One night after the Pittsburgh Penguins outlasted the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 in a shootout, the two teams will finish up their home-and-home series in Toronto on Wednesday. Should we back a similiar result to our NHL picks, or will the tables turn?
It was quite the back-and-forth contest that had bettors
on the edge of their seats. The Leafs held leads of 2-0 and 4-1 only to see the
Penguins come all the way back and win it in the shootout.
The Leafs will be disappointed with the finish but won’t
be discouraged by the effort. On Wednesday they’ll try to seal the deal and
come away with two points instead of one.
NHL odds boards opened with the Pittsburgh Penguins at -120 with a total of 5.5. Early sports betting action has seen the puck line fall to -115. Are the numbers falling in our favor, or whould we jump on these lines now? Lets decide which NHL picks hold the most value for us tonight.
The Pittsburgh Penguins can win because…
They are on fire right now.
The Pens have now won eight straight games and they feel
like they can win every night. News of Sidney Crosby skating should provide
some more fuel to the fire.
While he’s out, other members of the team are stepping
up in a big way. Evgeni Malkin is arguably the best player in the league right
now. He scored a goal in nine of Pittsburgh’s 12 January games while piling up
12 points including the shootout winner last night against Toronto. James
Neal’s 27 goals (second in the NHL) aren’t too bad either while All-Star
defenseman Kris Letang has notched four points in the six games since he’s
returned from a concussion.
The Leafs don’t fare well against winning teams and
that’s going to be the key concern on Wednesday. They are now 5-12 in that
situation while costing NHL bettors 6.8 units.
The Toronto Maple Leafs can win because…
They are playing with plenty of confidence these days.
Starting off in net, although Jonas Gustavsson took the
loss on Tuesday, he’s still won seven of his last 11 starts. He’s secured the
back end and provided plenty of confidence for the Leafs.
Meanwhile, Mikhail Grabovsky, who was the NHL’s first
star last week, continued his torrid pace while picking up another three
points. He’s not notched eight in his last three games.
But more importantly, the Leafs are playing very
disciplined. They only gave up one power play to Pittsburgh on Tuesday and they
didn’t allow a goal. That means they finished the month of January without
allowing a single power play (17-for-17) and more importantly, they’re not even
giving up many shorthanded opportunities.
The Pens are not a good road this season and have cost
bettors 5.1 units when playing in a road game with a total of 5.5. They’ve also
cost bettors eight units when facing teams with a winning record.
As a small home dog, the Leafs offer value.
Outlook & NHL Betting Prediction:
There’s just no betting against the Penguins right now.
Winners of eight straight, they are the hottest team in the league and are
clicking on all cylinders right now.
Toronto isn’t far behind as they are playing at a high
level too but their record against teams above .500 (5-12) shows that they are
just not a great bet in these spots. Take the Pens to sweep the home-and-home.
NHL Picks: Penguins