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Red Wings Predators Betting - Predators And Red Wings Gear Up For Anticipated Clash

Posted by Don Melrose on 4/12/2012 3:30:37 PM

The Detroit Red Wings have long been the standard by which most Western Conference hockey teams are judged. Nashville will get its chance to take down the Winged Wheel.

Western Conference Quarterfinals: (5) Detroit Red Wings vs. (4) Nashville Predators
Sports betting line: N/A

Why Detroit Will Win

When you place your sports bet on an NHL series involving the Detroit Red Wings, it's risky to pick the opponent unless it owns some very substantial credentials. Detroit has set very high standards, the best in the NHL over an extended period of time. Many franchises come and go in the playoffs, going deep in the playoffs one year and either bowing out in the first round the next year or failing to make the playoffs outright.

Detroit has been better than most teams in being consistently good. The Pittsburgh Penguins are one of the few teams that can match the Wings' playoff track record over the past five years. Detroit made the Western Conference finals in 2007, won the Stanley Cup in 2008, made the Cup finals in 2009, and reached the second round each of the past two seasons before losing to an immensely gifted assemblage of San Jose Sharks.

Pittsburgh has established a similar reputation for winning at least one playoff series almost every year, so it's clear that the Red Wings are one of the toughest outs in the NHL. Detroit has also gotten healthier in recent weeks after being crushed by the injury bug over the past three months. The Red Wings were headed toward the best record in the league when a slew of injuries robbed them of momentum and depth. Now, players such as Dan Cleary and Darren Helm are returning to the lineup.

Goalie Jimmy Howard returned roughly a week ago and had a chance to shake off post-injury rust. Jonathan Ericsson is working his way back into playing shape as well. If once-injured players can play well, Detroit becomes the better team, and few pundits would be in position to argue with such a claim.

Why Nashville Will Win

The NHL season has been a rollercoaster ride, and as the playoffs arrive, the question is if Detroit's injuries have healed, or merely diminished in terms of their severity. It's hard for any injury-ravaged team to simply flip the "on" switch and regain form after playing without its preferred lineup for an extended period of time. Nashville has been less affected by injuries and has therefore been the more cohesive team over the past few months. Moreover, the Predators – who won a first-round series in last year's playoffs – are more mature this time around. The Red Wings, a former nemesis, shouldn't faze them as much. Also, Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne is a netminder who can be trusted in the postseason spotlight. He is likely to outduel Howard, and if that happens, it's hard to see Nashville losing this series.

Who Will Win?

Rinne is better than Howard. Nashville has home ice in this series. Detroit's injuries – though healing – have been so numerous as to rob the Red Wings of needed chemistry and fluidity late in the season. This should be a terrific betting sites series, but Nashville merits a slight edge. Take the Predators.

NHL Betting Pick: Nashville in seven games

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