Take Dominant Capitals -1.5 For Your NHL Picks When Senators Come To Town

Bruce Webster

Sunday, January 10, 2016 3:37 PM UTC

Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016 3:37 PM UTC

The Ottawa Senators face the Washington Capitals tonight at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. Should we trust Capitals with our NHL picks to keep their streak?

Ottawa Senators vs. Washington Capitals
Lines: +160/-185
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Free NHL Pick: Washington -1½
Best Line Offered: at Heritage


The NHL odds are out as the Ottawa Senators (19-16-2-4 SU, 19-23 PL, 18-23-0 OU) enter this game off a hard fought win over the Bruins on Saturday and after bouncing back from a tough loss to Florida earlier, while the Washington Capitals (30-7-2-1 SU, 21-19 PL, 14-20-6 OU) are coming in off a win Saturday over the hapless Rangers and they will be looking to continue their winning ways in that game.


Where Has All the Offense Gone?
The Ottawa Senators have not had much trouble scoring this year, but they have of last as they have scored just five total goals in their last four games and they were shutout in two of those games. This is a team that is not used to those kind of scoring woes as they check in at 9th in the league in scoring, putting up 2.8 gpg, while converting on 18.9% of their power play chances, which is 14th in the league. Their last game was at Florida and they lost that one 3-2, but there is no real shame and having your scoring held down vs that team as they are just on fire right now.

The rest of their last four games were vs Jake Allen, Corey Crawford and Cory Schneider, who all all very tough goalies right now. This is a quality offensive club and the scoring will return, but at some point they have to be able to score on the tough goalies as well. The Sens need to step it up in their own goal as well as they come in ranked 26th in goals allowed, giving up 2.9 gpg and 28th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 23% of their power play chances. Craig Anderson has really struggled with a 2.80 GAA on the year, while Andrew Hammond has been a bit better with a 2.35 GAA. Hammond will get the start in this one and is 3-5 on the year, while vs Boston in his career he is 1-0 with a 4.01 GAA.

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Washington Is the Most Complete Team in the League
Some teams have good offense, but shoddy defense, while others have solid defense and poor to average offense. Some have good special teams and some have average to poor. Some have good depth and others have very little. Well, Washington has it all. They have good offense, great goaltending, very good special teams and excellent depth. This is the most complete team in the league and it starts in the crease for them where they have the best goalie on the planet right now. Braden Holtby is 26-6 on the year with a 1.90 GAA and is having best year of his career so far and he is a big reason that the Caps have only lost two games in a row just once this year so far.

On offense, Alex Ovechkin leads the team with 22 goals, while overall they have seven players that come in having scored double digit goals this year, which is the best mark in the league and it shows how deep they are. The Caps check in at 2nd in the league in scoring, putting up 3.2 gpg, while converting on 25.4% of their power play chances, which is 2nd in the league as well. On defense, they are 2nd in goals allowed, giving up just 2.1 gpg, while allowing teams to convert on just 15.5% of their power play chances, which is 6th in the league. The numbers don’t lie. This is the most complete team in the league.


Trends Ottawa:
1-8 in their last nine vs. the Eastern Conference
2-7 in their last nine games playing on 0 days rest


Trends for Washington:
37-14 in their last 51 vs. the Atlantic
20-8-1 in their last 29 home games following a road trip of seven or more days


Betting Analysis
Have to go with the puckline for my NHL picks on this one as I feel the Caps should win it easily. Both teams played last night, so there is no advantage there, but the Caps are the far deeper team here and will play much better in the 2nd of back-to-back nights. I can see this one shaping up as a 4-1 type game. The Caps have just way too much firepower for the suddenly punchless Sens.

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