On Saturday night, the Pittsburgh Penguins will play host to the Minnesota Wild, at the PPG Paints Arena. The Penguins are 4-3-2, and coming off a 3-2 overtime win against Philadelphia on Thursday. Pittsburgh is wrapping up an incredibly long and unusual eight-game homestand against the Wild. Meanwhile, Minnesota (6-3-0) is well rested havinghad three days off since their last game, a 5-4 win at home against Ottawa.
Let’s get into our Penguins vs. Wild betting pick with player prop predictions, odds, and analysis for this November 6, 2021 matchup.
Tonight will be Minnesota’s first game in the Eastern time zone since February, 2020. While that’s not a big deal, as it’s only a one-hour difference, it shows how long it’s been since a lot of teams in the NHL have faced each other.
Sometimes you can say what is past is prologue for a matchup, but then again most teams who have not met in about two years look a lot different.
We already know about the Penguins lineup situation. All the Covid players are still out of the lineup, as is Evgeni Malkin (knee) but that didn’t stop them from pulling out an overtime victory in a thrill game with Philadelphia Thursday. The Penguins could get a key piece back as Bryan Rust (lower body injury) will be a game-time decision. Rust has missed the last seven games for Pittsburgh.
As for Minnesota, they have a couple guys missing because of Covid as well – Mats Zuccarello and Rem Pitlick. But, they will be getting defenseman, and former Penguin, Alex Gologoski back tonight after missing three games with an upper body injury.
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Penguins vs. Wild Odds
Here are the lines for Penguins vs. Wild at FanDuel Sportsbook:
Spread: Penguins (-1.5 +210), Wild (+1.5 -265)
Moneyline: Penguins (-126), Wild (+105)
Over/Under: Over 6 (-102), Under 6 (-120)
Bets We Like with a Wild Win
Wild to win AND under 5.5 goals (+295, DraftKings Sportsbook)
Minnesota is a completely different team on the road than at home so far this season. While their record isn’t too different (3-2-0 on the road, 3-1-0 at home) the style they play is different.
At home, the Wild play an up-tempo game, with a lot more back and forth hockey between both sides. On the road, they try to lock it down defensively and force the other team to beat them, and wait to be opportunistic and try to take advantage of their opponents mistakes. In the four home games, there have been 34 goals scored (17-17) an average of 8.5 goals per game. In five road games, there have only been 23 goals scored (10-13) an average of 4.6 goals per game.
So, if you like the Wild in this evenly matched game, team it up with the Under to get a really nice value bet with a nice payout.
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Bets We Like with a Penguins Win
Kasperi Kapanen to score at least one goal (+310, FanDuel Sportsbook)
This might seem like a player prop out of left field, but hear us out. Kapanen has struggled out of the gate for the Penguins and has not scored a goal yet this season. It’s been especially frustrating for him because he was expected to provide a jolt of offense to the Penguins while they were missing some of their top players.
However, sometimes you can tell when a guy is finally ready to break through, and if his game against Philadelphia was an indicator, Kapanen is on the doorstep. Kapanen tied for the team lead in shots on goal with four and had a couple of grade-A chances that were thwarted by great saves by the Flyers Carter Hart.
It was one of Kapanen’s best games of the season, and that carryover can lead to him finally breaking through and scoring a goal and getting you a really nice payday as well.
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Bets We Like Independent of Outcome
Penguins to win the first period (+160, BetMGM)
Pittsburgh has won 11 consecutive home games coming off an overtime game. That usually requires a fast start. The Penguins are 4-1-0 this season when scoring the first goal (0-2-2 when they don’t) and are 2-0-0 when winning after the first period.
Sure, there’ve been a lot of tied periods for the Penguins, but if you want to throw in this whacky trend – Minnesota has lost six consecutive first periods in Saturday games where they were an underdog, and you can kind of convince yourself that this bet has value, especially if you think Pittsburgh can ultimately win, which we do.
So, ride that good start bandwagon and cash in!
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Penguins vs. Wild Prediction
We think this is a close game. The Wild have not played an overtime game yet this season, while the Penguins have already been there three times. Pittsburgh won’t mind playing the Minnesota style of defensive-minded hockey while shorthanded on the roster and we see this as a low scoring affair, but one the Penguins pull out after regulation.
Prediction: Penguins 3, Wild 2 (SO)
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