Huge Goaltending Advantage Makes Capitals The NHL Pick Over Flyers

Monday, April 18, 2016 3:00 PM GMT

Our NHL handicapper provides an insightful betting preview for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Playoff series between Washington and Philadelphia. Be sure to go inside before making any NHL picks on Monday.

NHL Betting Preview: Capitals/Flyers Game 3
Philadelphia returns home for Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against Washington facing a 2-0 hole. They were outscored during the first two games by a combined 6-1. Counting the playoffs, Washington is 5-2 versus Philadelphia this season. One of Philadelphia's two wins did occur at home, but it must be noted, that transpired via an overtime shootout. According to current NHL odds at Matchbook.com, Washington is a -126 money line favorite, and the posted total is 5.0.


Huge Edge for Caps in Goaltending Department
Braden Holtby was magnificent in the first two games of this series for Washington. Holtby allowed a total of 1 goal during those outings, and compiled an excellent .984 save percentage. Despite earning a shutout in the series opener, Holtby may have been even better during his 41 save Game 2 performance. During his last four starts against Philadelphia this season, Holtby has a .970 save percentage, and allowed only a combined 4 goals. Holtby has gone an outstanding 23-10 (.697) in 33 starts on the road this season.

Philadelphia's Steve Mason turned aside 28 of 30 Washington shots on goal during Game 1, and in doing so, gave his team a very good opportunity to steal one on the road. However, that wasn't the case during a 4-1 loss in Game 2. Mason allowed 4 goals on just 23 Washington shots on net. The most disturbing of which came from beyond center ice, and occurred when his team was down just 2-1 early in the second period. Philadelphia went 23-18 at home during regular season action. However, Mason was just 14-14 during 28 home starts this season.

Final Analysis and Pick
I rarely fade home teams during the Stanley Cup Playoffs in a Game 3, when they're faced with a 2-0 series deficit. More times than not, urgency and desperation prevails over potential complacency. If Philadelphia couldn't win Game 2 after having a substantial 42-23 shots on goal advantage, I don't like their chances of winning on Monday even despite playing at home. It's also not that often I side with general public betting, and especially so when there's reverse money line movement like we're seeing here. There's always an exception to a rule, and I'm exercising that option when making one of my Monday NHL picks.

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Free NHL Pick: Flyers -140
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker