Penguins poised to regain control
Home teams will keep the streak alive in Game 5
Here are a few Stanley Cup Final betting lines to consider, with odds courtesy of Bovada.
The defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins watched their two-game lead vanish against the Nashville Predators. With the things squared at two games apiece, the series shifts back to Pittsburgh where the Pens look to regain the lead.
The Penguins couldn’t solve the Preds at Bridgestone Arena where the Western Conference champions have only dropped one game in the playoffs. The Pens enter action on Wednesday night as the -145 favorites playing on home ice, where the reigning champs defeated the Predators twice already in this series.
Nashville — riding high after two massive victories to claw its way back into the Cup final — head to Pittsburgh as the +125 underdogs according to Bovada oddsmakers.
Pittsburgh entered the Cup final as one of the best power-play teams in the post-season, however the Pens have struggled on the man advantage against the Preds.
In 12 power-play chances, the Pens have yet to find the back of the net. Much of that can be attributed to the play of sniper Phil Kessel, who’s suffered through a dry spell in the Stanley Cup Final.
Kessel has yet to net a goal and has a -2 rating in four games heading into a crucial contest on Wednesday night. Even Evgeni Malkin — the NHL’s scoring leader in the playoffs — was non-existent in Games 3 and 4 as the Russian power forward was held without a point.
The bottom line is, if the Penguins want to win a second straight Cup and become the first team in the salary-cap era to accomplish that feat, their offense will need to pick up the slack again.
Two of the four games in the Cup final have produced over outcomes. The projected total goals for Wednesday’s matchup is once again set at 5.5 — a mark that will certainly be surpassed.
The Penguins are averaging 3.33 goals per game at PPG Paints Arena, while the Predators are averaging 3.40 on the road in the playoffs. Take the over with the Penguins coming out on top and setting up a potential Cup-winning matchup in the Music City.
Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins (-145) and the over (5.5)