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Red Wings Look To Be Upset Pick Versus Ducks In NHL Playoffs

Posted by Don Melrose on 4/29/2013 7:31:45 PM

There aren’t many popular picks for an online sports betting upset in the opening round of the NHL Western Conference playoffs. The Detroit Red Wings may be the best of them. The Red Wings enter the postseason as the hottest team in the West, reeling off four-straight dominant wins just to get in as the seventh seed in the West. Detroit outscored its opponents 15-3 over that span, and will look to carry over its play from the regular season against the second-seeded Anaheim Ducks, which it took the final two games from in the three-game season series.

Western Conference Quarterfinal – Best of 7
(2) Anaheim Ducks vs. (7) Detroit Red Wings

The Ducks took the opening game in the season series, but the Red Wings responded with consecutive wins by a combined 7-2 score in the final two online sportsbook meetings in order to come out on top. Detroit struggled with inconsistency throughout the year, but that put the team in position to start playing a postseason style of play early just to get in, and now it has won four-straight heading in to the postseason. This will be the Red Wings’ first playoff series without former captain Nicklas Lidstrom, and there are some holes in the defense, so that means goaltender Jimmy Howard must have a strong series and the forwards have to score enough goals to overcome what the Red Wings concede at their own end.

Anaheim will look to counter what Detroit does with a more physical brand of hockey, using its size to limit opportunities and wear them down. The Ducks have a top line that can dominate with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry leading the charge, but they are also a lot deeper this year with Kyle Palmieri and Andrew Cogliano helping to provide some secondary scoring with each scoring more than 10 goals. Anaheim also has a strong defensive core that will be very physical in front of net minder Jonas Hiller, and they can be very good when it comes to defending an early online betting lead. Viktor Fasth was just as good as Hiller during the regular season, so head coach Bruce Boudreau won’t hesitate to make a change in goal if he feels it is necessary.

There is a lot of hype surrounding this series, and while the talk of an upset isn’t completely unjustified, it is as much a result of the lack of parity in the first round as it is the actual match up. As good as the Red Wings looked down the stretch, it’s important to remember how the Ducks got to where they are as only the Chicago Blackhawks had a better record in the Western Conference this season. Anaheim is very deep in every area, and their physical play and strong goaltending will be the difference in one of the more exciting first-round series’. The Red Wings will throw everything they have at the Ducks in order to force it to the final game, but Anaheim will escape with a win on home ice and advance to the second round.

NHL Betting Pick: Ducks in Seven

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