The Detroit Redwings (22-16-5, 49 points) head to warmer weather after a road win (4-2) at Toronto to start their 3-game road trip. The Wings are breathing down the neck of the Maple Leafs for the third spot in the Atlantic Division.
The Florida Panthers (27-13-3, 57 points) are within shouting distance of the Boston Bruins with both teams through 43 games. Oddsmakers placed Florida a -205 favorite with a total of 6.5 (over -120). With both teams figuring to have a spot in this year’s NHL playoff bracket, this is a must-watch divisional match-up. Let’s start our Wings vs Panthers NHL odds preview.
Kane Out 2-Games For Detroit
It was announced today that Patrick Kane will miss two games with a lower-body injury. It’s not hip-related but if we know anything about the NHL injury report, lies are constantly being told. In 19 games, Kane has 16 points and plays 17:51 a night, so the loss on and off the ice is significant. Kane will not be on the road trip so bettors don’t have to worry about handicapping Wings games with the veteran out until Detroit comes back home to face the Tampa Bay Lightning on January 21st.
Detroit has struggled on defense, making them a difficult wager. It’s been since the middle of December that we’ve seen Derek Lalonde’s team put together back-to-back quality defensive efforts. Over the last 13 NHL games, Detroit has allowed an average of 3.77 goals per game but is off a solid effort against the Wings, meaning we’re not likely to get a low-scoring NHL score in this matchup.
Panthers Surprised By Ducks
With the Panthers being on such a roll, a loss to the lowly Ducks was not something bettors anticipated with Florida a -350 favorite. With the loss, Florida is now the sixth most profitable team in the NHL with 3.25 units won after starting the day fourth. This is why we constantly say to stay away from large favorites. A few losses and your bankroll is decimated. Florida is 13-7 at home but is now just +1.94 units.
Regardless, the Panthers are still among the legit Stanley Cup contenders and eighth in our recent NHL power ratings but third in the Eastern Conference behind the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. Detroit is occupying the 19th spot. The Panthers’ top six is among the best in the league starting with the Aleksander Barkov (11G, 35A, 46 points) line who centers Sam Reinhart (32 goals, 23 assists, 55 points) and Evan Rodrigues (7 goals, 20 assists).
Second-line center Sam Bennett has turned the corner after battling injuries on the second line. Bennet scored twice against the Ducks to bring his season total to 10 goals and 7 assists. In the postseason, we think the Panthers have to get deeper and perhaps get more scoring from the blue line, but in handicapping this game, Florida is clearly the better team, but as we saw against Anaheim, that doesn’t always matter. We conclude our Wings vs Panthers odds preview with our official selection.
Panthers Are The Play But With A Twist
We think we’re going to see Detroit Redwings money come in after the Ducks showed the Panthers can be had at home. The number is too much to lay, so we’re going to find another way to get the Panthers on our ticket. We’re going to take the Panthers on the 3-way option which is a regulation wager, allowing us to lay just -129 instead of -215.
When we’re forced to go down this path because we refuse to lay big numbers, we also look at other options including betting that Florida will score the first goal (+117) or the first two goals at +200. The Panthers have been a -200 favorite or more 12 times this hockey season, producing eight wins but not good enough to produce a profit (0.79 units).
This season, any NHL team a -200 favorite or more is 109-61 (64%) but -19.35 units. Over the last two seasons, that number has increased to -44.72 units (432-208, 68%). That should give you a clear idea of why we shy away from massive favorites. Take the Panthers in regulation Good luck with all your NHL picks and parlays tonight.
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