Bruins vs. Capitals Odds & Pick: Bet Boston If the Price Is Right (Saturday, Jan. 30)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images. Pictured: Jeremy Lauzon (left) and Brad Marchand (right).
- The Boston Bruins will battle the Washington Capitals in a game between two red-hot teams on Saturday night.
- Home teams and favorites have been winning games at a historic rate this season, but one of those trends will have to give on Saturday.
- Check out Pete Truszkowski's full betting breakdown and pick below.
Bruins vs. Capitals Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Saturday morning and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today.|
After starting the season by not scoring an even-strength goal in their first three games, the Boston Bruins have rebounded nicely by winning four straight games.
On Saturday night, they’ll visit a Washington Capitals team that has not yet lost in regulation through their first eight games.
Home teams have been winning games at a historic rate this season, but so have favorites. With Washington a home underdog, one of these trends is going to have to give.
Remember about a week and a half ago when people thought the Bruins might be over their peak? After losing two of their first three games and not scoring an even-strength goal in the process, there was mild concern around the Bruins.
Since then, the Bruins have won four straight games and scored 18 goals in the process. All of a sudden, we see a 5-1-1 Bruins team and laugh at the idea that crossed our minds just a few days ago.
The record is not a mirage for Boston, as it’s currently a top-five team in both expected goals and shot attempt rate.
It also has a top-10 share of high-danger chances and scoring chances. The Bruins do a great job of possessing the puck and controlling the quality and quantity of chances. They’ve been one of the league’s best teams in that regard for nearly a decade.
Just like previous versions of the Bruins, this team is built on its defense. There was some concern around Boston as the team lost Torey Krug and Zdeno Chara to free agency and replaced them with internal options.
Jeremy Lauzon and Jakub Zboril have been up to the task. The Bruins currently rank second in the league in terms of expected goals against per hour at 5-on-5.
Goaltenders Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak continue to provide Boston with some of the steadiest goaltending in the league.
The duo has combined for a +1.82 goals saved above expectation through seven starts. While not earth-shattering, this level of goaltending is plenty when considering the Bruins’ ability to defend.
Offensively, things are more pedestrian for Boston, but that may change as soon as Saturday.
Despite a league-average expected goals for rate of 2.02 (18th), the Bruins find themselves fourth from the bottom in terms of goals per game at 5-on-5.
The team has missed the presence of David Pastrnak, who was tied for the league lead in goals last season with Alex Ovechkin. Pastrnak is expected to make his season debut on Saturday after recovering from offseason hip surgery.
When Pastrnak joins the lineup, he’ll be reunited with his linemates Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. The trio makes up arguably the best line in hockey. Boston’s offense should improve as a result.
Washington dug itself a 3-0 hole on Thursday night against one of the league’s stingiest defensive in the New York Islanders.
Missing players like Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov and Lars Eller, it’d be easy to pack it in for the rest of the night. Instead, Washington scored six unanswered in the final two periods to win the game.
It was the latest example of this Washington team defying all expectations. The Capitals have opened the season with a 5-0-3 record despite being without Ovechkin, Kuznetsov, Orlov and starting goaltender Ilya Samsonov for half of those games.
Without the quartet of Russians, the Capitals were underdogs in their last four games. Despite this, they went 3-0-1 during the stretch and made bettors a great return on their investment. However, oddsmakers are not the only thing the Capitals are defying.
The Caps have not lost yet this season in regulation despite the fact they are below 50% in four key metrics: shot-attempt rate, expected goals, high danger chances and scoring chances.
Their 1.75 expected goals per hour at 5-on-5 ranks third-worst in the league, but they are scoring 3.75 goals a game, good for fourth-best in the NHL.
It’s not out of character for Washington to be average to slightly below average in terms of possession and shot quality metrics. It’s been in that range for the past few seasons. Normally, it boasts the offensive firepower to outperform its metrics. The fact the Caps are doing it without some stars is less explainable.
There’s a chance the Capitals will activate Ovechkin, Kuznetsov, Orlov and/or Samsonov off the COVID-19 list on Saturday.
When the news originally broke, head coach Peter Laviolette told the media the group would be out at least four games. Four games have passed, so now we wait and see if they have passed through the necessary protocols to return to action.
Bruins vs. Capitals Best Bet
Betting on regression is a dangerous game, as there’s no telling when and where it will happen.
Needless to say, the Capitals will not stay undefeated in regulation. Additionally, they are due for some poor results if they continue to struggle in terms of dictating play and scoring chances.
The Bruins are solid favorites in this game, and they deserve to be.
Boston’s analytical profile matches that of an elite team while it’s hard to say the same thing about Washington.
However, betting road chalk near -140 in the NHL against a team that seems to get results every night is a hard pill to swallow.
There’s a good chance the Capitals will activate some, if not all, of the players off their COVID-19 list before the game.
It’d be weird of Laviolette to specify that they will miss four games if there wasn’t a chance they could return for the fifth game. If and when that becomes official on Saturday, I expect to see the line move in favor of the Capitals.
That could put the Bruins in range for a bet.
Pick: Boston Bruins (-130 or better)