Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:45 PM EST.
7:05 PM EST. OT included. The Penguins are heating up and as a popular team in the market, it doesn't take long for their stock to rise. Pittsburgh has won nine of its last 10 games with Sidney Crosby leading the way with five straight games where he's factored into multiple Pens goals. A 7-2 drubbing of the Rangers on Wednesday night capped a three game roadie where the Penguins went 3-0 with a 6-1 beatdown of the Blues kicking off that trip. While those goals are going to make poolies happy, there is no secret sauce as to why Pittsburgh is racking up the wins, as it has hit on eight of its last 10 power plays, while killing off 16 or their previous 17 infractions. Four of those powerplay markers came in that game in St. Louis. Although there is no guarantee that those luck-driven stats end here, regression is coming. What we know for sure is that the Penguins stock is higher right now than it’s been all year and that they’re still giving up far too many scoring chances every game.
The Jets had the hottest power play in the league not too long ago, but have gone cold, which is why they have struggled as of late. Winnipeg has just one goal with the extra man in its last six games and it has gone 3-3 over that span. In the four games before that run, the Jets had ripped off four straight wins and not coincidentally; they went 6-for-13 on the power play scoring with the man advantage in every one of those victories. We’re merely pointing out how much impact those luck-driven numbers have on the outcome and right now, Winnipeg's graph is set to slowly peak again while the Pens are likely to hit a valley. Winnipeg found its scoring touch in a 4-3 win over the Oilers on New Year's Eve with all of those goals coming at even strength. The Jets dominated the pace of play against Edmonton, which is not uncommon, as they are a top 10 puck possession team. Winnipeg, even without Dustin Byfuglien is always a love pooch and especially against a team that gives up quality scoring chances at the rate that the Pens do.
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Winnipeg +122 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.44)