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$FML's NHL Best Bet for Wednesday Night - 3/22


Pittsburgh Penguins (34-26-10) at Colorado Avalanche (41-22-6)

The Pens ripped 49 shots in 60 minutes on Monday and still lost the match. They controlled their playoff destiny up to that point. Now, they’re on the outside looking in. It’s a damp, uncomfortable position for a franchise with 16 straight playoff appearances — the longest active streak by an NHL team.

Long story short… expect a desperate team effort from the Penguins tonight. It starts with continuing to win the shots battle; and to give credit where it’s due, Pittsburgh excels in that department. As a team, they’ve eclipsed the 32+ shots on goal (SOG) mark in:

  • 14 of their last 15 games overall
  • 8 of 10 on the road since All-Star Break
  • 15 of 22 on the road vs. playoff caliber teams (within 5 points of a playoff spot)

I find these trends intriguing since Barstool Sportsbook, Bet Rivers and Sugar House are listing the Pens’ team shot prop line at o/u 31.5 right now (at time of writing). If the trends I mentioned resonate, you should know that betting PIT to cover 32+ is 5-1 in their last 6 H2H vs. the reigning champs (aka tonight’s opponent).

The flip side of that coin is equally shiny: betting playoff caliber visitors (within 5 points of a playoff spot) to cover the 31.5 line in Denver is 6-3 (67%) since New Years Eve. Colorado’s a force that prides itself on limiting shots, but their fast-paced style tends to supersede in competitive matches.

In the event Pittsburgh plays from behind (which is probable, given their weak goaltending trend), I’ll love this bet even more. That’s because the Pens rank #5 in shots per 60 minutes when trailing this season (per They have a bad tendency to start slow on the road but consistently pick up the pace when trailing.

I feel these stats — strung together with the desperation angle — support a confident bet that the Pens will record 32+ SOG in Denver tonight, and I wagered accordingly! (to win 1 unit)

Note: if your sportsbook doesn’t offer this prop market, consider pivoting to Colorado goalie saves when it drops, if the line is right (my numbers have projected Avalanche starter, Alexandar Georgiev, making 30+ saves)

$FML's Best Bet:

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Pittsburgh Penguins over 31.5 Team Shots @ -112
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