NHL Picks: Senators vs. Penguins Game 2 Odds & Analysis
The Pittsburgh Penguins will attempt to take a 2-0 series lead against the Ottawa Senators on Friday night when the two teams collide on the ice once again at the Consol Energy Center in Game 2 of the best of seven Eastern Conference second round playoff matchup.
NHL odds makers at bet365 have posted a number heavily favoring the Penguins by -200 or 2-to-1 on the money line, while bettors backing the Senators will take +170.
The puck line has the Penguins giving up 1½ goals with a generous return of +155. Of course, backing Pittsburgh on the puck line requires them to win by at least 2 goals for the wager to pay off as a winner.
Let’s take a closer look at both teams so we can determine if it’s the Senators, Penguins or perhaps the total that holds the best value for our NHL picks in this matchup.
Ottawa dropped the series opener by a score of 4-1 and realize there is no margin for mistakes moving forward if they want to upset the Penguins in this best of seven second round matchup. However, even with the Game 1 loss, the Senators are an impressive 6-2 in their last 8 games played on the highway.
The Senators strong suit of killing penalties proved to be their biggest weakness in Game 1 against Pittsburgh. During the regular season, Ottawa led the league in penalty kill and carried the success over in the Montreal series by fending off 16 of 19 penalties in the first round.
However, in Game 1, Pittsburgh was 2 for 4 on the power play against the Senators and improved to 9 of 24 overall with a one man advantage in this year’s postseason; which is the best among all team’s remaining in the playoffs.
Meanwhile, the Penguins stifled the Senators when Ottawa held the man advantage, stopping them five consecutive times on the power play. Overall, Ottawa is only 1 for 17 on the power play against Pittsburgh this season.
With the win, Pittsburgh improved to an astounding 40-12 in their last 52 games played on their home ice and is 5-1 against the Senators in the last six played at the Consol Energy Center.
Pittsburgh is also 45-15 in their last 60 games when notching a victory in the prior matchup.
Ottawa offers little to no value in this game and the series for that matter, but backing Pittsburgh could prove to be a bit costly, as one lucky bounce could be the difference between win and losing a wager.
That said, taking a shot with the Penguins on the puck line, with a return of +155 is the most logical play and one that holds the best value on the NHL odds.
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