It was a beautiful night with my pair of free NHL picks last night as it was a perfect 2-0 night, and while it wasn’t a sure thing throughout, I’ll take the end result.
I had the Montreal Canadiens on the moneyline at -109 odds to go into Buffalo and defeat the struggling Sabres.
It didn’t look good early as the Sabres opened the scoring in the first period – on a Jack Eichel goal, of course – but the Habs responded with a pair of second-period goals and took a 2-1 lead into the third. A Tomas Tatar empty-net goal with less than two minutes to go sealed the 3-1 win and a winner for our pick. Look like a sprinkle on the puckline would have indeed worked out at +175 as suggested in yesterday’s piece!
I also had the Predators as -136 favorites on the moneyline in New Jersey.
I actually struggled with that one as I was extremely close to pulling the trigger on a three-way moneyline bet (in regulation) at +110, but boy am I glad that I didn’t.
It was a crazy back-and-forth affair that ended up as a 5-5 tie after 60 minutes, so my regulation pick would have been toast. That said, the moneyline pick was still alive and came through in the shootout when the Preds scored two of the three goals and took this one by a 6-5 final.
It didn’t come as easy as you’d like, but the 2-0 result netted us two units in profit and I’ll now turn my attention to tonight’s seven-game Friday night schedule!
Season Record: 86-73-1
Now let’s take a look at a free NHL pick featuring the Flyers vs. Penguins from PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh!
Flyers vs. Penguins Betting Odds
- Flyers (+150)
- Penguins (-170)
- Flyers +1.5 (-170)
- Penguins -1.5 (+150)
- Over 6 (-120)
- Under 6 (+100)
Flyers vs. Penguins NHL Pick Breakdown
Now let’s take a look at each of these clubs before I get into my final pick!
The Flyers return from their bye week tonight to take on the same Penguins team that they posted a 3-0 shutout win over in their final game prior to the break.
It was the second straight win for the Flyers while they have won four of their last five and five of their last seven entering this rivalry matchup this evening.
There’s a big problem tonight, however, and that is that this one comes on the road while the 3-0 win their last time out came on home ice.
The road has not been kind to the Flyers to say the least. They have gone just 10-13-2 on the road compared to their 17-4-4 mark at home, but that doesn’t even come close to telling the entire story.
We’ll start on offense where the Flyers rank fifth at home with 3.52 goals per game on the season, but fall all the way to 19th with a 2.60 mark on the road.
On the power play, they rank 10th with a 23% mark on home ice, but are tied for 23rd with a 15.6% mark on the road.
While those marks are significantly worse on the road, it’s the defensive side of the puck where things have truly fell apart on the road.
The Flyers are the NHL’s best home defense in the NHL where they’re allowing just 2.00 goals per game, but that number absolutely plummets all the way to 3.80 goals against per game on the road – the second-worst mark in the NHL.
In other words, they are allowing 1.80 more goals PER GAME on the road than they are at home. That’s one of the more mind-blowing stats I’ve seen this season.
The penalty kill hasn’t helped matters as it goes from a third-ranked 86.8% mark at home all the way to a 24th-ranked 77.6% mark on the road.
In other words, the Flyers have the widest home/road splits in the NHL and it’s a little surprising that they’ve managed a palatable road record despite that fact.
Getting the start for the road side in this one is Brian Elliott who continues to get the reps in Carter Hart’s absence.
Elliott enters this one sporting a 2.89 GAA and .904 Sv% on the season, but of course his numbers take a hit on the road where he’s turned in a 3.29 GAA and .895 Sv% on the season.
Somehow, he’s managed an 8-4-1 road record despite the shaky work, a record that’s just not sustainable considering the Flyers’ weak road offense.
The Penguins will look for revenge on home ice after that 3-0 loss and likely feel quite good about their chances considering their 18-5-3 record on home ice this season.
The Penguins have been a good offense regardless of where they’ve played this season as they rank ninth with 3.42 goals per game at home this season.
Their home power play has been uncharacteristically mediocre this season with an 18th-ranked 19.3% mark at home, however that power play has scored two goals in three of their last six games and owns an even 30% mark over that stretch.
That said, they’ve been excellent on the defensive side of the puck at home as well.
The Penguins are tied for sixth with 2.46 goals against per game at home this season where their penalty kill sits eighth with an 84.7% mark.
The quality work at both ends of the ice has the Penguins sitting with some quality possession numbers at home, as well, while they’re one of the top overall possession teams in the NHL thanks to their quality work on the road as well.
At 5v5 at home, the Penguins rank 15th with a 51.23% Corsi For%, 11th with a 53.29% Scoring Chances For% and 11th again with a 54.80% High-Danger Chances For%.
Getting the starting nod in goal for the home side tonight will be Tristan Jarry who hasn’t been as sharp in January as his numbers have come down to earth but he’s still been fantastic on the season.
Jarry enters this one sporting a 2.16 GAA and .929 Sv% on the season to go along with a 16-8-1 record, however his work at home has been even better.
Jarry sports a 1.85 GAA and .938 Sv% at home where he’s gone 10-3-1 on the campaign.
He’s regressed this month, but certainly hasn’t been terrible as he’s posted a 2.83 GAA and .907 Sv% in going 3-3-1, which is to be expected after a December where he posted an unsustainable 1.54 GAA and .947 Sv% in nine starts, going 8-1-0 in the process.
Jarry allowed two goals on 29 shots (.931 Sv%) in the Penguins’ loss to the Flyers prior to the break.
This is one of my favorite rivalries in the game.
The Flyers and Penguins never fail to disappoint in their head-to-head matchups, although I will expect some more fireworks in this one than in the 3-0 affair in Philly.
Still, if you couldn’t tell from above, I am all over the home side in this one.
Whether or not the Flyers are expected to improve their road numbers is up for debate, but I do know that they’ve been fortunate to have the road record that they’ve put together to this point.
Their defense is getting gouged on the road and the Penguins can make you pay in a hurry with that dynamite offense that is getting healthier and once again sports two dominant lines.
Keep in mind they’ve posted those offensive numbers without Crosby and Malkin for separate, long periods of time.
I like the work Jarry has put in at home, of course, and despite a little regression of late he is back where he’s been at his best and the Flyers’ road offense has not been good.
I’m not laying the big juice on the moneyline odds, but I do like the three-way moneyline (-115) odds as I believe the Penguins can certainly take this one down in regulation time tonight.