Flyers vs. Penguins: Offensive Struggles Make 'Under' Our NHL Pick

Nikki Adams

Thursday, January 21, 2016 7:25 PM GMT

Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016 7:25 PM GMT

A jam-packed day in the NHL gets underway today. In this column, we focus on the game between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins with a view towards determining the best NHL pick.

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NHL Pick: UNDER 5 (+114) 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

Philadelphia Flyers
The Philadelphia Flyers are coming off a loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday, a 3-2 loss at home that sees the Flyers slip to a 5-4-1 record in their last ten games. Next up are the struggling Pittsburgh Penguins on the road where the Flyers are matched as the considerable road underdogs, but with a healthy 8-0 SU record over the Penguins, which goes back to 2013, the Flyers have more than a reasonable shot.

Tonight’s game marks the first of four meetings between these familiar foes. Very little separates them in the standings: Penguins are 21-17-7 with 49 points while the Flyers are 20-16-8 with 48 points and a game in hand. The premium on the win therefore couldn’t be any greater as the Flyers attempt to climb up the Metropolitan divisional ranks.

The Flyers briefly enjoyed a run of good form this month, stringing together a four-game winning streak. In their last three though they’ve regressed. They’ve managed to clinch just one win in those three – a 2-1 shootout win over Detroit. Prior to that they lost to the Rangers 3-2 in a shootout and most recently succumbed to the Leafs at home.

For the season, the Flyers boast an 11-6-5 record at home and a 9-10-3 record on the road. They’ve scored just 100 goals and conceded 117 in 44 games for a negative 17-goal differential that only highlights their ongoing struggles on offense this season and that have materialised again in recent weeks.

 

Pittsburgh Penguins
Pittsburgh Penguins are coming off a 5-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Monday night, a defeat that has them slipping to a woeful 4-2-4 in their last ten games. Indeed, in the month of January, the Penguins have failed to launch losing five of their eight games.

On the season, the Penguins are 21-17-7 with 49 points, which includes an 11-7-4 mark at home and a 10-10-3 mark on the road. They’ve scored 110 goals and conceded 113 goals for a -3 goal-differential.

On the offensive side of the puck, the Penguins have plenty weapons. Problem is they’re extremely inconsistent this season and considering the enviable talent contained on their bench an average of 2.4-goals per game is rather underwhelming.

There have been some promising signs of late, namely Sidney Crosby seemingly moving closer to the lethal striking form that made him a celebrated player in the NHL and for his native Canada. Under new coach Mike Sullivan, Crosby has scored eight goals and 10 assists in 16 games. In the last three games, he combined for two goals and two assists.

Still, the Penguins et al have to find their offensive form if things are to look up for them on the season. In their last five home games, they are 3-2 SU.

 

Betting Verdict
Both sides are coming off losses earlier this week and each will be looking to bounce back to winning form. The Penguins have home ice advantage prompting odds makers to send them into this game as the favorites. However, considering their recent poor run of form, combined with a 0-8 SU record against the Penguins since 2013, their NHL odds – ranging from -165 (at The Greek) to -173 (BetOnline) appear to be rather pricey, if not unwarranted. In this case, a bet on the Flyers for the upset at +145 (The Greek) to +160 (5Dimes) has more appeal. But we’re not going to commit to the straight up betting in this game as it’s really a tossup in our opinion. Besides, can the Penguins really go 0-9 SU against the Flyers???

For our money, the best NHL pick in this game is the totals. Totals are set to 5 with the OVER favored. Considering the offensive struggles of the Flyers and the inconsistent offensive of the Penguins, this game could go against the grain and cash on the UNDER. As such, we’re banking on the UNDER 5.

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