NHL Picks: Avalanche vs. Penguins

Ross Benjamin

Monday, October 21, 2013 1:33 PM UTC

Monday, Oct. 21, 2013 1:33 PM UTC

The Pittsburgh Penguins host the Colorado Avalanche at the Consol Energy Center. Have we decided to look at the total or the ML with our NHL picks in tonight's matchup.

According to current NHL odds the Penguins are a -170 money line home favorite and the posted total is 5.5. Pittsburgh has won the last 4 meetings between these 2 clubs.

Check our SBR's NHL Picks of the Day for more free hockey betting options.

A Strong Avalanche

Colorado began this season by winning their first 6-games before falling at the hands of Detroit at home last Thursday 4-2. The team rebounded nicely with a solid effort in a 4-2 road win at Buffalo on Saturday. Jean-Sebastian Giguere made just his 2nd start of the season in the win over the Sabres and was strong in stopping 28 of 30 shots on goal. Colorado had 4 different players score goals in the game and improved their road record to a perfect 4-0 on the season. The Avalanche have been strong in all facets of their game as they’re 5th in the NHL scoring 3.4 goals per game, and 2nd allowing just 1.5 goals per contest. The Avalanche scoring has been balanced as 9 players have at least 5-points or more. The goaltending of 25-year old Semyon Varlamov has been sensational. Varlamov has posted a stellar 1.68 GAA and an excellent .950 save percentage in 6 starts. Colorado has gone over the total in just 3 of their last 12 games on the road.

Sid “The Kid” is on Fire

Sidney Crosby has been a dominant force in the Penguins 7-1 start to the season. Crosby has 7 goals and 10 assists for 17-points which is tops in the NHL. Crosby hasn’t been the only story as goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has got off to a spectacular beginning to the season going 7-0 with a 1.83 GAA and a .930 save percentage.

The Penguins have won all 5 home games this season and are an excellent 47-14 in their last 61 at the Consol Energy Center. Pittsburgh is 2nd in the NHL averaging 3.8 goals per game, and are also 2nd on the power play converting 28% of their chances. After suffering their first loss of the season 6-3 at Florida on October 11th the Penguins have strung together 4 consecutive wins heading into tonight.


Final Analysis

This is a battle of 2 of the 3 best teams in the NHL right now. What can’t be ignored is the Penguins strong play at home in recent years. Contrarily this is a Colorado club that’s won all 4 road games this season. I’m not willing to lay this kind of juice versus a 7-1 club, and I certainly hate to fade the Penguins at home in light of their recent history. However, I do have a lean toward this being a low scoring affair.

Free Pick: Colorado/Pittsburgh to go under the total.

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