Predators vs Penguins Betting Odds, Trends, & Free Pick [Game 1]

Nashville (0-0) at Pittsburgh (0-0)
When: Monday, May 29th 2017
Where: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, PA
Time: 8:05 ET | TV: NBC

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The Pittsburgh Penguins begin their quest for back-to-back Stanley Cup titles when they battle the Nashville Predators in Game 1 of the finals on Monday night. The Penguins are the odds-on favorites to hoist the trophy at the expense of the Predators, who are appearing in their first Stanley Cup Final ever. The Penguins finished off a pesky Ottawa team in seven games to reach the finals after a seven game series win over rival Washington in the previous round. Pittsburgh boasts the top three scorers in the postseason in Evgeni Malkin, captain Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel, and is the first team to reach the Cup Final in back-to-back seasons since the Penguins in 2008 and 2009. Malkin (24 points) and Crosby (20) are running 1-2 in the playoff scoring race and each has won a Conn Smythe Trophy, but Malkin said that Nashville’s defense will provide the “toughest challenge of my life.” Kessel recorded six points in the seven-game series against Ottawa, but fellow 23-goal scorer Sheary has yet to light the lamp in the playoffs while Jake Guentzel is mired in an eight-game goal drought after scoring nine times in the first 11 games of the postseason. Matt Murray, who led the Penguins to a championship a year ago following a late-season injury to Marc-Andre Fleury, reclaimed the starting job from Fleury in the Ottawa series and went 3-1 with six goals allowed in his four starts. Forward Patric Hornqvist, acquired from Nashville in exchange for forward James Neal in June 2014, is a game-time decision after sitting out the final six games against the Senators.


Nashville was the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference and posted the fewest points of any of the 16 playoff participants. The Chicago Blackhawks were probably looking ahead to the second round, but the Predators swept them easily in the opening round before getting by St. Louis and Anaheim in a pair of six-game series. Head coach Peter Laviolette, who along with Penguins counterpart Mike Sullivan are the first American coaches to square off in the Stanley Cup. Laviolette (2006 with Carolina) and Sullivan (2016) are also trying to become the first American coach to guide a team to two Stanley Cup titles. The challenge of trying to match up against Crosby and Malkin will be even harder without the presence of top-line center Ryan Johansen (thigh), lost for the rest of the playoffs after Game 4 against Anaheim. Colton Sissons stepped in for Johansen in a big way and recorded a hat trick in the series clincher against the Ducks. Nashville will look to a more veteran presence in Filip Forsberg, a 31-goal scorer during the regular season who scored five times against Anaheim and is riding a seven-game point streak. While No. 2 center Mike Fisher appears set to return from injury, Nashville’s strength is at the other end of the ice. Their top four defensemen of Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, P.K. Subban and Mattias Ekholm have combined for an amazing 39 points in 16 playoff games. Yes, those are defensive players’ stats. Backing them up on defense is netminder Pekka Rinne, who is 12-4 with a 1.70 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage in the postseason.

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Much has been talked about how good Nashville has been at home this postseason (7-1). What I find more impressive is that they’ve won three straight Game 1’s on the road to establish themselves a threat each series. Rinne has played awesome and the defense has been remarkable. The Penguins offense has scored two goals or fewer in eight of their last 12 games. I like the Predators to steal one of these first two games.

Pick: Predators +145


  • Predators are 6-1 in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
  • Predators are 21-6 in their last 27 Monday games.
  • Predators are 6-2 in their last 8 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game.
  • Predators are 12-4 in their last 16 overall.
  • Predators are 6-2 in their last 8 after scoring 5 goals or more in their previous game.
  • Predators are 20-8 in their last 28 vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Predators are 1-4 in their last 5 vs. Eastern Conference.
  • Penguins are 5-0 in their last 5 games playing on 3 or more days rest.
  • Penguins are 6-2 in their last 8 Stanley Cup Finals games.
  • Penguins are 63-21 in their last 84 home games.
  • Penguins are 38-13 in their last 51 when their opponent scores 5 goals or more in their previous game.
  • Penguins are 117-46 in their last 163 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
  • Penguins are 1-5 in their last 6 games following a win.


  • Over is 2-0-2 in Predators last 4 games following a win.
  • Under is 4-0-1 in Predators last 5 after scoring 5 goals or more in their previous game.
  • Under is 4-0 in Predators last 4 vs. Eastern Conference.
  • Under is 11-2-4 in Predators last 17 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game.
  • Under is 4-1-2 in Predators last 7 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
  • Under is 15-5-7 in Predators last 27 overall.
  • Over is 3-1-1 in Predators last 5 games playing on 3 or more days rest.
  • Under is 12-4-7 in Predators last 23 vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Over is 16-6-1 in Predators last 23 vs. Metropolitan.
  • Under is 8-1 in Penguins last 9 Stanley Cup Finals games.
  • Over is 7-1-1 in Penguins last 9 games playing on 3 or more days rest.
  • Over is 7-2 in Penguins last 9 Monday games.
  • Under is 8-3-2 in Penguins last 13 home games.
  • Over is 32-13-6 in Penguins last 51 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.


  • Predators are 1-4 in the last 5 meetings in Pittsburgh.
  • Predators are 2-8 in the last 10 meetings.

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