How Should Bettors Approach Capitals-Lightning Game 7?


Washington Capitals right wing T.J. Oshie. Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Capitals outhit the Tampa Bay Lightning, 39-19, and outshot them, 34-24, in a 3-0 victory on Monday. The Caps avoided elimination and forced a Game 7 against the Bolts Wednesday (8 p.m. ET) in Tampa.


Winner-take-all games are hard to predict. Home ice and momentum have little predictive value. Since 2006, the team hosting Game 7 is 27-26 straight-up and the team that won Game 6 is 25-28 straight-up in the series-deciding matchup.

Best of luck picking the winner. While trying to turn a profit betting the moneyline in Game 7 can be challenging, I’ve found a winning over/under system that bettors need to know for Capitals-Lightning Game 7.

Sample size is a problem when trying to find Game 7 trends. That’s why I included all games in Bet Labs as well as Game 7s dating back to 1996 that had betting lines. This gives us an 85-game sample. It’s not huge, but it nearly doubles the results in our database.

Playing a seven-game series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs can be exhausting. If a series goes the distance, there is value betting the under. Since 1996, the under is 41-31-13 (56.9%) in Game 7s. Not only are players fatigued, but increased familiarity with an opponent — players and coaches make adjustments — leads to low-scoring games.

The under becomes more profitable the higher the total. In Game 7s with a total of 5 goals or more, the under is 35-23-13 (60.3%) since 1996. In the same time frame, if the total is 5.5 or greater, the under is 12-5 (70.6%).

The total for Capitals-Lightning opened 5.5. At the time of publication,  most of the dollars are on the over. However, a reverse line movement bet signal — an indication of sharp money — was triggered on the under. Casual bettors will be cheering for goals; the pros and history are with under bettors in Game 7.

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