Free NHL Picks of the Day: Flames to Take Advantage of Caps

Dana Lane

Sunday, October 29, 2017 5:22 PM UTC

Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017 5:22 PM UTC

The Washington Capitals playing their second game in two nights travel to the Scotiabank Saddledome to face off against the Calgary Flames who continues their homestand. Puck drops at 9:00 ET/6:00 PT

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Free NFL Picks: Calgary Flames -135 over Washington Capitals 10 Units at 5Dimes


Washington Capitals vs. Calgary Flames (-135)

You have to give the Capitals some measure of credit after beating the Edmonton Oilers on the road, 5-2 last night as +122 underdog, especially after their uninspired effort against the Canucks on Thursday but I’m still not convinced that this team is over their sloppy ways. Sure, Barry Trotz can get his team up for the Edmonton Oilers who despite their record still squeeze the best effort out of their opponent. The question is, does Calgary? I’m not counting on it. I can only anticipate the Capitals reverting back to their penalty plague ways to wash down their erratic play in the neutral zone. Heading into today’s game the Caps are 4th in the league with 13:43 of penalty time per game. Third line winger Tom Wilson averages almost five minutes of penalty time this season. He joins five other Capitals who average over a minute/game, twice as many as the Calgary Flames which is where we find tonight’s advantage. The Flames are not great in that department (ranked 13th) but it’s enough of a gap to give Calgary a huge advantage.

It wasn’t all rosy against the Oilers either. Wilson’s centerman Lars Eller was guilty of three minor penalties and Anthony Peluso added an additional two. In total, the Capitals had 10 penalty minutes compared to just 2 for the Oilers. The Capitals careless play led to the Oilers 2-0 lead and almost a 3-0 deficit. Luckily the Caps were able to claw back for the victory.

Second line center Yevgeni Kuznetsov’s numbers are impressive (15 pts in 11 games) but his defensive play has been less than impressive and has taken some untimely penalties. He was fantastic last night but I can’t assume that his mediocre defensive play is behind him. The Flames Mikael Backlund who is a good skater and a responsible two-way player could take advantage of the defensively ordinary Kuznetsov.

Overall this isn’t the same Capitals that would fly up and down the ice. Barry Trotz conceded that his team needs to play a simpler game to be successful. He also used the word “smarter”, as in; the team has to play smarter. I have no interest in backing a team that represents the opposite of smart.

From a betting trend perspective, the Capitals have dropped five of their last games in a three games in four days situation while the Calgary Flames have won five of their last seven games against the Metropolitan Division and five of their last six in the fourth game in a four games in six days situation.

One total note, the Capitals are 18-5-3 to the ‘over’ against the Western Conference but it’s the Flames side where we’re cashing our NHL picks tonight.

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