The Detroit Red Wings and Phoenix Coyotes will match wits on NBSCN as the feature game tonight. With goalie Jimmy Howard out for the Red Wings, I believe that this is a prime chance to add the OVER to your NHL picks.

This has been a one-sided series of late with the Red Wings winning all seven of the last meetings. The Coyotes always seem be a step behind when facing the Red Wings but the playing field could be level in this case. The Red Wings will be without All-Star goaltender Jimmy Howard, who is out with a broken finger. 

Howard has dominated the Coyotes, winning seven of his nine starts against them, so this particular meeting could have a different pace with him sidelined. 

Monday, February 7th

NHL odds boards opened with the Red Wings listed at -140 with a total of 5.5. Early sports betting action has since shifted the number to -135, while the total remains unchanged. Will the Red Wings be able to keep the Coyotes off of the board with their backup goalie in the net, or is Howard's absence reason for us to play on an upset? Lets examine this matchup and decide which NHL picks picks are most likely to cash for us tonight.

The Detroit Red Wings can win because… 

Detroit Red WingsThey are on a roll right now. The Red Wings lost 5-4 in a shootout in Edmonton on Saturday, but even with that loss they are 9-1-1 in their last 11 games. 

The Phoenix Coyotes are at the opposite end of the thermometer as they have gone cold in the last month. They have lost seven of 10 and have just eight wins in their last 25 games. 

A few of the losses in there have come to Detroit, as the Red Wings have won all three meetings with them. The Coyotes have got stuck on two goals in each contest, while the Red Wings have scored a total of 11 in those three games.

Talent-wise, these teams just don’t stack up together. The Red Wings have a huge edge in talent and unless they’re half asleep or unless Phoenix does something out of the ordinary, the Red Wings always win the games in this series. Dating back to the playoffs last year, the Red Wings have now won seven straight over the Coyotes. 

The Phoenix Coyotes can win because… 

The Red Wings are without their ace, Jimmy Howard. There’s no question that Detroit is still a very good team without him, but losing Howard (broken finger) is a quite significant. The All-Star leads the NHL with 32 wins and the drop-off to backup Ty Conklin is huge.

The Coyotes will be glad they don’t have to see Howard, who is 7-0-2 with a 2.23 GAA and .928 save percentage against them. 

Phoenix has been inconsistent this season and they’re probably not a playoff team, but they have won two of their last three games and have a bit of momentum. Those wins have come against Ottawa and San Jose, both of whom are likely playoff teams, so the Coyotes have shown they are capable. 

Without Howard in net, the playing field is leveled and that should give them just the edge they need.

Outlook & NHL Betting Prediction:

The Red Wings just lost on the road in Edmonton. That shows you just how vulnerable they can be without Howard. The fact that they gave up five goals in total is a telling sign. 

Detroit doesn’t usually have any problems scoring at least three goals against Phoenix and the Coyotes should be able to respond with Howard out of the way. As I have already mentioned in my "NHL Picks of the Day" article, I am taking the over in this spot.

NHL Picks: Over