On Tuesday night, the Pittsburgh Penguins (4-3-3) will do something they haven’t done in 26 days – play a road game. After playing their opening two games on the road, the Penguins played eight straight games at home. Tonight they return to the visitor’s locker room to play the Chicago Blackhawks (2-9-2) at United Center. This is the second and final meeting between the teams this season. Pittsburgh won the first contest 5-2 in its home opener.
Let’s get into our Penguins vs. Blackhawks betting pick with player prop predictions, odds, and analysis for this November 9, 2021 matchup.
The Penguins were just a couple of seconds away from back-to-back wins before the game against Minnesota went sideways Saturday. A last second goal by the Wild turned into the shootout loss for Pittsburgh, who has now lost 4-of-5.
Maybe it was just a matter of time for the Penguins, who have been decimated with lineup issues related to injuries and Covid-19 protocol. Heck, even their coach, Mike Sullivan, remains in Covid protocol.
Still, Pittsburgh doesn’t want to make excuses. They feel if the next-man-up mentality was good enough to garner four wins, then it should be good enough until everyone is healthy.
Their biggest weakness right now is not being able to cash in on the power play. The Penguins are 27th in the NHL with the man advantage, cashing in on just 11.8 percent of their opportunities. Chalk that up to no Evgeni Malkin and only one game from Sidney Crosby plus a rotating cast of wingers. Still, it’s likely been a difference maker in a couple of Pittsburgh’s close losses.
Chicago is looking to win consecutive games for the first time this season after picking up a victory in interim coach Derek King’s first game as the bench boss. There was definitely more of a team commitment to defense in their 2-1 win over Nashville, and there was definitely a sign that the team was playing for each other and their emotion was evident with the celebration after Alex DeBrincat scored the overtime game-winner.
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Penguins vs. Blackhawks Odds
Here are the lines for Penguins vs. Blackhawks at FanDuel Sportsbook:
Spread: Penguins (-1.5 +205), Blackhawks (+1.5 -260)
Moneyline: Penguins (-128), Blackhawks (+106)
Over/Under: Over 6 (-108), Under 6 (-112)
Bets We Like with a Penguins Win
Brock McGinn to score at least one goal (+350, DraftKings Sportsbook)
We had a good feel on Kasperi Kapanen going into the last game and recommended betting him to score at least one goal. He scored three. We like McGinn tonight for different reasons than we liked Kapanen, but it’s a reasoning that makes sense and has a great value.
Both of these teams have excellent penalty-killing units while both teams have power plays that leave a lot to be desired. That makes us think that this game will be close, low-scoring and won by the team with better 5-on-5 play.
The Penguins are definitely the better 5-on-5 team and have more scoring balance. That shows that their depth is superior. McGinn is a player who is unafraid to go to the greasy areas in front of the net and all of his goals this season have come at even strength.
We like McGinn to get to the net and get a dirty goal against the Blackhawks and pad your bankroll.
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Bets We Like with a Blackhawks Win
Seth Jones over 0.5 assists (+122, FanDuel Sportsbook)
Outside of Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat, Chicago has had difficulty scoring goals. Two big name players have yet to find the net – Jonathan Toews and Seth Jones. However, Jones is piling up the assists. He has 11 helpers so far this season, and he is getting them in all situations. He has five assists at even strength, five on the power play and even one shorthanded.
If Chicago is going to win the game, they are going to have to get shots through to the net. Jones is second on the Blackhawks with 40 shots this season. That translates to getting a helper on at least one of Chicago’s goals.
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Bets We Like Independent of Outcome
No goals scored the first period (+375, BetMGM)
Rooting for boredom is never recommended, but if you want to have a high quality value bet to serve as a hedge for your other bets tonight, betting on this game being scoreless after the first period is worth it.
Here’s why it makes sense:
- The Blackhawks are focusing on team defense.
- The Penguins are struggling to get offensive chemistry because of their lineup problems.
- Chicago has had a hard time scoring.
- Neither team scores on the power play.
- Both teams are averaging less than a goal per game scored in the first period.
- The Penguins have only allowed six first period goals all season.
It all adds up to a worthwhile bet and one you can smile about early and enjoy the rest of the game after you hit it.
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Penguins vs. Blackhawks Prediction
We think this is a close game. And we think it’s low scoring. (The under is a good bet too). Marc-Andre Fleury has been terrible in goal for Chicago so far, but if he’s going to have a bounce-back game, it’ll likely be against his former team. However, we think Pittsburgh’s depth is superior and will be the difference in this one.
Prediction: Penguins 3, Blackhawks 2
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