Underdog Predators Will Cash NHL Pick & Make Prey Of Penguins

Dana Lane

Thursday, March 31, 2016 3:09 PM UTC

Thursday, Mar. 31, 2016 3:09 PM UTC

With five games to go the Nashville Predators can still catch the Chicago Blackhawks for the last automatic spot in the Central. See my NHL pick inside. 

Nashville Predators vs. Pittsburgh Penguins 
There is little doubt that the Pittsburgh Penguins are playing as well as anybody in the National Hockey League now winning nine of their last 10. Pittsburgh is in a prime position to make a Stanley Cup run as they are ranked fifth in my current power ranking. Nashville is ranked 14th. Any combination of four points gained by Pittsburgh or lost by Detroit will earn the Penguins a playoff berth. 

The only problem I've had is their inability to start or finish games which may not be a problem when you're playing the Buffalo Sabres but it will be against a better Nashville Predator team. The Pens have given up the first goal in six of their last seven games and couldn't finish the Sabres off in the third period with a one goal advantage.  In fact, they spotted the Sabres the first three goals before screaming back in the second period to take a 4-3 lead. Buffalo was able to tie it up on a late power play goal in the third to force overtime and eventually a shootout, won by Pittsburgh 5-4. 

Watch a special teams unit when handicapping,  it tells you allot about a teams discipline and mental state.  The Penguins are one of the best on the penalty kill but against Buffalo the Pens gave up a powerplay goal, a shorthanded goal, and a five on five score in the first period alone.

This is what happens on poor PK's most of the time. The bottom two defensemen allow a player or two to slip behind them because they are too concerned about covering angles up top. For Pittsburgh, Trevor Daly completley forgets about Brian Gionta down low while Matt Moulson was able to peel off of of Matt Cullen creating a two on one in front of the net. When John Larsson got the puck to the net Mathew Murray was unable to control the rebound creating an easy opportunity for Moulson. Buffalo was sharper and out disciplined the Penguins. 

I would like to see the Predators bring an aggressive nature tonight because we have seen where Pittsburgh is not as effective and sometimes sloppy when the game becomes physical. One of the reasons Buffalo had so much first period special teams success was there ability to get their sticks in passing lanes, which led to a shorthanded goal on one occasion,

Only Washington has won more games after allowing the first goal of a game. 


Betting Analysis
From a trend perspective the Predators, who are coming off a 5-2 loss to Dallas, have shown the ability to bounce back after a poor defensive effort.  In their last nine games after losing by three or more goals Nashville is 7-2. This is the perfect spot to get a decent price as it seems the majority of bets have come in support of the Penguins but larger money has kept this number from moving too much. 

Pittsburgh is just 2-6 in their last eight games after scoring five or more goals in their previous game. 

Lets take a chance with Nashville tonight as our NHL pick in a solid plus money situation on the NHL odds boards. Are you a totals player? You can visit today's NHL picks of the day piece to get a free play on this game as well. 

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Free NBA Pick: Nashville +119
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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