NHL Picks: Capitals vs. Canucks

David Lawrence

Monday, October 28, 2013 1:06 PM GMT

The Vancouver Canucks return home for the first time in more than two weeks with a greatly-improved record. Should hockey bettors expect them to come out on top when the Washington Capitals skate into town tonight?

Although there were plenty of skeptics among those who make their NHL picks, the Canucks finished a successful seven-game road trip going 5-1-1. They’ll look to keep that momentum going against a Capitals team that has won three of four.

Check our SBR's NHL Picks of the Day for more free hockey betting options.

The Washington Capitals can win because…

Vancouver could be a bit worn down. We see it quite regularly in the NHL that teams who are playing in their first home game after a long road trip can be a bit jetlagged. Don’t be surprised if that’s the case with the Canucks.

Washington has found some success on the road recently as they’ve won two of their last three away games. Goaltender Braden Holtby was pulled in the team’s most recent game – a 5-2 loss in Calgary – but he had posted a .945 save percentage in the five games before that. The Canucks might be sizable dogs on the NHL odds but they’ll have a good chance to win this game.

The Vancouver Canucks can win because…

Roberto Luongo owns the Capitals. He’s 13-1-0 with a 2.23 GAA in his last 14 starts against the Capitals. Beyond that, the Canucks have won eight of their last nine against the Capitals while sporting a healthy 42.6% power play percentage over that time. The Caps have lost four straight trips to Vancouver.

While some people that make sports picks are expecting the Canucks to maybe start slow since it’s their first game back home, keep in mind that this will be Washington’s fourth road game in seven nights.

[gameodds]7/246371/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Outlook & Pick

This is a tricky game to look at from a sports betting point of view. The Canucks have dominated this series and have played well recently, but I’m still hesitant to lay -150 with them at home. Home losses to Montreal and San Jose, and an overtime home win over New Jersey (those are the results of their last three at home), tell me to stay away. Instead, I’ll take a flier on the Capitals. 

Pick: Caps +135 at 5Dimes