Penguins Over Wild for Thursday's NHL Picks

David Lawrence

Thursday, December 19, 2013 12:45 PM GMT

The Minnesota Wild are trying to prove that they’re not only a playoff team, but one that might be enough of a sleeper to make some noise in the playoffs. Let's take a look at the odds and find our NHL pick.

The Wild offense has disappeared as they’ve averaged just 1.67 goals per game over their last 12. They’ll need to do better than that if they hope to cut it in Pittsburgh on Thursday.

The Minnesota Wild scan win because…

The Pens are banged up and fatigued. Not only the Pens playing without nine regulars in the lineup due to injuries and suspension, they’ll also be playing on short rest. The Pens played on Wednesday night in New York and also on Monday night at home against Toronto. Thursday will be their fifth game in seven nights, so don’t be surprised if they are worn down.

The Wild have won two straight with quality wins over Vancouver and Colorado. They’ll be confident heading into this meeting.

Read our sportsbook reviews before placing your bets!

The Pittsburgh Penguins can win because…

The Wild are not playing at home. Simply put, that’s enough of a difference in this game to tip the scales in the Penguins favor. The Wild are an impressive 14-3-2 at home this season but are just 6-8-3 on the road.

Pittsburgh is 15-3-0 at home this season and unlike the Wild, have been playing well over the last month. They might even be the best team in the NHL over the span. That being the case, add the Pens to your NHL picks.

Outlook & Pick

The Wild just haven’t been the same team that started the year 15-5-4. Since then, they have just five wins in their last 12 games, which is a big drop-off in performance.

I see the Pens as a modest -135 favorite on the NHL odds and I think that’s good value. Even though they are in a back-to-back, I’ll trust them because of the significant difference in home-away splits for both teams.

Pick: Pens -135 at TheGreek

[gameodds]7/250614/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]