Penguins vs. Bruins: Free Picks, Odds & Predictions

Pittsburgh vs. Boston, PPG Paints Arena

The Boston Bruins are quickly slipping out of the picture in the East Division even if they do head to Pittsburgh still in the fourth playoff spot. The Bruins’ inconsistencies have coincided with strong surges from the rest of the contenders in the East Division, including the Pittsburgh Penguins who have won five straight games. The Penguins hold just a three-point edge, but they have a chance to really pull away in consecutive games Monday and Tuesday against a Boston team that lacks its normal edge.

Free Picks

Boston has historically done an excellent job against the Penguins’ top scorers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, so I had to find secondary scoring for this bet. I was tempted to pull the trigger on Jake Guentzel, who has scored in three straight games, but the +165 odds were a bit low for my liking. So I went to that next tier and from Bryan Rust, the exact type of player who can score goals in the ugly areas against the Bruins. You need to get around the goal to be able to score against the Bruins, and that is a place where Rust can thrive, so I took the +230 odds from the NHL betting sites in New Jersey on Rust to score Monday.

BRYAN RUST SCORES GOAL

Despite the inconsistency in the results, the Bruins have been a fairly stout defensive team in recent weeks. The offense has been hit or miss – and it’s been mostly misses lately – the Bruins had allowed one goal or fewer in open play over the last six games prior to Saturday’s 4-0 loss. So I expect the Bruins to be up to the task defensively against Pittsburgh, it’s just a question about the scoring. Right now, Boston’s lack of secondary scoring make them too easy to defend, so it should be another low-scoring game for Boston. The hockey betting sites in New Jersey are offering +170 on less than five goals, and I doubt we see any more than that in this one.

UNDER 5 GOALS

The Bruins are in crisis mode right now with a group that is simply underperforming and lacking the requisite effort most nights. The Penguins are cruising at the moment with five straight wins and they also have the advantage of home ice. The same lack of secondary scoring from Boston that made me choose a low-scoring affair is the same reason I think Pittsburgh can win this game by at least two goals. Pittsburgh has won its last four games by multiple goals and five of their last six victories have come by at least two. The Bruins might be favored by the legal sports betting sites in New Jersey, but Pittsburgh is the better team right now, so I will gladly take the +260 odds that the Penguins will win by multiple goals on Monday.

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS -1.5 GOALS

Best Odds

Pittsburgh Boston
888Sport
-108 -113
FanDuel
-102 -116
BetMGM
-105 -110

Statistics

Head to Head

This is the third meeting of the season between Pittsburgh and Boston after the Bruins swept a two-game series in Boston at the end of January.

Stats

  • Boston has not won consecutive games for more than a month and are just 3-4-2 in 11 games since returning from Lake Tahoe.
  • In seven games in March, Pittsburgh is averaging 4.1 goals per game and allowing just 2 goals per game despite being outshot by more than a full shot per game.
  • Only four Bruins players have scored six goals or more this season and Nick Ritchie is the only one not on the top line to reach that mark. Ritchie has eight goals and seven assists this season and ranks fifth on the team in points.
  • Jake Guentzel has scored a goal in three straight games and now is tied for the team lead with 10 goals this year and ranks second on the Penguins with 24 points.

Our Prediction for Pittsburgh vs. Boston

Pittsburgh Penguins to win

This is an excellent time for the Penguins to be playing the Bruins as Pittsburgh is surging and Boston is on the decline. The Penguins have won five straight games and seemed to look like a team that could contend in the East Division while the Bruins are slowly but surely dipping toward the bottom. There are a lot of changes needed with this Bruins team that has been decimated by injuries to key role players, so Pittsburgh should continue their steamroll at home against a struggling Bruins team.

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Josh Walfish is an award-winning journalist who has been covering college and professional sports in the United States. He holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University and his work has appeared in the Miami Herald, Chicago Sun-Times and Providence Journal. He most recently chronicled the UMass hockey teams rise to prominence over the last two years for the local newspaper

All Reviews by Josh Walfish

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