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Capitals vs. Avalanche Odds & Picks: Betting Value on Monday’s Over/Under

Capitals vs. Avalanche Odds & Picks: Betting Value on Monday’s Over/Under article feature image
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  • After scoring seven goals against Carolina on Saturday, Colorado takes on Washington in an NHL affair on Monday.
  • The Capitals defense has been weak this season, while the Avalanche's offense has been top notch.
  • Nick Martin previews the matchup and explains the bet he would take.

Capitals vs. Avalanche Odds

Capitals Odds +165
Avalanche Odds -200
Over/Under 7 (+105 / -135)
Time 9 p.m. ET
TV NHL Network
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

Colorado has proven why it entered the season as the clear Stanley Cup front runner. The Avs will continue their pursuit of a second consecutive Presidents’ Trophy on Monday, as they host the Capitals.

Washington has been on a better run of late, winning five of its last six. The Caps now have a realistic hope of chasing down Pittsburgh for third in the Metro Division, which will help them avoid the Panthers in Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Can Washington keep the Avalanche’s powerful offense in check, or will its defensive flaws show through once again?

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Washington’s Defense Needs to Step Up

Caps fans might not love their chances against the Rangers or Hurricanes this season, but you have to think they would take either opponent over the Panthers, who could quite possibly score at will on this Capitals team.

This contest vs. the Avs is quite meaningful for the Caps, who sit three points behind the Penguins.

However, given their performances against top-tier squads this season, it would be quite a surprise to see the Capitals hold this Avalanche offense in check.

The Capitals have allowed an average of 4.25 goals against per game over the last eight contests vs. playoff bound teams. I don’t think we will see that trend changing anytime soon.

However, Washington has a respectable 4-4-0 mark in those eight games. It still produced effectively on offense against some far better-than-average defensive teams, with a 3.125 goals for per game average in those contests.

With Anthony Mantha looking like a legitimate top-six forward, we should expect that strong offensive play to continue.

A high 3.66 xGF/60 mark over a tough 10-game stretch proves how good this unit can be.

That is especially true when considering Washington’s core offensive talent has consistently led the team to a higher output than the expected goals data suggests. This has happened season after season.

Vitek Vanecek will likely start in goal for Washington and has played to a -3.3 goals saved above expected rating. He also has a .909 save % through 38 games played.

Avs Own Most Stacked Roster in NHL?

Colorado’s red-hot offensive play continued with a dominant seven-goal performance on Saturday against one of the league’s best defensive clubs in Carolina.

The Avalanche have averaged 4.55 goals for per game over their nine-game win streak, and they have seen offensive contributions from up-and-down the roster.

This is the most stacked roster in hockey, and what the Avs have done consistently — playing without their true elite talent due to injuries — is downright scary.

They could see another excellent player sidelined for this game, as defender Devon Toews is listed as day-to-day. You’d have to imagine the Avalanche will ere on the side of caution, especially considering they don’t have much to play for in the regular season.

For the same reason, I think we may see backup Pavel Francouz get the start here, as it seems like an opportune time to keep Darcy Kuemper’s start count in check.

Francouz has been very solid, with a +3.3 GSAx rating and a .919 save % through 19 games this season. Both of those marks are surely boosted by playing behind one of the league’s sharpest defensive clubs, but that does not take away from the fact that Francouz has been a very reliable backup option.

Capitals vs. Avalanche Pick

Offensively, the Capitals are very capable, but their defensive play is far from dominant, and they have some average net-minding. It’s very hard for me to imagine the Capitals’ defense keeping this incredibly deep and talented Avalanche group in check.

We saw Colorado toy with a Carolina team that traditionally allows next to nothing. The Avs dropped a seven-spot on Saturday vs. the Hurricanes, and it’s easy to see why they will net four-plus goals again here.

However, to see the Capitals’ offense find some success would be far from surprising. They have continued to be excellent at making life hard for opposition net-minders, forcing a lot of east-west movement with a lot of plus shooting talent.

The Capitals likely won’t make Kuemper look as dominant (if he even gets the start), but with the West all locked up, I think we see the Avs opting to give Kuemper a rest here.

At -125, I see value backing this game to get over 6.5, and I would play 6.5 down to -135.

Pick: Over 6.5 -125 (Play to -135)

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