NHL Free Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins vs Calgary Flames
Tonight, 9:30 p.m. ET
Sportsbook odds: Penguins +110, Flames -130
Two teams who started quickly but have stumbled recently go toe-to-toe in a rare meeting at the Saddledome tonight. Are the Penguins getting tired? Complacent? For whatever reason, they’re sagging to start 2010, losing four of six and beating only the lowly Thrashers and Maple Leafs. We saw earlier this season that the Pens were an incomplete team without Evgeni Malkin in the lineup.
Even though he’s been back for a while, his lackluster year has almost created the effect of him being absent. He hasn’t scored a goal this month and is a minus-five. Let the Jaromir Jagr comparisons begin. Sidney Crosby is on a career-best goal pace but can’t do it all on his own.
Geno isn’t the only slumping star playing tonight. Jarome Iginla has also lost his touch, potting just four goals in his last 20 games. It’s enough to make you wonder if the Flames will shop for a true playmaking center at the trade deadline. Luckily for Calgary, Miikka Kiprusoff continues to hold the fort.
The Flames have allowed more than three goals just once this month yet are .500 over that span; clearly, they’re getting the goaltending but not the offense.
Looks like the Pens will hit a hot goalie tonight unless Malkin wakes up.
I like them to hold off the Pens at home in what may be a surprisingly low-scoring affair.
NHL Betting Trends:
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Pittsburgh’s last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Pittsburgh’s last 5 games when playing Calgary
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Pittsburgh’s last 10 games when playing on the road against Calgary
Pittsburgh is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games when playing Calgary
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Calgary’s last 5 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Calgary’s last 5 games when playing Pittsburgh
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Calgary’s last 10 games when playing at home against Pittsburgh
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Calgary’s last 9 games
Pick: Flames -130
Shea Matthews lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national newspapers. He now applies his knowledge to sports betting and handicapping every day, and shares his winning picks with the world.