One of tonight’s three matchups features the Washington Capitals against the Ottawa Senators. Who are we adding to our NHL picks tonight, and why do we think this game holds great sports betting value?
The Washington Capitals were supposed to be a good goaltender away from being a serious Stanley Cup contender. With just 23 games remaining in their regular season, they’re just six points better than the worst team in the Eastern Conference.
As they get set for a visit to Canada’s capital, a lot of people are wondering whether they’ve quit on their head coach for a second time this season. They’re coming off a 5-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday in a game which they had to have. Superstar Alexander Ovechkin registered just one shot on net and that has not sat well with fans, touts and pundits.
Wednesday, February 22th
NHL odds boards opened with Ottawa at -155. While the total remains steady at 5.5, sports betting action has lowered the lines to -140. Lets bre
The Washington Capitals can win because…
Nothing is lost yet. Yes, the Caps are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference. Yes, they’ve lost five of six. And yes, they completely embarrassed themselves all the way around in Monday’s 5-0 loss. But when you look up at the playoff races, the Caps are just two points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for the eighth and final playoff spot and also two points behind the Southeast Division leading Florida Panthers. All it takes is one win to get back in business.
That win can come on Wednesday against Ottawa, which is a team the Caps have dominated. They are 13-3-3 in the last 19 meetings and has won six of the last seven. They’ve even won all three meetings with Ottawa this season.
The Caps have gotten the services of Mike Green back in the lineup and while he’s struggled to shake off the rust so far, he’s a real asset and should help the team going forward.
The Ottawa Senators can win because…
The Capitals have lost five of six, and are packing it on for the season. More surprising than their 5-0 loss to the worst team in the Eastern Conference on Monday might be the comments coming out of the locker room. Forward Jeff Halpern said “It’s amazing that as bad as we’ve played, we’re still in it”. We’d rather here things like “we’re going to turn things around ASAP and never do that again”.
The Caps were outshot 40-17, which is a clear indication of effort. Wednesday’s game will be their third in four nights, so fatigue will be a factor.
Meanwhile, the Sens are back in the positives with four wins in five games. They have won three straight while outscoring their opponents 16-2 in the process. For the Sens, their goaltending has been hit or miss this season, so it really all amounts to scoring. When they’re on like they are right now, they are tough to beat.
The Caps are reeling and are still without Nicklas Backstrom, who was a key factor in the Capitals wins over Ottawa earlier this season (scoring a goal each time). There’s just no way you can put your hard-earned money on Washington when they’re playing like this.
Outlook & NHL Betting Prediction:
All signs point to Ottawa in this one and it’s really hard to take Washington in this spot – even with their previous success in this series. The value is tempting, but they’ve played so poorly of late that you simply can’t bet a team that’s not giving their best effort.
Oddly enough, the Senators can actually climb up to second in the conference with a win. They’re just two points behind the Boston Bruins for the division lead (even though the Bruins have four games in hand). They’ve got plenty to play for two and they’re actually playing like they care. Take the Sens.