Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Game 5, Las Vegas Odds, NHL Playoffs Betting, Picks and Prediction

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COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
50-24-8 April 20, 7:00 PM | PPG Paints Arena 50-21-11

Blue Jackets vs Penguins, Round 1, Game 5 – Penguins lead series 3-1

Columbus at Pittsburgh, Playoffs Sports Betting Lines
When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, April 20, 2017
Where: PPG PAINTS Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NHL Network, Sportsnet, TVA Sports, FSN Ohio (Columbus), ROOT (Pittsburgh)
Rotation – Team Live in game Betting at bovada-logo-top-book Puck Line Money Line Total
3 –Columbus Blue Jackets +1½ -175 +170 Ov 5½ -127
4 –Pittsburgh Penguins -1½ +155 -189 Un 5½ +115

The division rival Columbus Blue Jackets and Pittsburgh Penguins are set to renew hostilities on Thursday when they meet at PPG Paints Arena.

ABOUT THE BLUE JACKETS: Rookie Markus Nutivaara stepped up in place of injured defenseman Zach Werenski on Tuesday, scoring a goal in the second period and setting up Boone Jenner for another in the third during his NHL postseason debut. “Of course I had butterflies, but I just wanted to enjoy … enjoy every moment I could get out there,” the 22-year-old Finn told the Columbus Dispatch. Coach John Tortorella was quick to praise Nutivaara by saying he “played to his strengths,” a nice compliment considering the coach had passed up the youngster in the series in favor of Scott Harrington and the inexperienced Gabriel Carlsson.

ABOUT THE PENGUINS: While gladly accepting how his team finishes, Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan repeatedly has taken issue with its sluggish starts in the series. The Penguins were outshot 16-3 in the first period of the opener, 12-7 in Game 2 and fell behind 3-1 and 2-0 on the scoreboard in the next two contests, much to the dismay of Sullivan. “It’s about being ready from the drop of the puck. It’s a mindset. It’s not a wait-and-see approach,” Sullivan said following Wednesday’s practice. “We’ve got to be ready to dictate the terms from the very first puck drop.”

Oddsmakers currently have the Penguins listed as 189-moneyline favorites versus the Blue Jackets, while the game’s total is sitting at 5½.

The Columbus Blue Jackets have endured plenty of twists and turns during their franchise-best season, and Cam Atkinson isn’t interested in seeing the wild ride come to an end. After staving off elimination with a win in Columbus, Atkinson and the Blue Jackets look to repeat the feat in Pittsburgh on Thursday when they play Game 5 of their Eastern Conference first-round series against the reigning Stanley Cup champion Penguins.

“We have nothing to lose,” the 27-year-old Atkinson told the Columbus Dispatch on the heels of Tuesday’s 5-4 victory at Nationwide Arena that closed the Blue Jackets’ deficit to 3-1 in the series. “We’re still down. We’re still crawling back into this. But it’s huge for us to get momentum. A lot of guys contributed, so feel good about this, get ready to work and we’ll head to Pitt. Just play our game and we’ll have success.” Pittsburgh rookie Jake Guentzel continued his successful run by scoring on Wednesday to increase his point total to six (five goals, one assist) in the last three games while his goal total is the most in the first four career postseason contests since Montreal’s Maurice “Rocket” Richard in 1944. The 22-year-old Guentzel’s point total is tied with Phil Kessel and trails Evgeni Malkin, who notched two assists to record his third multi-point game of the series and push his point total to an NHL-best eight (two goals, six assists).

Last time out for Pittsburgh, they were a 5-4 loser as they battled the Blue Jackets on the road. Moneyline bettors who got the Blue Jackets at +121 were rewarded, while the 9 combined goals moved the game OVER for totals bettors.

Picks and Track Records of over 500 Top Sports Handicappers!

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Columbus:
Team record: 51-26-9 SU
Columbus is 2-6 ATS in its last 8 games
Columbus is 2-9 SU in its last 11 games
Columbus is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games on the road

Pittsburgh:
Team record: 53-22-11 SU
Pittsburgh is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
Pittsburgh is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games
Pittsburgh is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games at home

Next up:
Columbus home to Pittsburgh Sunday, April 23

OVERTIME

1. Pittsburgh G Marc-Andre Fleury, who is tied with Tom Barrasso (56) for the most playoff wins in franchise history, turned aside 70 of 72 shots in the first two games before yielding nine goals on 71 shots in the last two.

2. Columbus’ line of C William Karlsson (goal, assist), LW Matt Calvert (assist) and RW Josh Anderson (goal) combined for four points and a plus-8 rating in Game 4.

3. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was held without a shot in Game 4 after mustering nine en route to scoring a goal and setting up two others in the previous two contests.

Vegas Coverage pick and prediction:

Picks: Pittsburgh Penguins will win outright at -189 and the game will stay under 5.5 goals according to scamdicappersscamdicappers.com.

PREDICTION: Penguins 3, Blue Jackets 2 at 

SMART CHART
CLB TEAM PIT
3.04 GOALS 2.99
2.38 GA 2.48
19.91 PP% 18.53
83.04 PK% 84.31
30.95 SHOTS OFF 33.20
30.35 SHOTS DEF 29.68
0.66 GOAL DIFF 0.51
BETTING TRENDS
COLUMBUS
Columbus is 2-9 SU in its last 11 games
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Columbus’s last 8 games on the road
Columbus is 1-7 SU in its last 8 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Columbus’s last 6 games when playing Pittsburgh
Columbus is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing Pittsburgh
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Columbus’s last 6 games when playing on the road against Pittsburgh
Columbus is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH
Pittsburgh is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games
Pittsburgh is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Pittsburgh’s last 5 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Pittsburgh’s last 6 games when playing Columbus
Pittsburgh is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Columbus
Pittsburgh is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Columbus
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Pittsburgh’s last 6 games when playing at home against Columbus
SUPERGRID
RANK RANK
Blue Jackets Overall Scoring vs Penguins Overall Defense 3.0 6 2.5 6
Blue Jackets Overall Scoring vs Penguins Overall Defense 2.7 17 2.5 6
Blue Jackets Overall Scoring vs Penguins Overall Defense 3.0 6 2.9 17
Blue Jackets Overall Scoring vs Penguins Overall Defense 2.7 17 2.9 17
Blue Jackets Road Scoring vs Penguins Home Defense 2.4 24 2.5 16
Blue Jackets Road Scoring vs Penguins Home Defense 2.9 7 2.5 16
Blue Jackets Road Scoring vs Penguins Home Defense 2.4 24 2.7 15
Blue Jackets Road Scoring vs Penguins Home Defense 2.9 7 2.7 15
Blue Jackets Road PP vs Penguins Home PK 20.0 11 83.2 11
Blue Jackets Road PP vs Penguins Home PK 18.8 15 83.2 11
Blue Jackets Road PP vs Penguins Home PK 20.0 11 82.6 12
Blue Jackets Road PP vs Penguins Home PK 18.8 15 82.6 12
Penguins Overall Scoring vs Blue Jackets Overall Defense 3.4 1 3.1 29
Penguins Overall Scoring vs Blue Jackets Overall Defense 3.4 1 2.4 2
Penguins Overall Scoring vs Blue Jackets Overall Defense 3.0 3 3.1 29
Penguins Overall Scoring vs Blue Jackets Overall Defense 3.0 3 2.4 2
Penguins Home Scoring vs Blue Jackets Road Defense 3.3 2 3.0 22
Penguins Home Scoring vs Blue Jackets Road Defense 3.3 2 2.6 4
Penguins Home Scoring vs Blue Jackets Road Defense 3.9 1 3.0 22
Penguins Home Scoring vs Blue Jackets Road Defense 3.9 1 2.6 4
Penguins Home PP vs Blue Jackets Road PK 26.5 3 82.0 13
Penguins Home PP vs Blue Jackets Road PK 26.5 3 79.7 19
Penguins Home PP vs Blue Jackets Road PK 19.6 15 82.0 13
Penguins Home PP vs Blue Jackets Road PK 19.6 15 79.7 19
TOP 3/BOTTOM 3
COLUMBUS
Columbus has the fewest power play chances in the league with just 2.6 per game.
Columbus has the second stingiest defence in the league at 2.4 goals per game.
PITTSBURGH
Pittsburgh is the highest scoring team in the league at 3.4 goals per game.
Pittsburgh leads the league in shots with 33.5 per game.
Pittsburgh is second best in the league in power play goals with 0.7 per game.
Pittsburgh is third on the power play in the league at 23.1%.

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