NHL Free Pick | Islanders at Capitals
There are plenty storylines when the Capitals host the Islanders tonight, but none are more relevant than The Return of Trotz. Islanders’ coach Barry Trotz returns to Capital One Arena for the first time since leading Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals to a Stanley Cup Championship season this past spring.
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Game: New York Islanders (27-15-4, 26-20 ATS) at Washington Capitals (27-14-5, 22-24 ATS)
When: 7:30 PM ET, Friday, January 18th, 2019
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, District of Columbia
Current Line: NYI +160 | +1.5-170 WAS -150 | -1.5+160 Total: 6
TV Coverage: Sportsnet One, Sportsnet East, MSG Plus (NY), NBCS Washington
Fast-forward to present day, and the standings show the Islanders one point behind the Caps, meaning a win tonight leap-frogs the Islanders into 1st place in the Metropolitan Division, depending on the result of Canadiens and Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets are tied atop the division with the Caps.
Trotz has his Islanders playing great hockey, with a win tonight extending their winning streak to 4 games. They had won 6 in a row between December 23rd and January 5th before losing 2 of three before their current streak.
The Capitals have been very inconsistent this season despite their record. Since December 21st, they have had a 4-game winning streak, followed by a 3-game losing streak, a 3-game winning streak and currently on a 3-game losing streak. They got destroyed by the Predators 7-2 their last time out.
Overall this season, the Caps are scoring the 8th most goals per game (3.35) and allowing the 13th most at 3 goals per game. On the other end of the ice, the Islanders are scoring the 13th most goals per game, but are allowing a league’s best 2.52 GPG.
If you follow my plays, you know I am a value bettor, and like to work the odds. I love digging into the numbers when betting the NBA, but I know more about hockey, having grown up with it all around me.
Like football, coaching matters in hockey, and I’m betting on Barry Trotz in this one as a +160. That’s great value knowing he will have his team coached up for this one. Not only will the Islanders have the emotional edge, who else knows the Caps better than Trotz?
NHL Free Pick: NY Islanders +160 (not an official play, but I’m considering the UNDER as well)
Free pick by Joe Berra
Article posted January 18th
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