as they don’t have to travel far between Music City (Nashville) and the Motor City (Detroit). The Red Wings were seventh in both goals scored and against, so they have the proper balance. Henrik Zetterberg led the team in scoring, but wasn’t his dynamic self, along with Pavel Datsyuk, but it’s playoff time now and these two tend to shine at this time of year. The questions come at the back, where captain Niklas Lidstrom had injury problems this season, as did goalie Jimmy Howard, who had a groin issue coming down the stretch, but says he’s healthy now.

The Predators are also balanced as they’re eighth in the NHL in both goals scored and allowed, and they’re an excellent special-teams squad as Nashville is first on the power play and 10th on the penalty kill. They’ve scored a few more goals than last year and the Predators also got much bigger by acquiring Alex Radulov, Hal Gill and Paul Gaustad. The Predators are also still in great shape in goal with Pekke Rinne, who almost stole last year’s second-round series against Vancouver. Some NHL betting sharps have the Predators as a darkhorse to win the Stanley Cup, but first, they have a very difficult matchup to get past.

Nashville is the favorite at -115, but the Red Wings are rated at -105 and the two split their six regular-season meetings, so there isn’t a lot between the two teams. Detroit has an older team that have been through the rigors of the playoffs many times, but the Predators, while young (they’re the third-youngest team in the league), have players who have been around the block themselves and added some pieces before the deadline. This could end up coming down to the matchup in goal, and Rinne has been more consistent than Howard overall this season. Unless the Detroit defense plays their best seven-game stretch of the season, Howard may not have the chops to carry them like Rinne can for the Predators, and the Detroit blue line has been banged up this season, so look for the Predators to forecheck and hit them as much as possible. This could go the distance, but lean towards the Predators in your online betting sportsbook.


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