NHL Hockey Betting Picks, Boston Bruins at Washington Capitals Odds

NHL Odds

Bruins at Capitals Picks

By Adam Markowitz

For the second time in two nights, the Washington Capitals will be on national television when they host the Boston Bruins on Thursday night. Washington has started to come alive in the month of December and is looking to keep the momentum it built up before Christmas. The Caps have been one of the best regular season teams in the NHL for the last decade, but have yet to reach even the Eastern Conference Finals. This year they are hoping for things to be different.

Boston Bruins at Washington Capitals
Date and Time: Thursday, December 28, 2017, 7 p.m. ET
Location: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
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Bruins at Capitals TV Coverage: NBCSN

Boston has won its last four games coming into this one, taking care of business as a favorite all four times. The defense has been great during that stretch, allowing just four goals, and that helped the under to go 3-1 in that time. This is one of the more defensive minded clubs you will find, and the Bruins have seen 19 of their 34 games go under the total.

The Capitals lost their last two games before the break. Washington just couldn’t find much offense out west against Arizona and Las Vegas. However, before that point, the Caps had won eight of nine, including a win over Boston on the road in that stretch. This team hasn’t lost at home since November 30, and is 14-5 on home ice this season.

Last Meeting

Boston is hoping its luck will change playing Washington in a new venue. The Bruins have lost both of their home games to the Capitals already this season, getting outscored 8-4.

These two teams met two weeks ago in Beantown, with Washington pouring it on in the third period in order to get the win. Two Alex Chiasson goals, one shorthanded, midway through the period put the Caps up 4-1, and it was all over from that point.

Special teams were extremely important in that meeting. Boston and Washington combined to tally three power play goals on nine chances and Chiasson had the shortie as previously mentioned.

Additionally, what killed Boston was its inability to outscore Washington in the second period despite outshooting the Capitals 13-3. Both teams tallied a goal in that frame and that kept the pressure on Boston.

Player to Watch

Braden Holtby has been a Vezina contender for each of the last three seasons, but has not played well so far this year. Holtby is in his late 20s, and the Caps believed that the future was bright for him after posting a career-low 2.07 GAA in 2016-17.

Unfortunately, his numbers have regressed in a big way now that he no longer has some of the first-class defensemen he once did. Holtby has a 2.65 GAA this season and has seen far more shots this year than in the last three seasons.

His save percentage has taken a slight dip, so it’s obvious the main culprit is the defense. However, at the end of the day, it’s Holtby that gets the credit or the blame for how many goals the opponent scores. He has allowed at least two goals in each of his last five outings.

Bruins at Capitals Free Picks

Washington’s success this season is a little curious when you look at certain stats. There is usually a good correlation between shots taken and shots allowed and a team’s success, but the Caps have thrown that out the window. They are getting outshot by an average of three shots a game, yet keep finding ways to win games. Neither of the special teams units have been that good, and still their pucks keep finding their way into the back of the net.

That’s why I’m going to go with the underdog here. Boston is good enough on the defensive end to stop Washington, and the Bruins were a little unlucky the last time these teams met. Back Boston to pull off the upset as a good-sized underdog.

Bruins at Capitals Pick: Grab the Bruins on the moneyline
Bruins at Capitals Score Prediction: Bruins 4 – Capitals 2

NHL Hockey Picks, Bruins vs Red Wings Betting Lines

NHL Betting Odds

Bruins at Red Wings Picks

By Adam Markowitz

The Detroit Red Wings saw their 25-year postseason streak come to an end last year and are in danger of missing out on the postseason yet again. Detroit is sitting in 13th in the Eastern Conference after 29 games with just 27 points. Averaging under a point a game is not a recipe for success and the Red Wings know they need to turn things around soon. They will try to start getting back on track when they host the Boston Bruins on Wednesday.

Boston Bruins at Detroit Red Wings
Date and Time: Wednesday, December 13, 2017, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
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Bruins at Red Wings TV Coverage: NBCSN

Detroit has been in a freefall lately and needs to snap out of it. The Red Wings have lost eight of their last nine and have been blown out in most of those games. The nadir was last week when they lost 10-1 to Montreal, when Paul Byron had a hat trick midway through the second period.

In those nine games, the Red Wings gave up 43 goals, an average of nearly five goals per game. That’s an incredible number and highlights how bad the defense has been. Unsurprisingly, the over cashed in seven of those nine games.

On the other hand, Boston has really been coming on strong. The Bruins are 8-2 over their last 10 games and have received some awesome goaltending over that stretch. Boston has limited opponents to an average of two goals a game over its last 10.

However, the Bruins have been a much different team on the road when compared to home. Boston is 9-4-2 at home, but just 5-5-2 away from Beantown.

Key Stats

Detroit has one of the worst goal differentials in the NHL. The Red Wings are getting outscored by over a half-goal per game on average and it’s a wonder that they aren’t in the cellar. Both Jimmy Howard and Petr Mrazek have been getting beat in goal and no one outside of Anthony Mantha has been scoring with regularity.

Special teams play has been what has kept Detroit competitive. The Red Wings have a top ten power play and a top ten penalty kill and that has helped make the goal differential better. At even strength, this team has been really bad and that’s concerning.

Matchup to Watch

No matter who is in goal for Boston on Wednesday, the Bruins will have the goaltending edge. While Mrazek and Howard have had their share of woes, Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobinhave been great and have really come on strong.

Rask struggled at the start of the season, but has started to look like his old self recently and has reclaimed his starting spot. His GAA and save percentage are still both a little higher than usual, yet those numbers are much more in line with his averages than what we saw a few weeks ago.

Khudobin emerged as a solid backup while Rask was struggling. Khudobinhas a 7-1-2 record and has a .922 save percentage on the season. He has taken a back seat to Rask again, but will likely either get the start here or the next night when the Bruins host Washington.

Bruins at Red Wings Free Picks

Checking the injury report, while Detroit is pretty much injury free, Boston has a few issues to keep in mind. LW Peter Cehlarik and C Ryan Spooner are both still on injured reserve and C Noel Acciari is considered day-to-day.

I believe that Detroit will be a slight favorite in this one because it is playing at home and Boston has been struggling on the road. However, while Boston will be well-rested with three full days off before this one, Detroit played a game on Monday night against Florida.

Boston has been playing better more complete hockey and I think the extra time off will help the Bruins overcome their road woes. Back the Bruins here, especially if they are an underdog.

Bruins at Red Wings Pick: Back the boys from Beantown
Bruins at Red Wings Score Prediction: Bruins 3 – Red Wings 2

NHL Betting Matchups Odds, Washington Capitals at Nashville Predators Picks

Nashville Predators

Capitals at Predators Picks

By Adam Markowitz

The Nashville Predators are the hottest team in the Western Conference right now. Nashville has won four in a row and has proved itself against some of the best teams in the NHL during that slate. The Preds went on the road to win against Anaheim, Los Angeles, and Columbus and followed that up with a shootout win over Pittsburgh in the Music City on Saturday. Their quest to top every one of the best teams in the league during this run continues on Tuesday night when they host the Washington Capitals in NBC’s Tuesday night hockey showdown.

Washington Capitals at Nashville Predators
Date and Time: Tuesday, November 14, 2017, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee
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Capitals at Predators TV Coverage: NBCSN

Recently, it’s been Nashville’s offense that has come alive in its wins. The Predators have tallied at least three goals in every one of their wins during this recent swing and that has overshadowed some uncharacteristically poor goaltender play. Nashville has allowed 11 goals during this timeframe and it comes as no surprise that three of those four games went over the total.

Washington has been on fire since the start of November. Although the Caps dropped one on national television to the Sabres last week, they have won five of their six this month. Under has been a great bet in Washington games as the last five tilts have had five goals or less.

Key Stats

The Capitals are a little fortunate to be tied for second in the Metropolitan Division at this point. They aren’t as lucky as the Penguins who somehow have the same amount of points despite being -18 in goal differential, but it’s interesting to see Washington with a winning record although it is breakeven in goal differential.

Any time you talk about Washington, the first player that comes to mind is Alex Ovechkin. However, Evgeny Kuznetsov may be even more important to the team this year and he has certainly been more consistent with his performances. Kuznetsov has 16 assists already this season and has played a big part in Washington’s wins. In the Caps’ 10 wins, he has 14 assists, but in the team’s eight losses, he has just two helpers.

While there is certainly correlation with those stats, that amount of correlation is off the charts. Averaging a point and a half per game in wins is extremely impressive and shows that he is coming through for his team.

Player to Watch

Pekka Rinne is the leader of Nashville and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Rinne has been phenomenal this season and has an 8-2-2 record when he is between the pipes. He boasts a 2.23 GAA and a .929 save percentage and continues to dominate into his mid-30s.

His performance has been even more impressive when you consider the fate of his backup, Juuse Saros. Saros has really struggled in his four starts this season, posting a record of 1-3. He has a 3.94 GAA and a save percentage of just .855.

There were doubts about Rinne coming into this season because of his age, but he is continuing to prove all the naysayers wrong. Nashville has to hope that he doesn’t go down with an injury though or else it could submarine its season.

Capitals at Predators Free Picks

The Predators have the advantage when it comes to special teams. Nashville is in the top ten when it comes to both the power play and the penalty kill. That has really helped a team that doesn’t score many goals keep finding ways to win.

Conversely, Washington is in the bottom half of the NHL in both categories. The power play is of particular concern as it should be better with so many playmakers and sharpshooters on this roster, but it has been lacking.

Nashville should be a short to moderate favorite in this one and the Predators are a solid bet. They play great at home and will have a loud, energetic crowd with the Caps in town.

Capitals at Predators Pick: Grab the Predators on the moneyline
Capitals at Predators Score Prediction: Predators 3 – Capitals 1