Which Detroit team will be a contender first?
In lieu of any truly interesting topics to deliberate, that’s been the most popular debate in Detroit sports for the past five years.
Can you believe that after April 19, 2019, there were people who didn’t say the Detroit Red Wings?
Just two years removed from their worst season in franchise history, the Wings appear to be on the rise thanks to Steve Yzerman’s first two draft picks as general manager in Detroit: bruising German defenseman Moritz Seider and the Swedish wunderkind, Lucas Raymond.
The Wings topped the Washington Capitals on Wednesday for their second straight road win — but more than that, they’ve shown an impressive ability to earn you your money back when betting through Michigan sportsbooks. Let’s take a look at some early Red Wings betting trends, including game props and an update on some Wings-related futures.
Detroit Red Wings: NHL Next Game Odds
Red Wings vs. the spread
Detroit is 4-2-1 overall in the 2021-22 NHL season entering Friday and has been an underdog in most games so far. So they’ve fared extremely well against the spread, even dating to last season. The Red Wings are currently 9-2 against the spread (with the two losses coming Thursday and last Saturday) in their past 11 games, and 11-3 against the puck line number in their past 14 road games (with one of those losses coming Saturday vs. the Montreal Canadiens).
The Red Wings by and large fought to stay in games for most of last season, and they’re scoring at a much better pace this year. So it’s not crazy to think that this trend continues.
But the value could be limited going forward if Detroit starts getting favored in close matchups. The only time it’s been favored this year has been against the Columbus Blue Jackets, a game in which the Wings won by 3.
Although the Wings have cashed that money line more often than not this season, continue to keep an eye on their record against the spread as things progress; they could be one of the sneaky reliable bets in the entire NHL right now.
Calder Trophy: Lucas Raymond on the rise
During the preseason, we checked in on the Calder Trophy odds to find Raymond on a rocketship to the top of the odds list.
While some bettors were getting the rookie forward as high as +3400 at FanDuel Sportsbook after his first preseason goal, that number has since plummeted. FanDuel, Caesars Sportsbook and PointsBet Sportsbook currently aren’t offering Calder futures, but both DraftKings Sportsbook (+500) and BetMGM Sportsbook (+450) have Raymond currently sharing the title of odds-on favorite with Montreal’s Cole Caufield.
Right behind him is Seider, whose odds (+1000) haven’t moved much over the past month. A wager on Seider definitely offers more value at this point in time, and that’s especially true if you were able to get Raymond at +1000 or higher; a bet on Seider would be the ideal hedge for a Red Wings fan. Or, you could always just double down on Raymond.
Raymond (eight points) and Seider (six) were Nos. 1 and 2 in rookie scoring late this week, and the tickets reflect that: Per BetMGM’s data, Raymond (34.3%) and Seider (15.7%) are first and second in highest ticket percentage, and first and third in handle, with Raymond coming in at 31.8% and Seider 16%.
Total points: Red Wings optimism reflected at Michigan sportsbooks
The Red Wings’ season point total has increased after the team’s first seven games, going from an average of 77.5 to a number of 80.5 currently at DraftKings.
Detroit seems to be coming out of the most treacherous days of its rebuild, and 81 points can be achieved with a record such as 35-36-11 — which is still, for the most part, not great, but absolutely an attainable goal.
Alex Tanguay’s revitalized power play isn’t as robust as some had hoped, but the Wings currently rank 22nd in that department, with plenty of room to grow. That number alone will help the Red Wings be in more games than they’d have dreamed of. They’re also ranked 12th in goals-for and 15th in shots, which bodes well for the sustainability of the offensive ability they’ve shown thus far.
An interesting props set: Shots and saves
One of the more interesting NHL game props to keep an eye on is shots on goal. BetMGM and DraftKings currently set a different total for each player, while FanDuel simply offers the chance to wager on which players will have more than three shots.
Dylan Larkin’s over-under for shots on DraftKings on Wednesday night was 2.5; he didn’t reach it (one goal on one shot), but has topped that mark in four of his other five games. Robby Fabbri’s total was 1.5, which he topped for the sixth time this season in seven games. Filip Zadina’s was also 1.5, which he beat for the fifth time in seven games.
Most game props in the NHL are a shot in the dark, but this section currently seems to have some early-season value for Red Wings bettors.
One other prop to keep an eye on is goalie saves. Although a typical line will range from 25-30, Alex Nedeljkovic is averaging 33 saves per game over his three starts. And outside of the 5-1 debacle in Montreal on Saturday, Thomas Greiss is averaging just over 29 in his three other starts this season.
Over-under: Goals total an unpredictable seesaw
Detroit has been exciting and unpredictable this season, and that’s given an early advantage to the under in game goals total bets.
The under has hit in four of Detroit’s seven games this season, and a majority of that split can be chalked up to the variety of games they’ve played in. After a 7-6 barnburner against the Tampa Bay Lightning on opening night, the total went under in three straight games. Then it went over for two straight before going under again in Washington on Thursday.