Colorado Avalanche vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Free Prediction

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

Two clubs that split their season series 1-1 a year ago, the Colorado Avalanche and the Pittsburgh Penguins meet at PPG Paints Arena for an East-versus-West tilt. The opening face-off is at 7 p.m. ET on Monday, December 11, and it is being televised live on Sportsnet.

Colorado Avalanche vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Odds

Losing -3.2 units for moneyline bettors, the Penguins are 16-15 straight up (SU) overall this year. That early-season winning percentage is a slide from what the team managed during last years regular season (50-32). Through 31 regular season contests, 18 of the teams games have gone over the total, while 12 have gone under and just one has pushed. The teams 10-5 SU at home this year. Pittsburgh’s converted on 27.0 percent of its power play chances this season, a mark that’s good enough for fourth-best in the league. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 17th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 79.7 percent of all penalties. Pittsburgh, as a collective unit, has been penalized 4.5 times per game overall this season, and 3.4 per game over its last five matchups home outings. The team has had to stave off opponent power plays for just 8.1 minutes per game over its last 10 matchups, in total. Averaging 26.6 saves per game with a .906 save percentage, Matt Murray (12-9-1) has been the best option in goal for the Penguins this season. If the Pens choose to give him a breather, however, it might turn to Tristan Jarry (5-4-4 record, .914 save percentage, 2.67 goals against average). The Pens will continue looking for offensive production from Phil Kessel and Sidney Crosby. Kessel (36 points) has produced 14 goals and 22 assists and has recorded two or more points eight times this year. Crosby has 13 goals and 19 assists to his name and has notched a point in 19 contests. On the other bench, Colorado is 13-15 straight up (SU) and has earned 0.6 units for moneyline bettors this year. A total of 18 of its matches have gone over the total, while 10 have gone under and none have pushed. As the away team, Colorado is 5-9 SU so far. Colorado has converted on 19.0 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 17th overall and it’s successfully killed off 80.2 percent of all penalties. Colorado’s skaters have been penalized 4.5 times per game in total this season, and 3.6 per game over their last five road outings. The team has been forced to kill penalties just 8.2 minutes per game over their last 10 outings. Semyon Varlamov (29.2 saves per game) has been the primary choice in goal for Colorado. Varlamov owns a 9-9-1 record, while registering a .905 save percentage and 3.14 goals against average this year. Nathan MacKinnon (11 goals, 22 assists) has been one of the top playmaking threats for the visiting Avalanche.

Colorado Avalanche at Pittsburgh Penguins Betting Predictions

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

Betting Notes

  • The total has gone over in three of Pittsburgh’s last five outings.
  • Colorado has managed 31.6 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 Avalanche are 4-7 SU in games where they serve more penalty minutes than their opponent while the Penguins are 7-8 SU when they serve more minutes than their opponent.
  • Pittsburgh is ranked 25th in the NHL with 6.2 takeaways per game. That figure has trended upward recently, as the team has created 7.6 takeaways over its last 10 games and 7.8 takeaways over its last five.
  • Colorado is ranked 14th this season with 7.8 takeaways per game. That figure has trended lower recently, however, as the team has created 6.8 takeaways over its last 10 games and 5.2 takeaways over its last five.