Columbus Blue Jackets at Pittsburgh Penguins Free Pick & Preview 12/12/19

Columbus Blue Jackets at Pittsburgh Penguins Free Pick & Preview 12/12/19

Gustav Nyquist, Cam Atkinson, and the Columbus Blue Jackets will do battle against Jake Guentzel, Evgeni Malkin, and the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena in a Metro Division matchup. AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh will broadcast the matchup, and the opening face-off is at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 12.

Columbus Blue Jackets at Pittsburgh Penguins Odds

Columbus (+155) is playing the role of underdog to Pittsburgh (-175), and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at an even 6 goals (-105 for the over, -115 for the under).

Pittsburgh is 17-14 straight up (SU) and has lost 1.2 units for moneyline bettors this year. That early-season winning percentage hasn’t moved much from what the team posted during the 2018-19 season (44-38). Out of its 31 regular season outings, 16 of them have gone under the total, while 14 have gone over and just one has pushed. The team’s 12-6 SU at home this season.

The Penguins have converted on just 15.9 percent of their power play opportunities this year, a mark that’s ranked 24th overall in the NHL. On the other hand, their penalty kill is ranked 17th overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 81.0 percent of all penalties.

Sporting a .897 save percentage and 24.0 saves per game, Matt Murray (11-10-4) has been the most dependable goalkeeper for Pittsburgh this season. If Pittsburgh decides to give him the night off, however, head coach Mike Sullivan might roll with Tristan Jarry (7-5-5 record, .938 save percentage, 1.92 goals against average).

Columbus has lost 4.8 units for moneyline bettors this year and is currently 12-18 straight up (SU). Through 30 regular season matches, 17 of its games have gone under the total, while 12 have gone over and just one has pushed. The Blue Jackets are 4-9 SU as a road team this season.

The Blue Jackets have converted on 18.2 percent of their power play opportunities this year, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 17th overall and it’s successfully defended 80.0 percent of all penalties.

Joonas Korpisalo (25.5 saves per game) has been the main option in the net for Columbus. Korpisalo owns a 12-11-1 record, while registering a .903 save percentage and 2.81 goals against average this year.

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Betting Predictions

Prediction: SU Winner – Penguins, O/U – Under

Betting Trends

For both of these teams, the under has hit in three of their last five matches.

This game features two teams that have pounded opposing goalies with shots. Columbus has registered the league’s sixth-most shots on goal (33.8) and Pittsburgh has attempted the fourth-most (34.0).

Over Pittsburgh’s last ten outings, eight of them have been decided by two or more goals (the team is 5-3 in those games).

The Penguins this season have recorded the most hits per game in the NHL (30.1), but that number has climbed to 41.2 over their last five home games.

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