Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:30 AM EST.
6:05 PM EST. Regulation only. The Jackets are coming off a 2-1 OT loss to the Flyers in another game in which they played well enough to win but ended up on the unlucky side of the final bounce. What this market sees is wins and losses and right now, Columbus is on a current run of seven losses in its past nine games. We cannot overstate how misleading that is, as Columbus is dominating games to a very high degree but are not getting rewarded for it. Recently, the Jackets went 0-3 in two games versus Washington and one versus Toronto but outshot that pair in the three games by a combined count of 143-70. The Jackets are an underpriced commodity right now that ranks #1 in xGF/60 (Expected Goals For) over the past five weeks. They also rank first in 5v5 CF/60 over the past five weeks. While we hate to bet against the Penguins, this one sets up well to do so, thus, what we have here is an underpriced home team playing at a high level in a good situational spot. There’s nothing we’re going to write here about the Penguins that you don’t already know. Pittsburgh was pretty much going through the motions in the first half of the season before they kicked it into gear at roughly the 40-game mark. Since then, Pittsburgh has been the NHL’s most dominating team and it’s all legit too. This is a team that nobody wants to face in the playoffs because the chances of beating them are not good. That said, this is a game in which the Penguins can get caught napping and we’ll try to take advantage.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are the NHL’s “new kid on the block” that has a legit shot of knocking the Penguins off their throne. Pittsburgh does not have anything to prove to anyone but every once in a while, they do. The Pens hosted the Maple Leafs on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada last night. There was tremendous anticipation and excitement surrounding that game between two highly skilled and great skating teams. The Penguins welcomed a challenge to get their competitive juices flowing again and of course to remind the Maple Leafs who the boss is and who they’re going to have to go through to reach the pinnacle of hockey. The Penguins do not get a lot of satisfying wins during the regular season but we can assure you that last night’s 5-3 win over Toronto was one of them in a marquee matchup on a Saturday night against arguably their biggest threat. This now becomes a “meh” game for the Pens while the Jackets will treat it like the playoffs. Great situational spot here that we’re not going to miss.
Open an account today at Pinnacle Sports and take advantage of their -104 style pricing on sides and totals, which is 60% better than other sportsbooks.
COLUMBUS -½ +138 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.76)