Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Winnipeg Jets NHL Gambling Prediction & Lines

Pens vs Jets Hockey Betting?

The Pittsburgh Penguins find themselves in a familiar position – looking to clinch their division early and ramp up for what they hope is a long playoff run.

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Pittsburgh (48-23-3-2) at Winnipeg (34-33-4-6)
When: 8:00 PM ET, Thursday, April 3, 2014
Where: MTS Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Broadcast: ROOT, TSN Jets
Pens vs. Jets Betting Lines
Pittsburgh Penguins -1½ +230 -122 Ov 5½ +105
Winnipeg Jets +1½ -275 +111 Un 5½ -116
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Pittsburgh Looks to Clinch Metropolitan – Visit Jets Thursday Night

The Winnipeg Jets unfortunately find themselves in a familiar position as well – clinging to an improbable playoff position and already looking toward next year. The two teams meet in Winnipeg Thursday night each struggling to a 4-5-1 record the last two weeks.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have experienced a bit of a hiccup as we head into the final weeks of the season and injuries are certainly one reason why. The team has lost an incredible 479 man-games to injury and will be without center Joe Vitale (upper body), Marcel Goc (foot) Evgeni Malkin (foot), Tomas Vokoun (blood clot in hip), forwards Pascal Dupuis (right knee surgery) and Chris Conner (hand surgery) and defensemen Kris Letang (stroke) and Paul Martin (broken hand) Thursday night – unbelievable.

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But when you have Sidney Crosby on your team, winning is almost a certainty. He eclipsed the 100 point plateau for the fifth time in his career and has an unreal 17 point lead in the scoring race.
Crosby is in the midst of a five-game point streak for the Penguins, totaling two goals and four assists, Chris Kunitz has three points in two games, Lee Stempniak has enjoyed his time playing alongside Crosby and has two points in as many games and Robert Bortuzzo has two points in three games.

Along with injury, the Pens recent struggles can be attributed to their supporting cast all going cold at the same time. Jussi Jokinen and James Neal have recorded just one point in their last four games, Matt Niskanen has one point in six games and Olli Maata has just one point in 11. This trend won`t continue – these players are too good to be in such a funk

Expect Marc-Andre Fleury to get his fourth straight start Thursday – Jeff Zatkoff hasn`t been all that great lately. Fleury is 2-1-0 with a 2.00 GAA and .933 GAA in his last three starts.

The Winnipeg Jets have been playing for their playoff lives for weeks now but haven`t done a whole lot to improve their position. Now they face the task of taking on a Penguins team that has owned them since moving to Manitoba (the Jets are 2-6-0 versus Pittsburgh). The Jets returns home after a 2-2-1 road trip – one of their losses came after squandering a 4-0 lead in Anaheim and losing in OT!

When looking at Winnipeg`s Hot List, it certainly won`t take you long! Blake Wheeler has 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in the past 10 games – and that`s about it! Nobody is showing up on the score sheet with any regularity – hence the mediocrity we are seeing in this team.

Ondrej Pavelec will likely get the nod between the pipes Thursday – he has been OK and if not for the injury to Al Montoya, he may be sitting and watching this game.

Dave’s FREE NHL Betting Prediction

A few trends to consider:
• Over is 6-0-2 in PIT last 8 Thu. games.
• PIT are 124-61 in their last 185 overall.
• WIN are 3-10 in their last 13 Thu. games.
• WIN are 2-6 in their last 8 home games.
• WIN are 4-11 in their last 15 overall.
• PIT are 39-13 in the last 52 meetings.
• Under is 8-3-1 in the last 12 meetings in Winnipeg.

The Penguins have won 18 of the last 21 matchups against the Jets/Thrashers franchise and won the only meeting of the season 6-5. The Jets have struggled overall and are just 3-4-2 in their last nine games on home ice – just one regulation win! The Pens are 3-1-1 in their last five away from home.

Although the Penguins have had a knack of playing down to their competition of late, I like them to officially take the Jets out of the playoff race on Thursday while clinching a postseason berth for themselves. Winnipeg isn`t that good – Pittsburgh is!

Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins -122

By DaveB

Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.