Predators Seek Central Clincher vs. Metro Champion Capitals

Thursday, April 5, 2018 4:18 PM UTC

Thursday, Apr. 5, 2018 4:18 PM UTC

The "under" is 4-1 in Nashville's last five road games, and Washington has started to play lower-scoring game as well. Lean "under" with your NHL picks in this matchup of division leaders. 

[/]{"component":"video", "type":"youtube", "url":"", "videoSize":"Large" }[/]NHL Thursday: Predators vs. CapitalsFree NHL Pick: Under 6, -115Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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The Nashville Predators (51-18-11, 113 points, +53 goal differential) can clinch the Central Division tonight with a victory over the Washington Capitals (48-25-7, 103 points, +19), who have nothing to play for until the playoffs. The puck drops at 7 ET (NBC Sports Network).

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Oh captain! #Preds | #NSHvsFLA

— x-Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) April 4, 2018

Nashville can also move closer to the Presidents' Trophy, an honor that can be the kiss of death, but they seem to really want that banner flying at Bridgestone Arena. I’ll say it now and I’ll back this opinion loud and proud: The Predators won’t win the Stanley Cup. I don’t think they’re better than Vegas or San Jose. Probably not a popular perspective but we all know that winners are not born from public perception. I say this because many have said tonight's Predators-Capitals game could be a Stanley Cup Final preview, but not only do I think Nashville won’t be hoisting the Cup, I think the Capitals will be another early out.

The Capitals' only concern is to be healthy heading into a likely postseason matchup against New Jersey or Philadelphia.

This is another spot where we should run the opposite way of the last meeting. That was in November, a 6-3 Nashville win, but these teams have completely changed. If you’re going to take anything away from their first meeting, it’s that there were plenty of "under" tendencies, including the Capitals taking just three first-period shots until the tables turned and the Caps allowed only 13 Predators shots in the final two periods. The game had 60 total shots.

The NHL odds board shows the Capitals are receiving public support after the Predators opened as -115 favorites. It’s a reasonable number but not a side I’m getting involved with because there is still some mystery whether Braden Holtby or Philipp Grubauer will start in net for Washington. The "total" might be a more attractive option if Grubauer plays.

The number opened at 6 and found resistance from professionals, who pushed it down to 5.5, -115/Over. Make sure to shop for the best number because we see at Heritage that an "under" wager will pay back +105, while other spots such as Bovada require you to give up a little juice.

From a trend perspective, the Capitals are starting to be an "under" team even though it’s a small example. Their 4-2 win against St. Louis on Monday was the only "over" blemish in three games. On the road Washington is 25-15-1 to the "over," but at home the Capitals are an even 19-19-1.

Take the "under" with your NHL picks and meet me at the cashier's cage.

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