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Home Team Has Edge in Cup Openers

Brent Burns San Jose Sharks Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs

Finally, the Stanley Cup Final has come back to Pittsburgh. Yes, the Consol Energy Center will be the site for Game 1 as the Penguins host the San Jose Sharks in the series opener Monday evening. The Sharks have had a decided edge over the Pens in their regular season meetings, but the home team has been the side to back in series openers.

Shark Bites
  • The visiting team has gone 4-12 SU in the last 16 meetings in this matchup.
  • The Penguins have gone 5-1 SU in their last six games versus the Western Conference.
  • The Pens have lost their last two Game 1’s in the Stanley Cup Final (2008, 2009).

Online shop Bovada is presently offering the Penguins at -150 in moneyline markets while the Sharks come in at +130. As far as the puckline is concerned, the Sharks come in at -225 (+1.5) while the Pens are +185 (-1.5). Finally, the total is tabbed at 5.5 with OVER at +120 and UNDER -140.

Since the 2001 postseason, the home team has gone 10-4 straight up (no cup final in 2005) and has actually gone 8-2 SU in the previous 10. If you are a firm believer in trends like that, then this bodes well for you Pens backers since the Sharks were the best road team in the NHL during the regular season.

Yes, the Sharks posted an excellent record of 28-10-3 SU – tops in the NHL – during the regular season but have found their stride at home during their cup run. Although it’s a limited sample size, the Sharks have been a great bet against the Pens in season meetings. The Sharks have posted a record of 15-5 SU in the last 20 meetings with the Pens.

The clubs split their two regular season meetings this season with the visitor winning in the other’s barn. San Jose skated to a 3-1 win in Pittsburgh in the first meeting back on November 21 while the Pens triumphed in California 5-1 back on December 1.

Opening Odds & Computer Pick

The Pittsburgh Penguins were listed earlier today as 124 moneyline favorites at most sportsbooks tracked by Odds Shark (including Bovada), while odds makers set the opening betting total around 5.5.

A 3.1-2.1 result in favor of the Sharks is the prediction by the Odds Shark handicapping pick engine. View the computer score prediction and who will win the pick on the moneyline for all upcoming NHL matchups here.

San Jose Sharks vs Pittsburgh Penguins Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

The San Jose Sharks will try to spoil to the party on Monday; they are 58-33-9 this season, while the Penguins are 60-30-10. San Jose is 51-38-11 on the totals; Pittsburgh is 45-37-18. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and Pittsburgh vs San Jose injuries news.

The Pittsburgh Penguins sit at No. 1 in the current NHL power poll here at Odds Shark, while the San Jose Sharks sit at a No. 2 on the same chart.

Statistical Matchup

Offensively, the game matches up the Pittsburgh Penguins No. 3-ranked offense (3.03 goals per game) against a San Jose Sharks defense that ranks No. 7 at 2.51 goals per game allowed. The Penguins powerplay has clicked at a 19.5% rate while the Sharks have a 80% rate on the penalty kill.

Recent Outings Betting Recap


Pittsburgh won its last outing, a 2-1 result against the Lightning on May 26. Bettors who backed the Penguins at -208 on the moneyline won on the day, and the total score (3) sent UNDER bettors to the payout window.

Betting Trends
  • San Jose is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
  • San Jose is 12-5 SU in its last 17 games on the road
  • San Jose is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games on the road
  • San Jose is 15-5 SU in its last 20 games when playing Pittsburgh
  • Pittsburgh is 18-7 SU in its last 25 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 4 of Pittsburgh's last 5 games
  • Pittsburgh is 10-3 SU in its last 13 games at home
  • Pittsburgh is 5-17-1 SU in its last 23 games when playing San Jose

Next Betting Matchups

San Jose at Pittsburgh, Wednesday, June 1st