Carolina Hurricanes vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
Free Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins
May 18th 2009 7:30P – NHL Playoffs Odds
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I won my play on the Detroit Red Wings yesterday. That was the most “expensive” (-175 when I released the play but closed at -210) guaranteed selection which I had released all season. Thankfully, the Wings dominated play, as I’m never particularly comfortable laying that level of “juice,” eventually winning by a score of 5-2.
The Penguins are also very expensive for today’s opener, even more so than the Wings were yesterday – although the line is coming down this time, rather than going up. While the Pens don’t quite qualify as one premium selections, I do believe that they’ll also find a way to come up with the victory. (Note that those who have followed my complimentary opinions know that we’ve done very well over the longterm with favorites in this range.)
Both teams have had roughly an equal amount of rest. The Hurricanes last played on 5/14. The Penguins closed off Washington a day earlier, on 5/13. That figures to work in Pittsburgh’s favor. The Pens were 6-3 (+2.6) this season, when playing with three or more day’s rest in between games. Conversely, the Canes were just 3-7 (-5) in that situation.
With this evening’s over/under line listed at 5.5, note that the Pens have gone a profitable 34-12 (+15.2) the past few seasons, when playing at home with a total of 5.5. During the same stretch, the Canes were just 20-26 when playing a road game with a total of 5.5.
Yes, the Canes won both 2009 meetings with the Pens. However, the Hawks had also won the last two regular season meetings with the Wings and we saw what happened to them. Note that the Pens have still won four of their last five home meetings with the Canes. Additionally, note that the Pens are a profitable 71-55 (+19) the past few seasons when facing a team which defeated them in the previous meeting.
The Pens were 4-1 in the Conference Finals last season, including a 4-2 win as -220 favorites in that series opener. I believe that they’ll prove to be the stronger team in this series. Having already seen the rival Wings (the team that beat them in the Finals last year) win their opener, look for the Pens to deliver a huge effort and for them to also start things off with a victory. Consider Pittsburgh.
As most know, Ben Burns has enjoyed REMARKABLE SUCCESS on the ice over the past decade. He DID IT AGAIN this season & is currently enjoying an AWESOME 35-14 RUN, dating back to March. That includes a 6-1 mark in May – four of those selections were totals. Today, he tips-off the Eastern Conf Finals with his #1 TOTAL OF THE WEEK. Don’t wait. Get down now!