Getty Images

Sharks Underdogs Against Penguins Heading into Stanley Cup Final

Leave a comment

The San Jose Sharks are gunning for a third straight road win on Monday as they get set to make their first-ever appearance in the Stanley Cup Final, taking on the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 as +135 betting underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by

Crucial road victories in Games 2 and 5 powered San Jose to a six-game series win over the St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference Final, lifting their league-best road win total this season to 33 games heading into Monday’s Sharks vs. Penguins betting matchup at Consol Energy Center.

After posting 28 road victories during the regular season, the Sharks have continued their road warrior ways in the postseason, winning five of nine away from the SAP Center, and have surrendered just five total goals over their past three road contests.

Goaltending has played a crucial role in the Sharks’ march to the Stanley Cup Final, with Martin Jones rising to the occasion during his first NHL playoff run, leading the Sharks to underdog series wins over the Blues and the Los Angeles Kings.

With Jones holding opponents to just 13 total goals over his past seven outings, the Sharks’ skaters have been able to focus on offense, outshooting opponents in five of their past seven while racking up 27 total goals, pushing the total OVER in each of their past three games.

Game 1 marks Pittsburgh’s first appearance in the Stanley Cup Final since their last championship victory in 2009. It has been a tale of two seasons for the Penguins, who struggled to find the net during an early-season string of mediocrity which culminated in the firing of coach Mike Johnston.

The Penguins have been a different club under bench boss Mike Sullivan, finishing the regular season on a 27-10 run, including wins in 14 of their final 16 games according to the OddsShark NHL Database.

Pittsburgh needed seven games to get past the wounded Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final, but get the nod from oddsmakers as a solid -155 favorite to take Game 1, and is a slim -120 favorite on the NHL series prices.

Young goaltending has also played a crucial role in the Penguins’ playoff success, with 22-year-old Matt Murray taking over in place of injured veteran Marc-Andre Fleury to record 11 of the club’s 12 postseason wins, improving to 20-7 on the season.

The clubs split a pair of games this season, each posting road wins, but San Jose has dominated historically, winning 15 of 20 meetings with the Penguins dating back to 1999.

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

1 Comment

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

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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