The Pittsburgh Penguins won three consecutive games and five of their last six prior to Thursday’s defeat. Washington was able to bounce back from its loss to Pittsburgh on Tuesday to win 5-2 in their latest meeting.
This year’s schedule doesn’t lighten up at all. Since the NHL realigned the divisions for 2021, every game means more in determining the playoff picture.
After their games this weekend with the Islanders, Penguins fans will have another chance to bet on their side at West Virginia sportsbooks next week. Pittsburgh battles its in-state rival, the Philadelphia Flyers, next Tuesday night on NBCSN.
Both teams are currently tied in the East Division with 21 points. The Penguins have played two more games, though.
Besides this great hockey action, the NBA features a loaded upcoming schedule as well.
On Tuesday evening, the surprising Phoenix Suns head to Los Angeles to take on the struggling Lakers. The Anthony Davis-less reigning champs are looking to change their recent fortunes in the nationally televised game on TNT.
Then on Wednesday, the Houston Rockets host the Brooklyn Nets and familiar face James Harden on ESPN.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these matchups and see which teams might have the NHL betting edge.
Pittsburgh has an opportunity to get some revenge against one of its top foes while moving up the standings next week.
It faces the Flyers three straight times next week, with the first contest taking place on Tuesday.
In their two previous encounters, the Flyers took care of business. They beat the Pens 6-3 and then 5-2 to start the new season.
The Penguins recovered from their opening misstep and are now playing some pretty good hockey.
Left-winger Jake Guentzel is playing extremely well in the month of February. He’s recorded 10 points in just nine games, including four points in his last three.
Guentzel now leads the Penguins in both points and goals.
Something concerning for Pittsburgh is that all of its main contributors don’t have a positive goal differential when on the ice. Its top five point providers all have a negative plus-minus rating, with the exception of Sidney Crosby at an even 0.
Right wing Kasperi Kapanen leads the team in that department, with a +7 rating. Surprisingly, veteran Evgeni Malkin is the low man on the Pens at -8.
For them to have a successful campaign, this must change quickly. In the NHL, you need to be able to rely on your top lines to get and maintain leads.
Bettors should expect to see a very tight line for this upcoming game at WV online sports betting apps. The Flyers are a talented bunch who also have some lofty expectations this season.
Both teams are three points behind division-leading Boston and Washington.
Philly’s James van Riemsdyk is off to an incredible start, posting 22 points in 16 games thus far. He’s the team’s leader in both goals and assists.
It will be interesting to see which goaltender the Flyers go with. While youngster Carter Hart is the regular starter, backup Brian Elliott is outperforming him regularly.
Elliott’s goals against per game is at 2.38, compared to Hart’s 3.61.
Although these teams should have similar moneyline odds to win Tuesday’s game, expect for the Penguins to come out with some urgency. As far as the game total goes, an outcome with fewer than six goals would be shocking.
NBA betting at WV sportsbooks
Suns vs. Lakers
The Lakers are currently in their worst stretch in quite some time. The defending champs are losers of their last four in a row, and five of six.
Thursday night’s blowout loss to the conference-leading Jazz was very discouraging.
While LA isn’t playing at full strength, neither are most teams in the league. With COVID-19 protocols and a condensed schedule, players are sitting out often.
That being said, the Lakers aren’t the same without Davis and starting point guard Dennis Schroder. It seems too much of the onus is falling on LeBron James, and his supporting cast isn’t holding up their end.
It also doesn’t help that they’re playing some of the best teams in the league right now. This trend continues when they take on the Suns next week.
Phoenix sits in fourth place in the West, just one game behind the Lakers in the standings.
Based on recent results, the Suns are likely to be slightly favored in this contest. They’re 9-2 in their last 11.
If the Lakers don’t at least look better in their two games this weekend, then it’s possible the Suns will end up laying closer to five or six points in the spread.
Be sure to check out the starting lineups and roster news for both teams before placing your wager.
Rockets vs. Nets
Another interesting game will take place in prime time on Wednesday night. When the Nets travel to Houston, it will be Harden’s first game against his former team.
Even though Kevin Durant is still sidelined for Brooklyn, it’s won eight consecutive games. The Nets are now in second place in the conference and just a half-game back of the Sixers.
There’s no question that Harden has been taking his game to the next level since the trade. Along with his usual scoring, he’s now distributing the ball at a much higher rate.
Harden is averaging an incredible 24.9 points, 11.4 assists and 8.5 rebounds per game.
When Durant returns, this team will be a legitimate title contender.
WV sportsbooks will probably have the Nets as decent-sized favorites heading into this game.
The Rockets had a quality run directly after making the deal; however, things have gone downhill. They’ve lost their last nine games.
Despite John Wall scoring more than 20 points per game while shooting around 43%, the Rockets just don’t have enough pieces.
Although the outcome of this game might not be too exciting, it will be fun to see how Harden performs. Perhaps the Rockets will come out motivated and keep this one much tighter than the potentially large point spread.