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Lightning, Penguins trending to the OVER on Wednesday Night Hockey

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Scoring is up in the NHL this season, but the Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins have been combining for plenty of offense for years.

The Lightning, led by Nikita Kucherov, are a slim -115 away favorite against the -105 underdog Penguins with a 6.5-goal total on the NHL odds for Wednesday night at sportsbooks monitored by

The OddsShark NHL Database shows that not only has the total gone OVER in 19 of the last 20 games in this matchup, but the last 12 matchups have all had at least seven goals. Tampa Bay, thanks to a bye week and the NHL all-star break, is playing for the first time in 11 days and is 7-2 in its last nine away games. The Penguins are 1-4 at home this season against Atlantic Division teams that are currently in a playoff position.

Tampa Bay is 37-10-2 this season, including a 17-5-2 away record. The NHL schedule-maker has affording the Lightning, with their dynamic forward group that includes leading scorer Kucherov and centers Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point, the luxury of not having to jump right back into action upon reconvening following the all-star weekend.

On paper, a well-rested team facing an opponent that has allowed 13 goals over its last two games seems like an excellent matchup for the Lightning, who also boast the NHL’s No. 1 power play (29.5 per cent) and have the fifth-ranked penalty kill (83.6 per cent).

Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, who should get the start, is 5-3-0 with a 2.29 goals-against average and .929 save percentage in eight games in January.

One factor in favor of the Penguins, whose 26-17-6 record includes being 13-8-4 at the PPG Paints Arena, is the embarrassment factor. Any team whose leadership includes captain Sidney Crosby, fellow center Evgeni Malkin and defenseman Kris Letang can be expected to give a peak effort the next time out after a loss such as Monday’s 6-3 setback against the New Jersey Devils.

Both Pittsburgh’s power play (24.8 per cent) and penalty kill (83.1) rank sixth in the NHL, making them the only team other than the Lightning with both special teams units ranked in the top 10, but they were 0-for-5 with the extra skater against New Jersey.

Matt Murray gave up all six goals against New Jersey, but still has a 5-2-0 record with a 2.71 goals-against average and .913 save percentage so far this month. It can be reasonably expected that the Penguins would have Murray get back in net right away after a rough night.

The total has gone OVER in seven of the Lightning’s last 10 away games. The total has also gone OVER in seven of the Penguins’ last 11 home games.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at

EPL Matchweek Odds: Liverpool favored over Manchester United

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The twist scenario in this weekend’s derby is that the pressure is on the visiting, first-place Liverpool – which could make Manchester United the value play.

Liverpool is the +135 away favorite on the Premier League odds with host Manchester United coming back at +205, while the draw is offering +250 and there is a 2.5-goal total for Sunday at sportsbooks monitored by

This is first-place Liverpool’s game in hand over second-place Manchester City; while the Reds are undefeated in 26 of their last 27 away matches, they are coming off a desultory 0-0 draw against Germany’s Bayern Munich this week in Champions League play. Manchester United’s new-found confidence attributed to caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is borne out by some strong trends, which include scoring at least two goals in six consecutive matches, while also winning eight of their last nine in the league.

Confidence in Manchester United, which is led by midfield magician Paul Pogba, could be tempered somewhat if first-choice starters Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial are ruled out of action. Liverpool would seem like a safe bet to continue its skein of scoring in every away game in the league this season, even though Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah have not been capitalizing at a high rate of late.

Cardiff City (+215) and Watford (+140, draw +230) meet in a Friday EPL matchup with a strong OVER trend, as 10 of their last 11 meetings have had more than two goals. With Cardiff refreshed by a bye week and Watford being without suspended left back Jose Holebas, alternate totals such as OVER 3.5 (+245) should be considered.

West Ham United (-115) hosts Fulham (+325, draw +295), which has been a feeble away team that has lost 10 of its last 11 away games in the league, while also trailing at halftime in seven of its last eight away games. West Ham’s Marko Arnautovic (+333 first scorer, EVEN anytime) should have ample opportunity to score. In correct score group props, West Ham United 3-0, 3-1 or 3-2 (+450) is a high-value, if chancier, play.

Burnley (+425) takes dubious trends against Tottenham Hotspur (-145, draw +270) into a Saturday matchup. Tottenham has kept a clean sheet in the last three meetings and is undefeated in the past nine. Burnley is a tough out at home, and Tottenham win / yes (+250) and yes / over 2.5 (+125) both offer value in both teams to score prop betting.

Bournemouth (+180) and Wolverhampton (+160, draw +235) is the tautest three-way moneyline of the week. The slight home underdog Cherries are an attacking team at home and five of the Wolves’ last six away matches have gone OVER 2.5 goals, so both teams to score props are worth poring over, and Either Team 2-1 (+350) has potential in the correct score group props.

And Leicester City (+120) hosts Crystal Palace (+250, draw +235) dragging a three-match home losing streak, as well as a three-match goalless streak against the visiting Eagles.

The head-to-head trend makes Crystal Palace the percentage play on the double chance (-140 for a win or draw), but there is potential for offense and Leicester could get it from winger Demarai Gray (+900 first scorer, +330 anytime), with Jamie Vardy (+350 first scorer, +120 anytime) being the usual suspect.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at

Red Sox, Yankees share top of 2019 World Series odds board

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With Major League Baseball so split into the win-now and win-later camps, it lends itself to wondering whether the grand old game will see it its first repeat champion in almost two decades.

The reigning Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees are each listed at +600 on the 2019 World Series odds at sportsbooks monitored by After the AL East’s two behemoths, the top of the board also includes the Houston Astros (+800)  and Los Angeles Dodgers (+800).

No team has repeated since the 1998-2000 Yankees won three World Series in a row. But the Red Sox, led by reigning MVP Mookie Betts, are coming off a dominant 108-win season where they scored 876 runs. Boston also has proven pitching depth.

The current Yankees should also be formidable at bat and on the mound, particularly with a bullpen of Dellin Bettances, Zack Britton, Aroldis Chapman and Adam Ottavino that could be lights-out in the postseason. Whoever finishes first in the AL East – keep in mind that the last four World Series champions have been either a No. 1 or No. 2 playoff seed in their league – will rate an excellent chance of being the favorite in October.

The Astros and the Dodgers rate the relatively short odds. However, the respective AL West and NL West champs face questions about their pitching – Houston bid adieu to Dallas Keuchel, whereas Los Angeles is wondering how much velocity Clayton Kershaw will recover after three consecutive years of battling injuries – that beg taking a wait-and-see approach.

Recent league MVP Bryce Harper is still unsigned and the team that the slugging outfielder has been most linked to, the Philadelphia Phillies (+1400), presents excellent value farther down the board, including on the season win totals at sportsbooks.

The most tightly contested division is expected to be the NL Central with the Chicago Cubs (+1400), St. Louis Cardinals (+1400) and Milwaukee Brewers (+1600). Of those three, the Cardinals, who added slugging first baseman Paul Goldschmidt over the winter, might be the most undervalued.

The Atlanta Braves (+1600), Cleveland Indians (+1600) and Washington Nationals (+1600) are all recent playoff teams. Atlanta probably has the most upside of those teams by virtue of having a young corps, and a longshot play on a team building toward its peak is always better than taking a team past its best-before date.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at