NHL Picks: Penguins vs. Islanders

David Lawrence

Tuesday, February 5, 2013 12:41 PM GMT

Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013 12:41 PM GMT

The Pittsburgh Penguins are finally in cruise control as they’ve won three straight and four of their last five. That means they should handle the hapless New York Islanders, right? Find out which team we have decided to back with our NHL picks today.

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The Isles have actually won four straight in this series and have been a real thorn in the Pens side. Let’s have a closer look at this contest to see which NHL picks hold the best value.

The Pittsburgh Penguins can win because…

The Pittsburgh Penguins have played great on the road this season. For whatever reason, the Pens have struggled at home with just one win in three tries. However, the road has been kind to them as they’ve won five of their six away games. The difference has been team-wide as the Pens are scoring 2.67 goals per game and home and allowing 3.33 but are averaging 3.67 goals per game on the road and allowing just 2.0.

Tuesday is a revenge game for the Pens as the Isles beat them on their home ice just last week. Now they can get back at them with a win on Long Island. They’ve won three straight while outscoring their opponents 14-4. The Isles have lost two of their three home games this season and don’t really have much of an advantage on their home ice.

The New York Islanders can win because…

They’ve had Pittsburgh’s number recently. The Isles have actually won four straight in this series and could very well have the edge in net come Tuesday. The Isles have had no problems solving Pens netminder Marc-Andre Fleury as he has a 5.63 GAA against them in his last three starts. Meanwhile, Evgeni Nabokov, who has been outstanding for the Isles this season, is 10-2-0 with a 1.70 GAA against the Pens. He’s allowed two goals or less in nine straight meetings with them.

On paper, the Penguins seem like the obvious choice for your sports picks, but the reality is very different. It’s in fact the Isles that have played better in this series and there could very well be some value with them as a home dog here.

For more free picks be sure to check out my NHL Picks: Tuesday Hockey Picks of the Day article.

[gameodds]7/218213/43/us[/gameodds]

Outlook & NHL Betting Prediction:

While many public bettors will be riding the Penguins in this game, I’m instead leaning towards the Over. Fleury has struggled against the Isles while the Pens offense is hot right now, so they should do their share too. Also, the trends support this game going over the number as well.

Four of the last six meetings at Nassau Coliseum have gone over. Four of the five times the Isles have played a team with a winning record this season the game has gone over and the over is 3-1 when the Pens are on the road with a total of 5.5. The over has also cashed 45 times in the last 71 home games where the Isles have faced a total of 5.5. I’ll take the over in this games.

NHL Picks: Over 5.5 at Bodog

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