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NHL Free Pick | Red Wings at Blue Jackets

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On the surface, Saturday’s NHL matchup featuring the Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets is meaningless. The game features the two worst teams in the Central Division and two of the worst in the entire NHL.
Smarter bettors will see Saturday’s game as an opportunity. Hidden amongst all those losses and disappointment for the two teams involved is something that NHL bettors should find very attractive.


Game: Detroit Red Wings (18-27-9, 34-20) at Columbus Blue Jackets (17-25-12, 25-29 ATS)
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, May 8, 2021

Current Line: OFF Total: OFF
TV Coverage: NBCSN

Neither Detroit nor Columbus was expected to battle for a playoff spot in the Central Division. With reigning Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay, Carolina, an emerging Florida, as well as Nashville and Dallas; there just wasn’t any room left for the Red Wings and Blue Jackets.
Both teams’ seasons went pretty much as expected. Only Buffalo has fewer wins (15) than Columbus. The last ten games for each team is sort of a microcosm of their respective seasons.
The Red Wings have three wins in their last ten games. Columbus has just two and one of them happens to be against Detroit.
Again, on the surface, this game looks like a yawner. But, there are some interesting trends that lead us to this free pick. It starts with Detroit.
The Red Wings have the NHL’s second-best record against the spread this season at 34-20. Only the New York Rangers (35-19) are better. For Detroit to have such a strong ATS record, they have had to keep games close.
Take Detroit’s last five games as an example. Four of those games were decided by one goal. The other was a 3-1 loss to Carolina. The bottom line is that Detroit plays just good enough defense to keep games close.

Sports Betting 101: Betting NHL Puck Lines

The Red Wings give up an average of 3.02 goals per game. On the other end, Detroit has its fair share of problems scoring. They are dead last in the NHL averaging 2.07 goals per game.
When you put the two together, you find that the Red Wings have had more game totals go Under than all but one team (Anaheim) in the league. The Under is 32-18 in Detroit’s games this season.
Bettors can then look at this season’s series with the Blue Jackets. The scores of their six games thus far are 3-2, 3-2, 4-1, 3-1, 4-1, and 1-0. The two teams have split the six games.
With the total set at 5.5 for the first five games and at 5 for the sixth, you can see that all six Red Wings-Blue Jackets went Under. If you go back to last year, the last seven straight Detroit-Columbus games have gone Under the posted total.
The total has gone Under in the last five straight Red Wings games and eight of the last ten. The Red Wings and Blue Jackets play each other on Friday night making this the second game of a back-to-back. With no rest and their series history, take the Under on Saturday.

NHL Free Pick: UNDER down to 5

Last week’s article was a Rangers at Islanders free pick, go see how we did.
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