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Penguins home favorites against Predators for Game 5 of Stanley Cup final

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In what’s been a strictly home-ice Stanley Cup final, the Pittsburgh Penguins have been bet up into a heavy favorite against the Nashville Predators for the likely series-turning Game 5.

The Penguins are a -155 moneyline favorite against the +135 underdog Predators with a 5.5-goal total for Thursday’s matchup at sportsbooks monitored by The Penguins opened at -139 on the moneyline, but they are also riding a trend of being 9-3 in their last 12 home playoff games.

That means there is betting value in taking the Predators, who are a respectable 5-5 SU on the road during the postseason. Nashville has topped Pittsburgh in five-on-five shot attempts in all four games of the series. The main pregame question revolving around the Predators involves the health of D P.K. Subban (ankle), who is part of the shutdown pair that has held Penguins C Evgeni Malkin without a goal for three consecutive games.

Predators goalie Pekka Rinne also allowed eight goals on 36 shots during the two previous games at Pittsburgh’s PPG Paints Arena.

The Predators have had the run of play during the series, largely by virtue of a blueline led by Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, Mattias Ekholm and Subban. They also managed to win Game 5 on the road in the third round against Anaheim, although that came in a rink where they were 4-4 in their most recent eight games, which tops a 1-6 record in their last seven road games against the Penguins.

The Penguins are 8-3 at home in these playoffs heading into Thursday’s Game 5 matchup, but have been increasingly reliant on C Sidney Crosby as the final has unfolded. Reliable sources of offense such as RW Phil Kessel and RW Bryan Rust are on six-game goal droughts, while Pittsburgh’s power play has been powerless through the first five games.

However, any physical limitations with Subban could be a boon to Malkin. Left wing Jake Guentzel (playoff-most 13 goals, including four in as many games versus Nashville) will also be looking for a bounce-back after missing some top scoring chances during Game 4.

Pittsburgh’s defense is mostly a patchwork outfit; Crosby actually led the Penguins in ice time in Game 4, which is rare for a forward. While there’s been speculation about a goalie switch, Matt Murray is most likely to start.

The total has gone OVER in five of Nashville’s last seven games against Pittsburgh for totals bettors, according to the OddsShark NHL Database. The Predators will host Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final on Sunday night.


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