Free Hockey Picks for Penguins vs. Jets

David Lawrence

Thursday, April 3, 2014 12:04 PM GMT

Thursday, Apr. 3, 2014 12:04 PM GMT

Two slumping teams gather on Thursday night when the Pittsburgh Penguins visit the Winnipeg Jets. Considering how badly the Jets have played, the Pens would normally be a shoe-in for your NHL picks. However, the Pens have been horrible of late too, which makes this is tricky game to handicap.

The Winnipeg Jets Can Win Because…
They have a very manageable opponent here. The Jets are a sinking ship right now as they’ve dropped 11 of their last 15 games and will be playing their first game at home after a five-game west coast road trip. Home-ice advantage hasn’t been kind to them recently as they’ve lost six of eight at the MTS Centre.

The Pens own Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec as he has just 11 wins in 13 starts against them. They’ve ripped him for a 4.35 GAA and a pathetic .870 save percentage. The Jets would be wise to keep him on the bench but if not, take the Pens with your hockey picks.

Thursday Hockey Picks of the Day

The Pittsburgh Penguins Can Win Because…
The Pens are crumbling. We’re talking about a team that has Stanley Cup aspirations but is playing like a borderline playoff team these days. Pittsburgh is fresh off a 4-1 home loss to the Carolina Hurricanes – yes, the Hurricanes – and they’ve now dropped seven of 11. Goal scoring has been a serious issue for once high-flying Pens as they’ve totaled just 27 goals in those 11 games (2.45 per game). That’s not awful but considering we’re talking about a team that had been one of the highest-scoring in the NHL, this is a big dip.

The Pens have been bleeding units all over the place, including the -200 they cost bettors in their loss versus Carolina. This is not a team to be laying juice with right now.

[gameodds]7/260893/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Outlook & Pick
If Pavelec is in net, I’ll begrudgingly lay the juice. As badly as the Pens have played recently, they dominate Pavelec.

If he’s not in net, I’ll take the under. Both teams are struggling to score as the Pens were 22nd in scoring in March while the Jets were 17th.

Hockey Pick: Pens -139 OR Under 5.5 at Pinnacle

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