The Florida Panthers visit Little Caesars Arena in Detroit for a two-game series against the Red Wings, so here’s the best betting pick for the opening clash Friday night along with the latest odds update on PointsBet Sportsbook.
Florida and Detroit have already met four times this term, and the Panthers lead the series 3-1. After a couple of wins at Little Caesars Arena back in January, the Panthers split a two-game home set against the Red Wings earlier this month.
The Panthers miss center Noel Acciari (upper body), but all other guys are ready to go. The Red Wings are without winger Tyler Bertuzzi (upper body) and goalie Calvin Pickard (COVID-19), while wingers Darren Helm (lower body) and Vladislav Namestnikov (undisclosed) are both listed as questionable.
Florida impressed in straight wins over Tampa and Carolina
The Florida Panthers (10-2-2) will search for their third straight victory Friday night after outlasting the reigning champs Tampa Bay Lightning 6-4 as +150 road dogs and the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 in overtime as +115 road dogs in their previous two outings.
Florida is now tied with Chicago for the top spot in the Central Division. The Panthers score 3.36 goals per game (9th in the NHL) and surrender 3.00 in a return (19th). They own the sixth-best power-play percentage in the league (29.2%), but their penalty-killing percentage is 22nd in the NHL (76.2%).
Chris Driedger and Sergei Bobrovsky are sharing the crease, posting a 5-1-1 record each. Driedger has guarded the cage in the previous two games, and the 26-year-old goalie owns a 2.39 GAA and a .924 save percentage. Bobrovsky has a 3.33 GAA with a .884 save percentage.
Detroit continues a six-game homestand following a pair of losses to Chicago
The Detroit Red Wings (4-11-3) will try to avoid the third straight loss Friday after suffering a couple of defeats to the Chicago Blackhawks earlier this week. They lost 3-2 in overtime as +100 underdogs and 2-0 as +120 dogs, so the Red Wings are now winless in four straight outings on the home ice.
Detroit sits bottom of the Central Division, just a point behind Nashville and ten points behind Carolina at the fourth spot. The Red Wings score only 1.94 goals per game (tied-30th in the NHL) and allow 3.11 in a return (23rd). Their power-play percentage is the second-worst in the league (7.14%), while Detroit owns the fifth-worst penalty-killing percentage (73.1%).
Jonathan Bernier has patrolled the crease in two of Detroit’s last three games after recovering from an upper-body injury. He’s 3-2-0 on the season, posting a 2.83 GAA and a .898 save percentage, while Thomas Greiss is 1-9-3 with a 2.90 GAA and a .899 save percentage.
- 4-1 in the last five games overall
- 5-1 in the last six road contests
- 5-0 in the last five road tits against Detroit
- 2-12 in the last 14 games overall
- 2-7 in the last nine home contests
- 1-9 in the last ten games against Florida
The Panthers have owned the Red Wings over the last few years, winning nine of their previous ten encounters. Also, the Panthers are undefeated in five consecutive visits to Little Caesars Arena, so I’m backing them to extend their dominance over Detroit.
The Red Wings are struggling mightily on the offensive end, and their defense hasn’t impressed either, so I’m expecting the Panthers’ lethal offense to make the difference. Florida hasn’t covered in four matchups with Detroit this term, so I’m sticking with the moneyline odds.
Pick: Take Florida Panthers at -170
Although the under has hit in five straight meetings between the Panthers and Red Wings, I’m backing the over in this one. Florida is one of the best offensive teams in the league, but the Panthers have some defensive issues, especially with the man down.
On the other side, the Red Wings have been terrible with the man advantage thus far, and they’ll have to start improving at some point, as four goals out of 56 power-play opportunities is simply an unsustainable trend.
Pick: Go over 5.5 goals at -108