Anaheim Ducks at Pittsburgh Penguins Betting Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

Two of the most-penalized teams in the NHL, the Anaheim Ducks and the Pittsburgh Penguins meet at PPG Paints Arena in a cross-country tilt. The match will get underway at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 23, and it will be showcased live on AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh.

Anaheim Ducks at Pittsburgh Penguins Odds

Pittsburgh (-185) is currently favored over Anaheim (+160), and the oddsmakers have put the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals. The line for betting the total stands at -120 money on the over and +100 on the under.

Losing -6.0 units for moneyline bettors, the Penguins are 18-18 straight up (SU) overall this year. That early-season winning percentage is a regression from the 50-32 record that the team managed during the 2016-17 season campaign. Of the teams 36 games this season, 19 have gone over the total, while 15 have gone under and just two have pushed. The team is 11-6 SU at home this year.

Pittsburgh enters the matchup with the third-strongest power-play unit in the NHL, as it’s found the net on 24.8 percent of their extra-man advantages this year. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 19th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 80.6 percent of all penalties.

Pittsburgh, as a collective unit, has been penalized 4.5 times per game overall this season, 4.4 per game over its last five matchups total, and 4.0 per game over its last five at home. The team has been forced to stave off opposition power plays for 9.6 minutes per contest over its last five home games.

Averaging 26.4 saves per game with a .908 save percentage, Matt Murray (14-11-1) has been the primary option in goal for the Penguins this year. If they, however, choose to give him the night off, Pittsburgh could turn to Tristan Jarry (5-5-5 record, .919 save percentage, 2.49 goals against average).

The Pens will continue to look for leadership from Phil Kessel and Sidney Crosby. Kessel (39 points) has tallied 15 goals and 24 assists and has recorded multiple points on eight different occasions this year. Crosby has 14 goals and 20 assists to his credit and has recorded at least one point in 21 games.

On the other side of the ice, Anaheim is 15-21 straight up (SU) and has lost 4.2 units for bettors taking the moneyline thus far. Through 36 regular season matches, 22 of its games have gone under the total, while 13 have gone over and just one has pushed. Anaheim’s 7-11 SU as the visiting team this season.

Anaheim has converted on just 17.0 percent of its power play chances this season, a figure that’s ranked 23rd in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 13th overall and it’s successfully killed off 82.4 percent of all penalties.

Anaheim’s players have been penalized 4.6 times per game in total this season, and 2.6 per game over their last five on the road. The teams been forced to kill penalties just 7.9 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

John Gibson (2.88 goals against average and .920 save percentage) has been the primary option in goal for Anaheim. Gibson is averaging 30.9 saves per game and owns a 10-17-5 record.

Adam Henrique (eight goals, 14 assists) has been one of the primary facilitators on offense for the visiting Ducks.

Anaheim Ducks at Pittsburgh Penguins Betting Predictions

Predictions: SU Winner – Penguins, O/U – Over

Betting Trends

  • The under has hit in three of Pittsburgh’s last five outings.
  • Anaheim has managed 30.4 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Pittsburgh is averaging 38.6 shots per game over its last five home outings.
  • The Ducks are 2-7 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 8-10 in games where they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes.
  • Two of Anaheim’s last ten games have ended in a shootout. The team is 0-2 in those games and 2-4 overall in shootouts this season.
  • Pittsburgh has averaged 7.8 takeaways per game over its last five home games, an improvement over its season average of 6.3 takeaways per game (ranked 24th).
  • Anaheim has averaged 8.2 takeaways per game over its last five road games, an improvement over its season average of 6.3 takeaways per game (ranked 22nd in the league).