Detroit Red Wings vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Betting Preview 12/27/18

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PPG Paints Arena is the site for an intriguing clash as the Pittsburgh Penguins prepare to face the visiting Detroit Red Wings. The game will get underway at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 27, and fans at home are able to view this Eastern Conference matchup live on Fox Sports Detroit.

Detroit Red Wings vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Odds

Pittsburgh (-260) is being picked as the favorite over Detroit (+220) and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at an even 6 goals. The line for betting that total stands at -120 money on the over and even money (+100) on the under.

The Penguins are 18-18 straight-up (SU) and have hurt moneyline bettors to the tune of -11.3 units so far. That early-season winning percentage is a regression from the 47-35 record that the team managed during last year’s regular season campaign. Of the team’s 36 regular season outings, 16 have gone under the total, while 15 have gone over and just five have pushed. The team’s 10-9 SU at home this season.

Pittsburgh has converted on 21.8 percent of its power play chances this year, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked fifth overall, and it’s successfully killed off 84.0 percent of all penalties.

As a team, Pittsburgh has been called for penalties just 3.4 times per game overall this season, and 2.6 per game over its last five home outings. The team has been forced to defend opponent power plays for just 7.7 minutes per game over its last 10 outings, in total.

With a .926 save percentage and 27.0 saves per game, Casey DeSmith (11-13-4) has been the top option in goal for the Penguins this year. If head coach Mike Sullivan chooses to give him the night off, however, the team might roll with Matt Murray (7-7-7 record, .900 save percentage, 3.40 goals against average).

The Pens will continue looking for leadership from Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel. Crosby (41 points) has tallied 16 goals and 25 assists and has recorded multiple points in 13 different games this year. Kessel has 14 goals and 23 assists to his name and has recorded at least one point in 23 contests.

Detroit has lost 1.1 units for moneyline bettors this year and is currently 15-23 straight up (SU). 18 of its games have gone over the total, while another 18 have gone under the total and just two have pushed. Detroit’s 7-11 SU as the road team this season.

Detroit has converted on 18.2 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 20th overall and it’s successfully killed off 78.6 percent of all opponent power plays.

Detroit’s skaters have been penalized 4.0 times per game in total this season, and 2.8 per game over their last five road outings. The team’s been forced to kill penalties just 7.5 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Jimmy Howard (29.5 saves per game) has been the primary option in goal for Detroit. Howard has 10 wins, 14 losses, and four OT losses to his credit, and has registered a .922 save percentage and 2.66 goals against average this year.

Leading the offensive firepower for the visiting Red Wings will be Dylan Larkin (15 goals, 21 assists) and Gustav Nyquist (nine goals, 22 assists).

Detroit Red Wings at Pittsburgh Penguins Betting Predictions

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

Betting Notes

  • Detroit is 2-4 in games decided by a shootout this season while Pittsburgh is 1-2 in shootouts.
  • The under has hit in three of Pittsburgh’s last five games.
  • Detroit has managed 26.8 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Pittsburgh has been attempting 31.8 shots per game over its last five at home.
  • Pittsburgh has allowed 3.1 goals per game overall this year, but has allowed just 0.7 per contest over its three-game winning streak.
  • 61.1 percent of Pittsburgh’s wins have come by two or more goals (the team is 11-10 overall in such games) while 40.0 percent of Detroit’s wins have come by two goals or more (6-11 overall in games decided by at least two goals).
  • The Penguins this season have tallied the second-most hits per game in the NHL (29.9), but that number has jumped up to 35.0 over their past five games as the home team.