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Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Detroit Red Wings prediction and pick for Saturday's game. NHL handicapper Jason Yamaguchi provides his best bet for Saturday's game between the Blue Jackets and the Red Wings
ANALYSIS

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Detroit Red Wings Prediction: Back the Wings on Saturday

Following a Friday slate in which three of the five games ended in overtime, there will be 12 NHL games taking place on Saturday. With roughly 10 games remaining on most teams' schedules, many of these games have the potential to shift the playoff picture. However, I'd like to focus on a game between two non-playoff teams: the Blue Jackets and the Red Wings. Neither has much to play for, but it is still a matchup worth considering for betting purposes.

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Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Detroit Red Wings Prediction

The Red Wings (28-34-9) have been out of the playoff picture for some time, but they have continued to provide their best effort on a nightly basis. In fact, they have won their last two games, both against teams with winning records. An encouraging sign is that Detroit has improved their chance generation and suppression over the last couple of weeks, evidenced by the fact that their expected goals results have somewhat improved.

The Blue Jackets (33-33-6) are in just about the worst form imaginable. They have dropped nine of their last 10, with the lone win coming against the 23-37-11 Flyers. The underlying statistics confirm that this run is a result of poor play rather than variance; specifically, they have lost the expected goals battle in almost all of their games since the end of February.

When looking at their year-long performances, neither of these teams has impressed at even strength. That being said, the Red Wings have been less bad, which is all that really matters for our purposes. They have a 5v5 expected goals share of 47.17%, which ranks 25th in the NHL. That may seem poor, but it is solid compared to the Blue Jackets' share of 44.63%. In other words, both of these teams tend to give up more offense than they create, but that is more true of Columbus than of Detroit. That fact does not bode well for the Jackets.

Another factor to consider is that the Red Wings are hosting the game. This is often a near-meaningless piece of information, but not in this case. Indeed, Detroit has a record of 18-13-6 at home, yet they are 10-21-3 on the road. Put another way: the Wings would be sin the hunt for a playoff spot if they had the same points percentage on the road as they do at home. The Blue Jackets are a weaker team on the road than at home, so this edge may compound a bit.

The goaltending for this game projects to be a wash, with both starters having underperformed a bit this season. Both teams are relatively healthy, as there are no injuries that move the needle too far in either direction. Given that the Wings' last game was on Wednesday, they will have a slight rest advantage for this contest. Detroit should be the clear favorites in this spot, yet the game is currently listed close to a pick-em. Bet the Red Wings down to -115 on the moneyline.

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Detroit Red Wings Pick

Pick: Red Wings ML @ +105 (Bet $100 to win $105)

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Detroit Red Wings Line Movement

Article Author

NHLNFLMLB

Jason Yamaguchi is an avid New York sports fan. He has a proven record of providing +EV bets by combining traditional handicapping tactics with advanced statistics. You can follow him on Twitter @TopMoneyPicks to view all of his bets, including NFL, NHL, and MLB picks.

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