Over the course of a very long 82-game NHL season, we seem to always hit a little bit of a lull, which serves as the calm before the storm. For me, it is the holiday season when that lull hits, mostly because it’s a quieter time on the schedule and we don’t get to see much in the way of changes in the standings. It is hard for teams to build up any sort of momentum when it seems as though there are more off days than usual. It’s a small little break, though, and once we get through it, we reach the midway point of the season and start to close in on the trade deadline, which is when things tend to start heating up. With that in mind, most teams are already trying to decide whether to buy or sell based on how good they feel about the rest of the season. As it stands now, the Pittsburgh Penguins need to be feeling good about their game, while the Ottawa Senators are not in very good shape at all. Pittsburgh is favored by 1 ½ at home, with the goal total for this one set at 6.
When: Monday, December 30 at 7 PM EST
Where: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh
NFL Odds: Get the Latest Odds at YouWager.lv
Why bet on the Ottawa Senators
The Ottawa Senators are at the stage in the season where the chances of getting up to and over the playoff line in the Eastern Conference now looks rather slim, as they are sitting 11 points back of the final Wild Card spot. For the season, the Senators are 16-18-5 for 37 points. When you consider that it usually takes an average of 95 points to be assured of a playoff spot, you see that Ottawa would need a mammoth second half of the season to turn things around. They have gone 4-2-4 in the last 10 games, but they need to start turning those OT and SO losses into wins that would get them the extra point. They head on the road sporting a rather miserable 5-13-3 record away from home.
Why bet on the Pittsburgh Penguins
After a bit of an up and down start to the season where injuries played a bit of a role, the Pittsburgh Penguins appear to have finally settled into a nice groove. They are on a hot streak of form at the moment, winning back to back games to go to 8-2-0 in their last 10. That run now has them at 23-11-4 on the year, good for 50 points and the #3 spot in the Metropolitan Division. They still have some work to do to catch the Washington Capitals for first, though, as the Penguins are currently 9 points off the pace being set at the top of the division. Playing at home will certainly help here, as Pittsburgh has been an impressive 15-4-2 in their own building this season. The OVER has hit in 4 of their last 6 games.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
Ottawa is a team that has just not been a very good bet on the road this season. They will be in hostile territory on Monday against a red-hot Penguins team that has dominated on home ice. I see only one outcome here.
Ottawa Senators 2 Pittsburgh Penguins 5