On Wednesday night, the Pittsburgh Penguins (18-8-5) will look to extend their winning streak to nine games when they host the St. Louis Blues (19-9-5), at PPG Paints Arena. It’s the first meeting between the teams this season. The Penguins will travel to St. Louis on St. Patrick’s Day in March.
Let’s get into our Penguins vs. Blues betting pick with player prop predictions, odds, and analysis for this January 5, 2022 matchup.
The Penguins are the hottest team in the NHL at the moment, having not lost a game since Dec. 1. Part of that time has seen five games postponed because of COVID-19, but the Penguins returned from a two week layoff Sunday and defeated San Jose 8-5, scoring six goals in the first period.
Bryan Rust was an offensive dynamo with a five-point game, which included a hat trick. Evan Rodrigues also netted a hat trick and 13 different Penguins registered a point.
St. Louis will offer a different challenge than the Sharks, however. The Blues have been one of the best teams in the West and are considered one of the mid-season favorites to reach the Stanley Cup Final from the Western Conference.
The Blues are 7-1-1 in their last nine games and have won both games since coming back from the holiday pause with wins over playoff-caliber teams in Edmonton and Minnesota in the Winter Classic last Saturday.
Jordan Kyrou earned top honors from the league being recognized as the first start of the week. Kyrou had a three-point game in the Edmonton win and followed that up with two goals and two assists for four points to set an NHL record for points in an outdoor game, as he dominated the second period against the Wild.
The most important thing for the Blues is it seems Brayden Schenn will return tonight from his stint on the IR and after a frustrating battle with players in the COVID protocols the Blues are the healthiest they’ve been in quite some time.
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Penguins vs. Blues Odds
Here are the lines for Penguins vs. Blues at FanDuel Sportsbook:
Spread: Penguins (-1.5 +176), Blues (+1.5 -220)
Moneyline: Penguins (-138), Blues (+115)
Over/Under: Over 6 (-112), Under 6 (-108)
Bets We Like with a Penguins Win
Penguins to win the first period (+150, BetMGM)
One of the things that has been a difference maker for the Penguins during their current NHL-best winning streak has been how well they have played in the first period.
The Penguins have won the period outright in seven straight games and have outscored the opposition 14-1 in the first period over the entirety of the eight game streak. The sharks were the only team to actually score on Pittsburgh in the first period.
If the Penguins are to stretch the streak to nine games, winning the first period is going to be paramount, especially against a quality opponent like St. Louis. As such, making this value bet is worth it to bolster your Penguins bet to win.
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Bets We Like with a Blues Win
Jordan Binnington OVER 30.5 saves (-120, FanDuel Sportsbook)
The Penguins are one of the highest volume shooting teams in the NHL. Their 35.2 shots on goal per game is fourth most in the NHL. They average even more than that on home ice (36.4 shots) which is also fourth in the league.
As such, Binnington should expect to see a lot of frozen rubber. If Binnington has a strong game, that will benefit the Blues in their hopes of winning. Especially if Binnington gets 31-plus saves. Considering the Penguins usually shoot at least that many shots, this makes sense, especially if you want to parlay it with the Blues winning the game as a small underdog.
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Bets We Like Independent of Outcome
Total goals OVER 6 ( -120, DraftKings Sportsbook)
Interestingly, the Penguins are going with backup Casey deSmith against the Blues, and saving Vezina Trophy candidate Tristan Jarry for the road game in Philadelphia tomorrow. The Flyers are down several key players and have lost three straight. They’ve also had a hard time scoring goals. So, it would seem that it would have made perfect sense to have Jarry go against the Blues and deSmith against the Flyers, but that’s not the case.
As such, we think this game has a good chance of exceeding the six goal total and making the Over a play that is begging you to make.
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Penguins vs. Blues Prediction
This could be the best game in the NHL this week. Two really good teams going at each other and looking to keep their good play going. That said, we like the Blues a little bit more based solely on the goaltending matchup. We like Binnington a little more than DeSmith.
Prediction: Blues 4, Penguins 3 (OT)
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