NHL Picks - Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Colorado Avalanche

Last year the Colorado Avalanche won the admiration and respect of the entire hockey gambling community with their transformation from the worst team in the Western Conference into a playoff team that gave the highly favored Nashville Predators a six-game scare. But while the Avalanche earned a lot of props from and money for gamblers there was plenty of skepticism about the Colorado being able to sustain success. After all they would no longer be catching teams off guard. In the same way Colorado’s surprise element is gone. For the Pittsburgh Penguins the Stanley Cup is always the expectation. But problems on the back end and in goal may blow the season up.

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Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Colorado Avalanche

Date and Time: Wednesday, November 28, 2018, 9:30 p.m. ET

Location: Pepsi Center, Denver Colorado

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Penguins vs. Avalanche TV Coverage: NBCSN

Odds Analysis

Despite Colorado’s better record and recent success, the Penguins are burned into the minds of gamblers as the perennial Stanley Cup contender. This could leave the Avalanche with enhanced value and, best of all, as an effective home team.

Current Form

The Pittsburgh Penguins slump into this match with a record of 9-8-3-2 which puts them in sixth place in the Metropolitan Division. Pittsburgh is 4-3-1-2 on the road with just four of their ten away games going over the total. The Penguins have been a money drain lately with seven losses in their last ten games. Pittsburgh has failed to clear the total in their last four games.

The Colorado Avalanche are 13-6-3-1 with a home record of 5-2-2. The Avalanche have gone under the total in six of their last nine games. Colorado has been cranking cash lately with six payouts in their last seven games while going over the total in three of their last four overall. Colorado is in third place in the Central Division.

Matchup Metrics

Colorado is the top goal scoring team in the NHL while also boasting the league’s second ranked power play. The Avalanche are a respectable 10th in the NHL for goals against.

The Penguins are also strong offensively with an NHL rank of sixth for goal scoring and seventh for the power play. However, Pittsburgh is reeling on the back end with a ranking of 21st for goals against and 25th for penalty killing.

Goaltending Report

Pittsburgh’s number one and two-time Stanley Cup champion goaltender Matt Murray is out indefinitely with a lower body injury. Murray was slumping since last year. He had an awful .877 save percentage with a 4.08 goals against average when he was in goal this season. Casey DeSmith has been strong as the replacement with a .927 save percentage and 2.35 goals against average with two shutouts.

Colorado has great stability in goal with Semyon Varlamov, who has a .926 save percentage and 2.34 goals against average. Backup Philipp Grubauer has a .907 save percentage with a 3.07 GAA.

Players to Watch

Colorado is led by 2013 number one draft pick Nathan MacKinnon. The 23-year-old center has a team best 15 goals along with 20 assists and a plus 10. Left wing Gabriel Landeskog has added 14 goals and a whopping plus 16. Defenseman Tyson Barrie has 17 assists and is a top power play quarterback.

Pittsburgh is led by the centers Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby, who each have nine goals, along with right winger Phil Kessel who has 10. Defenseman Kris Letang has five goals, 14 assists and a plus five. Center Jake Guentzel has added 11 goals.

Free NHL Live Betting Odds Pick

Colorado is in much better form with greater stability in goal. The Penguins slump and back end woes are cause for concern.

NHL Live Betting Odds Picks: Colorado Avalanche

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NHL Live Betting Odds Score Prediction: Avalanche 4, Penguins 2

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