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Underdog Flyers Worth a Look Hosting Red-Hot Penguins

Sidney Crosby NHL Hockey Betting Preview Pittsburgh Penguins vs Philadelphia Flyers

Pittsburgh-Philadelphia battles are always a little more fun when both teams are playing well – and that’s certainly the case as the Pennsylvania rivals square off Tuesday night at Wells Fargo Center. The Penguins have won 17 of their past 22 games to skyrocket up the Stanley Cup futures chart, while the Flyers come in with victories in four of their past six games.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Philadelphia Flyers

Opening Odds Analysis

Pittsburgh opened as a -127 favorite and quickly climbed up to -135 at most sportsbooks. The total of 6 is the lowest these teams have seen in six meetings since April 22, 2018.

Pittsburgh News & Notes

How nice it must be for a team as red-hot as the Penguins to be able to add one of the most prolific scorers in the league to their lineup. That’s exactly what happened a week ago, as Sidney Crosby returned from a two-month absence and has racked up eight points (three goals, five assists) over four games while leading Pittsburgh to victories in three of them.

And there’s more good news for the Metropolitan Division squad in terms of injury news. Forward Dominik Simon is expected to play after leaving early in Sunday’s 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins with a lower-body injury. And defenseman Justin Schultz (lower body) was a full participant in Monday’s practice and is hoping to return Tuesday; he’s been out since December 17.

Philadelphia News & Notes

It could be the longest home-and-home series in the history of the NHL, with each team playing its final game prior to the all-star break Tuesday before renewing acquaintances on January 31 in Pittsburgh in their first game after the break. And this one is important to the Flyers, who fell behind 4-0 after 20 minutes en route to a 7-1 road drubbing in their last meeting on October 30.

At first glance, vastly improved goaltending might be this team’s best shot at revenge; after all, the Flyers enter the new week ranked in the middle of the pack league-wide in goals per game (3.06). But that mark rises to 3.54 at Wells Fargo Center (fifth-best in the NHL), while the Flyers’ +1.46 average goal differential at home is the highest in the league.

Betting Pick: Philadelphia

Crosby’s on a tear, but the Flyers have been an incredibly difficult opponent at home all season – and at +115, the chance of a bounce-back from that six-goal loss earlier this season is too good to pass up.

Shark Bites
  • Pittsburgh is 6-1 SU in its previous 7 games.
  • Philadelphia is 11-3 SU in its past 14 games vs Eastern Conference opponents.
  • The UNDER is 4-1 in Philadelphia’s last 5 home games.