Free NHL Picks: Canadiens at Capitals Odds
by George Monroy - 11/21/2013
The Washington Capitals started the season on a slower pace then they originally expected, but they have since turned things around and are quietly moving up the standings. The team trails the Pittsburgh Penguins by three points for the Metropolitan Division lead and sits in the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff rankings. Washington’s team captain, Alex Ovechkin, has been his regular, spectacular self and has scored 17 goals on the season. He is fifth in the NHL in points with 24 through the first 21 games of the year.
The Montreal Canadiens have struggled during the second month of the season, but they continue to play excellent defense and allow only two goals per game on average. The team has lost six of their last nine matchups but is coming off of a four-goal victory over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday. Let’s take a closer look at Friday’s Canadiens versus Capitals matchup and figure out which side of the wager has the most value to bet one.
Canadiens at Capitals Betting Story Lines
The Capitals were on a three-game winning streak entering Wednesday night’s huge matchup against the Penguins. Unfortunately, the always-hyped Ovechkin versus Sidney Crosby rivalry never got off the ground as Pittsburgh took an early lead and never let the Capitals produce any meaningful offense throughout the game. The loss was Washington’s third over their last six games, and it kept the team with 25 points on the season. Goaltender Braden Holtby allowed four goals on a whopping 40 shots as the Capitals were outshot by 22 attempts during Wednesday’s matchup. Alex Ovechkin had a quiet night in 19 minutes worth of action and took only two shots during that span.
Washington is currently in the third game of a favorable stretch in their schedule where they play eight of 11 games at home. The team has a chance move up in the Eastern Conference standings if they can take advantage of those extra games inside the Verizon Center over the next few weeks. The Capitals, however, will need tighten up on defense and cut down the number of shots they allow their opponents to take. The team gives up 35 shots attempts per game and allows 2.8 goals.
The Canadiens have alternated between wins and losses over their last six matchups, and they split games during their most recent two-game homestand. Goaltender Carey Price continues to be a bright spot for the team, and he holds opponents to 2.05 goals per game with an excellent .935 save percentage. The Montreal offense, however, has been as inconsistent as any in the league. The team switches between scoring outbursts and droughts on a game-to-game basis. They scored six goals in their last win over the Minnesota Wild, but they were shut out the game before against the New York Rangers. Overall, the team ranks 17th in the NHL in goals scored with 2.6 per game.
Canadiens at Capitals NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
The Capitals opened as a -126 moneyline favorite over the +114 underdog Canadiens. The total was set at five goals, with the “over” being favored at -136.The Canadiens are 5-1 over their last six matchups against the Metropolitan Division. But they are only 1-4 in their last five versus teams with winning records. They are also 1-5 following a win. The “under” has hit seven times during Montreal’s last 10 road games.
Washington is 5-0 during their last five Friday games and 6-1 over their last seven versus the Eastern Conference. The team is 7-3 for their last 10 games, and the under has come in six times during their last eight home games. Head-to-head, the road team has won eight of the last 10 meetings between the two teams, while the Canadiens only have a 1-8 record over the last nine games.
Free NHL Picks: Canadiens at Capitals Predictions
Washington has to be disappointed in their performance during their last outing, and they will be looking to correct more than a few mistakes against Montreal on Friday night. It is almost certain that Capitals head coach Adam Oates had a mouthful to say about the team allowing 40 shots while only taking 18 against the Penguins. The team knows that they need to take advantage of their favorable schedule over the next two weeks and that can’t afford to give away wins. Washington has all the value in this matchup, particularly as a -126 favorite. The under also has value at +124. Both teams will probably enter the game with a focus on playing quality defense and not allowing any easy goals. Take the Capitals on the moneyline and the under for Friday’s game.
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