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DENVER, COLORADO - JUNE 18: Cale Makar #8 of the Colorado Avalanche celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the third period in Game Two of the 2022 NHL Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Ball Arena on June 18, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. Photo by Harry How / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP.

The Washington Capitals and Colorado Avalanche are both battling for playoff spots as they prepare to meet in Denver on Tuesday. Read on for our best Capitals vs. Avalanche pick based on top odds.

The defending-champion Avalanche have survived a brutal run of injuries to sit in fourth place in the Central Division with 53 points in 45 games. Yet, while the Avalanche have generally been getting healthier in recent weeks, they are going to be missing standout defenseman Cale Makar for Tuesday’s game. That is a game changer.

The Capitals, meanwhile, have a 6-5-2 record since the holiday break and are in fourth place in the Metropolitan Division with 56 points in 49 games.

Star winger Alex Ovechkin leads Washington with 30 goals and 52 points in 48 games, and is expected to play Tuesday after missing Saturday’s loss at Vegas due to a lower-body injury.

Here is our best Capitals vs. Avalanche NHL pick (odds via FanDuel Sportsbook; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

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Capitals vs. Avalanche Game Info

  • Date: Tuesday, Jan. 24, 9 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN+, Sportsnet1, ALT, NBCSWA
  • Location: Ball Arena, Denver, CO

Capitals vs. Avalanche Odds

Check out our complete list of NHL odds!

Capitals vs. Avalanche Odds Analysis

The FanDuel moneyline opened with the Avalanche as favorites at -178, with the Capitals at +146. With 72% of the early consensus moneyline wagers on the Avalanche, the line has shifted dramatically, with Colorado priced at -134, compared to Washington at +112.

That line shift is largely due to the statuses of Ovechkin and Makar, with the former returning to action and the latter sitting out his fourth straight game.

The total has remained steady at 6 at FanDuel. The opening price was -114 for the Under and -106 for the Over but with 58% of the consensus action on the Over, the price for the total has moved in the other direction. The Under is now -124, while the Over is +102.

Capitals vs. Avalanche Pick

Capitals ML (+112) vs. Avalanche 

Dude, where’s Makar?

It’s tough enough for Colorado to be missing Bowen Byram and Josh Manson on the blueline, but losing Makar to injury is a much bigger hole in the lineup. The Avs control 55.5% of expected goals during five-on-five play with Makar on the ice, making him tops among Colorado regulars.

With Makar out, the Avalanche have puck movers like Devon Toews and Samuel Girard that can move up the depth chart, but they aren’t nearly as good. And while Colorado has won three straight games with Makar out of the lineup, its defensive depth has been challenged.

Journeymen Brad Hunt, Kurtis McDermid, Jacob McDonald, and Andreas Englund have rounded out spots 4-7 on the Colorado blueline as the Avs opt to dress an extra defensemen.

That is a defense that can be exploited by a Washington lineup that has been inconsistent but is getting better with improved health.

Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson returned to the Washington’s lineup Jan. 8 and the Capitals have controlled more than 53% of five-on-five score-and-venue-adjusted expected goals in that time, which ranks seventh.

Getting the Capitals at plus money against a depleted Avalanche defense is well worth the play.

Check out our Stanley Cup odds.

Capitals vs. Avalanche Best Odds

FanDuel (+112)

Capitals MLCapitals MLCapitals MLCapitals MLCapitals ML
+105 +112 🔥+110+110 +110 

The puck line is relatively consistent at most of the top-rated sportsbooks, with a Caps win ranging between +105 and +115. 

The moneyline has moved quite a bit with confirmation that Makar will be out of the Avalanche lineup, pushing the odds closer to even. BetMGM was slowest to move, but ultimately settled at +110 like most of the top-ranked sportsbooks.

Timing is a huge factor when it comes to injuries to star players. If it’s a run-of-the-mill skater, the line is not going to move. But in the case of a player like Makar, absent from an Avs team that is already missing two regulars on the blueline, the value can change quickly.

Capitals-Avalanche pick made 1/24/2023 at 2:15 p.m. ET.

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