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Penguins Favored Over Lightning in Game 7 on Thursday Night

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A berth in the Stanley Cup Final will be on the line on Thursday night when the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final as -200 betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by

Pittsburgh avoided being ousted from the playoffs on Tuesday, posting a decisive 5-2 win to even the series at three games apiece heading into Thursday night’s Lightning vs. Penguins betting matchup at Consol Energy Centre.

The Penguins had entered the series as strong -180 favorites on the NHL series prices, but have had their hands full against a Tampa Bay squad that pushed them to the brink of elimination despite being outshot in all six games.

With each team posting a pair of road victories in the series having home-ice advantage in Game 7 may be of little comfort to the Penguins, who were 14-3 in their previous 17 home contests.

Pittsburgh must also reverse a worrisome three-game losing streak in Game 7’s since claiming their most recent Stanley Cup championship in 2009, with all three defeats coming at home including a 1-0 loss to the Lightning in Game 7 of the 2011 Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

Andrei Vasilevskiy will likely get the call between the pipes once again for the Lightning on Thursday. The 21-year-old has filled in admirably for starter Ben Bishop, who remains sidelined by injury, giving the Lightning a chance to win despite seeing an average of over 38 shots per night in the series.

Overall, Tampa Bay is a respectable 7-4 in their past 11 meetings with the Penguins, according to the OddsShark NHL Database, including three wins in Pittsburgh, while Vasilevskiy’s strong performance has lifted his career record against the Penguins to 5-3.

Despite the Lightning’s recent success against Pittsburgh, and the Penguins’ struggle to close the deal in recent Game 7’s, Tampa Bay continues to trail on the Stanley Cup odds, sitting at +400, well back of the Penguins, who enjoy short +160 odds.

The San Jose Sharks patiently await the winner of Thursday night’s game after clinching a berth in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in franchise history with a 5-2 win over the St. Louis Blues, capturing the Western Conference crown in six games.

The Sharks entered the postseason well back of the favorites at +1600 on the Stanley Cup odds, and have now won two of their three playoff series after being pegged as early underdogs on the NHL series prices.

Flyers, Penguins Set for Pick’em Matchup on Wednesday NHL Odds

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The Philadelphia Flyers are expected to have Wayne Simmonds back to help their attack for a big Metropolitan Division matchup against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night. The Flyers and the Penguins are both pegged at odds of -110 in this pick’em matchup at sportsbooks monitored by, with the game’s total set at 6 goals.

The teams are dead-even at 5-5 in their last 10 meetings at the Wells Fargo Center, according to the OddsShark NHL Database. The Flyers are just 4-6 in their last 10 games when they also play the following day, while the Penguins are 4-6 in their last 10 road games.

The two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins are 38-25-4 overall, including a 7-3-0 mark over their last 10 games. With Crosby, fellow center Evgeni Malkin and right wing Phil Kessel aboard, the Penguins are seldom an underdog on the NHL odds. The main concern with the Penguins, though, is their defending.

With goalie Matt Murray (concussion) sidelined, Pittsburgh has been counting on backup Tristan Jarry and has wound up in some scorefests of late. Pittsburgh is 2-0 against Philadelphia this season, even though the starting goalie left each game due to an injury.

The Flyers are 34-21-11 in the Metropolitan Division standings but have sagged of late with a 3-6-1 mark over the last 10 games. Adding Simmonds is expected to give Philadelphia, which is 4-4 in divisional home games this season, a more bona fide three-line attack, as he’ll play on Valtteri Filppula’s line. Center Sean Couturier is also emerging as one of the NHL’s most complete forwards.

Goalie Petr Mrazek, who can be inconsistent from period to period, never mind game to game, will likely start for the Flyers since Brian Elliott and Michal Neuvirth are both on injured reserve. Backup Alex Lyon has not played in more than two weeks.

The total has gone over in five of the Penguins’ last six road games. The total has gone over in eight of the Flyers’ last 10 matchups when they were also playing the next day.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at


Struggling Blues favorites hosting Red Wings on Wednesday

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The St. Louis Blues drag both a losing streak and a poor head-to-head trend into their rivalry game against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night. The Blues are a consensus -160 home favorite while the Red Wings come back at +144 with a 5.0-goal total at sportsbooks monitored by

While St. Louis is the moneyline favorite, it is 0-7 in its last seven games, including an 8-3 loss against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday. The Blues, according to the OddsShark NHL Database, are also just 3-7 in their last 10 regular-season home games against the Red Wings. Detroit is also an impressive 6-3 over its nine most recent road games.

The big variable involves how each team responds after core forwards were shipped away at the NHL trade deadline on Monday. The Red Wings will be playing their first game since trading Tomas Tatar to the Vegas Golden Knights, while the Blues have a game under their belts since Paul Stastny was whisked away to the Winnipeg Jets. The Blues are also 6-4 in their last 10 games when they were playing for the second day in a row.

Detroit, which is 26-26-10 overall in the NHL standings, including 13-13-2 on the road, is just hanging around in the Eastern Conference wild card race. They will have a new look on their top line with center Dylan Larkin (team-high 47 points) and winger Andreas Athanasiou now skating with Tyler Bertuzzi, who is more of an agitator. Veteran defenseman Mike Green (neck) will not play.

Jimmy Howard is likely to start in goal for Detroit, which is an even 5-5 over its last 10 road games. The Red Wings are 3-4-1 in Howard’s last eight starts against the Blues.

St. Louis is 34-25-4, including 19-14-0 on home ice at Scottrade Center, but they have been porous defensively with 19 goals against across their last five games. The tailspin does not stem from a lack of talent with a team that has center Brayden Schenn, right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (two goals against Minnesota) and left wing Jaden Schwartz each with at least 40 points.

Blues goalie Jake Allen was pulled during Tuesday’s game against Minnesota. For what it might be worth, backup Carter Hutton had a shutout in his only career start against Detroit. That could justify a hunch play on St. Louis ending their slide.

The total has gone under in nine of the Red Wings’ last 10 road games as the underdog. The total has gone under in six of the Blues’ last eight home games as the favorite.

For more odds info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at