This article is part of our NHL Picks series.
NHL Bets for February 28: Expert Picks and Props for Penguins vs. Predators
The Pittsburgh Penguins (29-21-9) travel to meet the Nashville Predators (29-22-6) at Bridgestone Arena in the Music City on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET (ESPN+).
This is the first of two regular-season meetings between these teams, as they'll also face each other March 30 in the Steel City.
The Pens came alive on offense last time out against the Tampa Bay Lightning Sunday night, posting a 7-3 win in a game with a football score, rather than a hockey score. Oddly enough, the Pens trailed 2-1 after 20 minutes before exploding for six goals in the second 20 minutes.
Evgeni Malkin kicked off the scoring parade, leveling the score at 2-2. That's how things stayed until Sidney Crosby struck for a power-play goal at 15:28 of the second to make it 3-2. That kicked off a 4:27 span which saw the Pens light the lamp five times, taking a 7-2 lead to the room. Tampa notched a PPG in the third, but it wasn't nearly good enough.
Casey DeSmith was glad for all of the offensive support. He is expected to take a backseat to Tristan Jarry (17-7-5, 2.79, .917 SV%, 1 SO) for this road game.
Jarry was tramped for six goals on just 29 shots against Edmonton last Thursday, and he was pulled after two periods. He had been winless in two outings after missing nearly a month due to injury, but he stopped 25 of 27 shots in a 3-2 OT win at St. Louis last time out on Saturday to regain some confidence.
The Predators are expected to counter with All-Star Juuse Saros (23-16-5, 2.80 GAA, .916 SV%, 1 SO). He has picked up 14 of his 23 victories on home ice, going 14-8-3 with a 2.78 GAA and .917 SV% at Bridgestone Arena across 25 starts.
Nashville parted with Tanner Jeannot, dealing him to the Tampa Bay Lightning, so the offense will have a slightly different look. Cal Foote comes in to bolster the defense, but it's uncertain if he'll make his team debut or not.
The Penguins have earned wins in 14 of the past 19 tries against Western Conference teams, while going 40-15 in the past 55 inside the Central Division. While that's all well and good, the fact the Pens are just 9-24 in the past 33 against winning teams should give bettors pause.
The Predators are an impressive 9-0 in the past nine tries against Metropolitan Division teams, while winning seven of the past 10 at home, and four of the past five games overall. As such, take a shot on the home side as short 'dogs.
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NHL Money Line Bets for Penguins vs. Predators
- Predators ML (+120 at FanDuel)
While the Pens posted a touchdown against the Lightning last time out, it had scored three or fewer goals in the previous four outings. Still, the Over is 4-1-1 in the past six games overall for Pittsburgh, as defense and goaltending has left a lot to be desired.
Pittsburgh has allowed 26 goals across the past six outings, or 4.3 goals per game (GPG). Still, the Under is 10-4-3 in the past 17 road games for the Pens, while going 5-0 in the past five tries against Central Division foes.
Nashville has cashed the Over in five in a row, while going 3-1-2 in the past six in Smashville. The Over is also 6-0-1 in the past seven when playing on a day of rest, so most signs indicate an Over play. However, go lightly, with a half-unit play at best.
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NHL Totals Bets for Penguins vs. Predators
- Over 6.5 (+100 at BetRivers)
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NHL Player Props for Penguins vs. Predators
We'll highlight a couple of red-hot players for the player props in this East-West battle in the Music City.
The 36-year-old veteran Evgeni Malkin is not only working on a three-game point streak, but he has multiple points in each of the outings. He has picked up two or more points in four of the past five games, and seven of the previous 11 outings, too.
Malkin has lit the lamp in back-to-back games, and at plus-money as an anytime goal scorer, he is a strong value.
- Evgeni Malkin Anytime Goal Scorer (+164 at FanDuel)
Thomas Novak of the Preds might not be a player on the tip of the tongue for most casual fans, but those who play DFS and bet player props know him all too well. He has been white-hot lately, going for five goals and 11 points during his five-game point streak, including four multi-point outings.
Despite the red-hot play lately, he is still plus-money to simply record one point, whether it be a goal or an assist. Keep riding Novak until he cools down.
- Thomas Novak Over 0.5 Points (+102 at FanDuel)