Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia Flyers Free Pick

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

The Pittsburgh Penguins at the Wells Fargo Center in Game 4 of the opening round of the NHL Playoffs. The match will get underway at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 18, and you will be able to catch the game live on NBC Sports Network.

Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia Flyers Odds

With a moneyline of -150, Pittsburgh enters the matchup as the substantial favorite. The line for Philadelphia sits at +130, and the oddsmakers have put the Over/Under (O/U) at an even 6 goals (-120 for the over, +100 for the under). After originally opening at -110 for both, those O/U odds have shifted.

Though the team is 49-36 straight up (SU) this season, Pittsburgh has actually lost 1.8 units for moneyline bettors thus far. 48 of its outings have gone over the total, while 33 have gone under and just four have pushed. As the road team in 2017-18, the Pens are 18-24 SU.

Following a regular season where they converted 26.2 percent of all power-play chances (the league’s best), the Penguins have been able to score on 26.7 percent of their power plays in the early stages of this postseason.

Pittsburgh’s offense attempted 34.3 shots per game in the regular season, leading to 3.4 goals per contest (ranked fourth overall in the NHL). In the playoffs, however, the team’s down to an average of 31.3 shots on goal while being up to 4.3 goals per game.

With a .908 save percentage and 26.1 saves per game, Matt Murray (31-21-3) has been the top option in goal for Pittsburgh this season. If it chooses to rest him, however, Pittsburgh could go with Tristan Jarry (15-11-2), who has a .908 save percentage and 2.77 goals against average this year.

Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby will both spearhead the attack for the visiting Penguins. Malkin (101 points) has tallied 44 goals and 57 assists, and has recorded two or more points in 26 different games. Crosby has 33 goals and 63 assists to his credit (and has notched a point in 56 games).

Philadelphia is 43-42 straight up (SU) and has lost 2.7 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 85 regular season contests, 45 of its games have gone over the total, while 36 have gone under and just four have pushed. It’s 22-20 SU at home this season.

Philadelphia has converted on 20.4 percent of its power play chances this year, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 29th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 75.7 percent of all opponent power plays.

Philadelphia skaters have been called for penalties 3.5 times per game in total this season, and 4.8 per game over their past five contests. The team’s had to kill penalties just 7.6 minutes per game over their last five home outings.

Brian Elliott (25.8 saves per game) has been the top netminder in goal for Philadelphia. Elliott has 25 wins, 21 losses, and seven overtime losses and has registered a subpar .906 save percentage and 2.76 goals against average this season.

The home team offense will be led by Claude Giroux (34 goals, 69 assists).

Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia Flyers Betting Predictions

NHL Prediction: SU Winner – Penguins, O/U – Under

Betting Trends

  • Pittsburgh has attempted 34.3 shots per contest overall this season (the second-most in the NHL), and 33.0 in its last five road outings.
  • The Penguins are 23-12 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 31-22 in games where they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes.
  • Philadelphia skaters have managed 4.8 takeaways per game over its last five home games, a drop-off from its season average of 5.8 takeaways per game (ranked 27th overall).
  • Pittsburgh is ranked 18th in the league this season with 7.1 takeaways per game. That figure has trended higher recently, as it’s forced 8.2 takeaways over its last 10 games and 8.8 takeaways over its last five.