The NHL betting action goes on with five games on Friday’s slate including the Central Division showdown at Amelie Arena in Tampa, Florida, so here’s the best betting pick for the Detroit Red Wings vs. Tampa Bay Lightning clash along with the latest odds on DraftKings Sportsbook.
The Red Wings and Lightning will close down a two-game set, and Tampa dismantled Detroit last Wednesday, 5-1, as a -345 home fave. The Lightning opened as massive favorites once more, so let’s see what’s the best wager here.
The visitors miss winger Tyler Bertuzzi (upper body), while goalie Jonathan Bernier is questionable to play. The hosts are without winger Nikita Kucherov (hip) and center Mitchell Stephens (lower body).
Detroit sits bottom of the Central Division
After two wins in their first four games of the season, the Detroit Red Wings (2-7-2) have recorded seven consecutive losses to fall bottom of the Central Division standings. During this awful run, the Red Wings forced overtime twice while losing by three or more goals on four occasions.
Detroit is the second-most inefficient team in the NHL. The Red Wings score a paltry 1.91 goals per contest while taking 25.3 shots per game which is another second-worst record in the league. No Detroit player reached a 10-point mark, and center Dylan Larkin leads the way with four goals and five assists through 11 appearances.
Thomas Greiss should patrol the crease Friday in Tampa, and the 34-year-old veteran goalie is 0-6-2 on the season. Greiss has a 2.99 GAA with a .884 save percentage. He allowed three goals on just five shots last Wednesday and was replaced by Calvin Pickard who finished with 17 saves on 19 shots. Pickard started just one game for Detroit last season and is without a victory since the 2018-19 season.
Tampa smashed Detroit to extend its winning streak
The Tampa Bay Lightning (6-1-1) stormed the front Wednesday and netted three times in the first five minutes. It was 5-1 by the end of the second period, so the Lightning just controlled the game down the stretch and finished the job easily. We saw only 40 shots in total, and the reigning champs allowed 16 to Detroit.
The Lightning score 3.63 goals per game, enough for the fourth-most in the NHL. Center Steven Stamkos leads the skaters with four goals and six assists in eight outings, while two more players added six assists each including center Anthony Cirelli who has a plus-6 rating.
Andrei Vasilevskiy started all eight games for Tampa this season, and the 26-year-old goalie recorded a 1.99 GAA with a .927 save percentage. I wouldn’t be surprised if Vasilevskiy sits out Friday’s clash against the Red Wings. If that happens, we should see the 37-year-old veteran Curtis McElhinney who went 8-7-3 with a 2.89 GAA this past regular season.
- 1-17 in the last 18 games against Tampa
- 0-7 in the last seven games overall
- 0-10 in the previous ten road contests
- 10-0 in the last ten home games against Detroit
- 7-2 in the last nine games overall
- 5-0 in the last five home contests
Whoever plays between the pipes on both sides, the reigning champions shouldn’t have any problems outlasting the hapless Red Wings, and that means covering the puckline at -130 odds. The hosts are -325 moneyline favorites.
Simply put, Tampa Bay is a much, much better team than Detroit. I know that hockey is a strange game, but the Red Wings have too many problems, especially on the defensive end. They will struggle to cope with the Bolts’ offense all night long.
Pick: Take Tampa Bay -1.5 at -130
The Lightning have allowed at least a goal in the regulation in seven of their eight games, but I cannot expect the Red Wings to score more than two. On the other side, Tampa could easily score four or more goals, so I have to bet on the over, though Tampa to cover is my top pick here.
The hosts have the eighth-best penalty-killing percentage, while the visitors have the third-worst power-play percentage. Still, the Red Wings posted the third-worst penalty-killing percentage, too, allowing 11 goals on 35 opportunities.
Pick: Go over 5.5 goals at -108