NHL Betting Odds & Picks (Sunday, March 1): Capitals-Wild, Canucks-Blue Jackets & More
Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Mikko Koivu
- Michael Leboff has his full Sunday betting guide, highlighting Capitals-Wild and Canucks-Blue Jackets.
- The Wild's goaltending has been a huge concern all season, but should you consider them to beat the Caps?
- See the full betting breakdown below.
Washington Capitals at Minnesota Wild
- Capitals odds: -125
- Wild odds: +105
- Over/Under: 6
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- TV: NBCSN
Don’t look now, but the Minnesota Wild are one point behind the Nashville Predators for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. It may look a little surprising to see Minnesota within shouting distance of a playoff spot, but the reality is that this team has posted terrific 5-on-5 numbers — especially on defense — all season. With such strong play-driving numbers, the Wild were always a threat to climb the table, they just needed to get decent goaltending.
The Wild lead the NHL with a 1.96 expected goals against per 60 minutes at 5-on-5, which means that they make life easier on their goaltenders than any other team in the league. Unfortunately, their goaltenders haven’t returned the favor. Devan Dubnyk and Alex Stalock rank as the second- and third-worst goaltenders in the NHL this season in terms of Goals Saved Above Expectation (GSAx).
The good news is that Stalock looks like he’s found some form. The 32-year-old netminder has a +0.99 GSAx in his past nine starts. That isn’t an eye-popping number, but it just goes to show that even average goaltending makes the Wild a dangerous team.