A Profitable Trend to Know for Capitals-Lightning Game 6


Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals is tonight at 8 p.m. ET at Capital One Arena. The Tampa Bay Lightning have a 3-2 series advantage and will try to advance to the Stanley Cup Final by eliminating the Washington Capitals.


The Caps are not only trying to extend their season but also trying to avoid making the wrong kind of history. Washington jumped out to a 2-0 series lead before losing the past three games. Since 1974-75, only two teams out of 41 have won the first two games of a conference final or league semifinal and failed to advance to the next round per ESPN.

Can the Capitals force a Game 7? Or is there value on the Lightning as road underdogs. Since 2006, playoff favorites on a losing streak late in a series (Game 5-7) such as Washington have gone 44-18 (71%) straight-up. A $100 bettor would be up $1,159 waging on these teams (18.7% ROI).

I like the Caps tonight, but it’s not my favorite bet on the board. The total for Game 6 opened at six. Most tickets are currently on the under. Is that the right play? Using the Bet Labs software, I answer that question with a betting system that has an over/under win rate of 75%.

There are 1,111 playoff hockey games in our database. Only 119 (10.7%) have closed with a total of six or more goals. The high total hasn’t scared off over bettors. In 86 (72.2%) of those games, 50% or more of tickets were on the over.

Unfortunately for the public, it has been profitable to bet the under in high-total games. Since 2006, the under is 62-41-16 (60.2%) in playoff games with a total of six or higher. It is even more profitable to bet the under late in a series:


Since 2006, the under in a high-total playoff game (six or more goals) is 39-13-5 (75%) in Games 4-7. As a series progresses, fatigue and defensive adjustments should lead to lower-scoring games. Plus, the higher the total, the easier it is for the under to hit.

As I mentioned earlier, I like the Capitals to win, but my favorite bet in Game 6 is the under. At the time of publication, 60% of tickets and 67% of dollars are on the under 6 (-125). Looks like I’m not the only gambler thinking we will see a low-scoring affair.

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