The Capitals will go into Philadelphia tonight and try to beat a struggling Flyers team that has lost three straight. I’ll take a look at the teams, the betting odds, and let you know what the best bets are, as well as give a prediction on the game.
Capitals are playing mid-level hockey
The Washington Capitals have been suffering from injuries as of late. Goaltender Vitek Vanecek is out with an upper body injury, and forwards Anthony Mantha and T.J. Oshie have both been out for weeks with injuries.
Since Jan. 10th, the Caps are exactly .500. They’ve gone 7-7 and have scored 41 goals while letting up 37. This is typical Washington hockey in mid February. The Caps always slump midseason and either carry it into the playoffs or bounce back in March and April and look strong as they start the postseason.
It’ll be up to future Hall of Fame winger Alex Ovechkin and his co-stars John Carlson and Nicklas Backstrom to step up and lead them out of this mediocre run.
Flyers have been grounded
The Flyers have been having an extremely ugly season. After starting 8-6, the Flyers went on a 10 game losing streak. After stringing together a few wins they’ve recently had another 10+ game losing streak, and have lost 16 of their last 18.
It’s easy to say that the Flyers are struggling, because they are. They’re a mess offensively and have only scored four or more goals in a game twice since Christmas. To put that into perspective, the last-place New Jersey Devils have done that twice in their last four games.
Philadelphia’s defense isn’t much better unfortunately. The Flyers have the worst goal differential in the Metropolitan division, and the third-worst in the entire league. In addition to that, they have five players with a +/- of -10 or worse, whereas Washington doesn’t have any.
Matchup and Betting Lines
The two teams have played once this season, all the way back on Nov. 6th. The Flyers won 2-1 in a fun game that resulted in two great performances out of Philadelphia goalie Martin Jones and Caps netminder Vitek Vanecek.
Vitek won’t be playing in this game due to injury so the Capitals net will most likely be filled by Ilya Samsonov. Samsonov is 9-2-1 on the road this season and has a road save percentage of .919 as well.
Alexander Ovechkin and the squad Washington has built over the years are sturdy, smart, and creative. They’ve added young depth with guys like Connor McMichael and Aliaksei Protas, and have the ability to control the puck well.
The line for this game is -175 for Washington and +155 for Philadelphia. My immediate first thought is that I don’t love the line, but I would like to live bet Washington if possible.
The over for this game is set at O/U 6 at -110. I like the under in this one unless the Capitals run away with it. The alternate spread is Capitals -1.5 at +140 and Flyers +1.5 at -165. I’d suggest throwing on the caps to win by two if the line gets to +150. If you can find Nicklas Backstrom over 0.5 assist at +100, I like that too.
I think the Capitals will win an ugly, low scoring game. The under is a solid bet, but only if the Caps don’t play to their full potential. Philly has issues protecting the puck, and I expect the Capitals to jump on that and take a 3-1 victory.