Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia Flyers Free Pick

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

In their second head-to-head meeting of the regular season, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers collide at the Wells Fargo Center for a divisional showdown. NBC Sports Network will showcase the game, which gets underway at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, January 2.

Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia Flyers Odds

Pittsburgh enters the game as the slight favorite with a moneyline of -115. The line for Philadelphia sits at -105, and the oddsmakers have put the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals (-115 for the over, -105 for the under).

Pittsburgh is 19-21 straight up (SU) and has lost 9.0 units for moneyline bettors thus far. Through 40 regular season matches, 20 of its games have gone over the total, while 18 have gone under and just two have pushed. As an away team this season, the Pens are 7-14 SU.

Pittsburgh enters the match up with the second-best power-play unit in the NHL, as it’s scored on 25.0 percent of its extra-man chances this season. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 17th out of 31 teams, and the teams successfully killed off 81.0 percent of its penalties.

The Pens, as a collective unit, have been sent to the penalty box 4.3 times per game during the 2017-18 season, and 2.4 per game over its last five on the road. The team has had to kill penalties just 7.2 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Averaging 25.7 saves per game with a .902 save percentage, Matt Murray (15-13-1) has been the primary option in goal for Pittsburgh this year. If Pittsburgh decides to rest him, however, head coach Mike Sullivan may roll with Tristan Jarry (5-7-2), who has a .921 save percentage and 2.40 goals against average this year.

The visiting Penguins have relied on Phil Kessel and Evgeni Malkin heavily this year. Kessel has 42 points via 16 goals and 26 assists, and has recorded two or more points nine times. Malkin has 14 goals and 22 assists to his name (and has logged a point in 24 games).

On the other bench, Philadelphia is 16-22 straight up (SU) and has lost 8.3 units for moneyline bettors this year. 19 of its games have gone over the total, while 17 have gone under and just two have pushed. The teams 8-11 SU at home this year.

The Flyers have converted on just 19.5 percent of their power play opportunities this year, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 30th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 77.0 percent of all penalties.

Philadelphia skaters have been sent to the penalty box only 3.7 times per game in total this season, and 2.2 per game over their last five at home. The team has been forced to defend opponent power plays just 5.9 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Brian Elliott has stopped 27.5 shots per game as the top netminder in goal for the Flyers. Elliott has 14 wins, 17 losses, and seven overtime losses to his credit and has registered a .914 save percentage and 2.62 goals against average this season.

Claude Giroux (13 goals, 33 assists) and Jakub Voracek (eight goals, 38 assists) will lead the offensive counter for the Flyers.

Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia Flyers Betting Predictions

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

Betting Trends

  • Philadelphia is 0-3 in games decided by a shootout this season while Pittsburgh is 2-1 in shootouts.
  • The over has hit in three of Philadelphia’s last five outings.
  • Pittsburgh’s attempted 34.9 shots per contest overall this season (the most in the NHL), and 31.2 in its last five road outings.
  • Over Pittsburgh’s last ten games, four of them have been decided by two or more goals (the team is 1-3 in those games).
  • Pittsburgh skaters have accounted for the fourth-most hits in the league (24.0 per game), but the teams recorded just 19.2 hits over their last five away games.