Dogs Ready to Bite the Books: Washington at Columbus
Following a few miscues in the NBA, I turned to the NHL for last week’s top underdog pick and cashed in big with the Vegas Golden Knights beating Tampa Bay in a shootout as +140 underdogs on the road.
Sticking with the NHL for this week, I have zeroed in on a tight matchup in the Metro Division this Tuesday night at 7 p.m. between the Washington Capitals against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The last time these two teams met in Columbus on Dec. 8, the Capitals closed as +110 underdogs in a 4-0 win. See all the latest NHL betting lines here.
The current standings in this division race are about as tight as it gets after the New York Islanders at the top with 72 points. Heading into Monday night’s home game against the Los Angeles Kings as a heavy -200 favorite, Washington (67 points) is just two points ahead of Columbus in second place.
Top Underdog Bet- Take Capitals at Blue Jackets
We have another Free NHL Pick for today, Monday, also in a Metro Division clash.
The Capitals know that the true defense of last season’s Stanley Cup title will not begin until the playoffs get underway. They also know that if things stay as they are right now, there is a good chance they will be facing Columbus somewhere along the line.
In last year’s playoff run to the title, Washington needed six games to get past Columbus in the opening round. It won all three road games in that best-of-seven clash.
Ahead of a 4-0 road win in early December, the Capitals dropped a 2-1 decision at home against Columbus on Nov. 9 as -120 favorites. As close as it has been between these two division rivals, Washington is probably looking forward to playing Tuesday night’s game on the road.
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The Capitals’ current form has been a bit shaky going back to another 2-1 loss to the Blue Jackets as -160 favorites at home on Jan. 12. Since that point, they have only posted three wins in their last 12 games. Heading into Monday night’s home game against the Kings, they lost to Florida 5-4 in overtime on Saturday as -160 favorites at home. Washington is 16-9-5 on its home ice this season and 14-9-2 playing on the road.
Behind Alex Ovechkin, the Capitals are still one of the highest scoring teams in the NHL with 3.33 goals per game. Most of their recent issues have been at the other end of the ice with a defensive effort that has sunk to 21st in the league in average goals allowed (3.18).
Speaking of Alex Ovechkin, did you see the compilation of his celebrations after winning the Cup last year? Take a look at Top 10 Alex Ovechkin Stanley Cup Trophy Moments.
Braden Holtby is slated to get the start on Monday in goal and he should probably get the call against Columbus in Tuesday’s matchup. In three previous starts against the Blue Jackets this season, he has only allowed three goals while on the ice.
Columbus has gone an even 5-5 in its last 10 games, but it does bring a three-game winning streak into this game after beating Vegas 4-3 on the road on Saturday as a +155 underdog. The Blue Jackets have actually lost their last three games at home against Montreal, Buffalo and St. Louis to slip to 14-11-2 on their home ice verse a more productive 17-9-1 record on the road.
Right winger Cam Atkinson has had the hot hand for Columbus this season with 31 goals and he scored twice against Vegas on Saturday night. The Blue Jackets are right behind Washington in the goal scoring department with 3.28 tallies a game. They also slide down the list on defense with a goals-against average of 3.07.
These two division foes matchup extremely well against each, with the edge in Tuesday night’s game going to Washington playing on the road.
Article by Dave Schwab
Posted February 11th, 2019
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