NHL Picks: Penguins vs. Jets

David Lawrence

Friday, January 25, 2013 12:25 PM GMT

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Winnipeg Jets were two of the teams that had Thursday off even though it was the busiest night in the NHL this week.

NHL Betting – Penguins vs. Jets NHL Picks

The Jets could be up against it on Friday as the Pens have dominated this series. Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec has lost 10 of his last 11 starts against Pittsburgh, which is why they find themselves as a home underdog to the Pens on the NHL odds on Friday night.

Record: 11-12 (-100)

The Pittsburgh Penguins can win because

They’ve played better on the road than at home. Sure, it’s only a small sample but the Penguins are 2-0-0 on the road and have outscored their opponents 9-4 in those contests compared to at home where they are 0-1-0 with a 5-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Also, the Penguins beat both Philadelphia and New York on the road.

The Jets are a weak team as evidenced by the fact that they’ve lost two of their three games to start the season. They have a tough time scoring as they notched just two goals in their first two games before the weak Washington Capitals defense allowed them to score four. The Pens offense is clicking right now and they should have no problem outscoring the Jets.

Winnipeg also lacks an elite defensive corps and while the sum of the parts seems to do a decent job, playing against the likes of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and James Neal is likely to leave them exposed. Ondrej Pavelec has given up eight goals in three starts so far this season while Marc-Andre Fleury is 12-2-0 with a 2.06 GAA in his last 14 starts against Winnipeg.

Pittsburgh just has too many advantages on the ice in this matchup to overlook them here.

The Winnipeg Jets can win because

They finally got on track. The Jets started the season with a poor performance at home versus Ottawa (a 4-1 loss), then played better in a 2-1 shootout loss in Boston and finally broke through with a 4-2 win in Washington. It took them a little while they’ve put it together and are finally in rhythm. 

The Jets should be pleased that they are getting very balanced scoring as six different scorers have notched their six goals this season. In particular, seeing Evander Kane with a pair of points and Dustin Byfuglien with three is encouraging.

They are heading in the right direction and should be ready for the Pens on Friday night.

Outlook & NHL Betting Prediction:

The Pens have owned this series of late and there’s little reason to believe anything will change. They’ve won seven of the last eight meetings and 34 of the last 47 overall. They’ve also taken three of their last four visits to Winnipeg and 16 of their last 24.

The Jets are good but not great. The Pens have elite players in a number of areas and that’s where they should be able to outshine the Jets. Take the Pens in this one for your Friday NHL picks.

NHL Picks: Pens -135 at 5Dimes

 Check out SBR's free picks on the Minnesota Wild vs. Detroit Red Wings~