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Wednesday NHL Odds, Picks, Prediction: Washington Capitals vs. Florida Panthers Betting Preview

Wednesday NHL Odds, Picks, Prediction: Washington Capitals vs. Florida Panthers Betting Preview article feature image
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Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Picturd: Jonathan Huberdeau and Sergei Bobrovsky

  • The Panthers host the Capitals as heavy home favorites in Game 5 on Wednesday night.
  • With both offenses struggling so far, is there value on the under in this matchup?
  • Grant White breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.

Capitals vs. Panthers Odds

Capitals Odds +185
Panthers Odds -227
Over/Under 6.5
Time 7:30 p.m. ET
TV ESPN2
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Florida Panthers snatched victory from the claws of defeat in Game 4 of their opening-round series against the Washington Capitals. It was a much-needed win, as a loss would have put the Panthers down 3-1 heading back to the Sunshine State for Game 5.

Instead, a goal with 2:04 remaining tied the game before the Panthers went on to win fewer than five minutes into overtime. These teams have see-sawed back and forth, making it hard to justify the steep price on the Panthers. However, reliable metrics indicate that scoring will remain at a premium in this low-scoring series.

Capitals Need Offensive Improvement

The Capitals have outplayed the Panthers in two games this series but overall have been outplayed at five-on-five. Cumulatively, Washington has a 46.2% Expected Goals-For rating, ranking 10th among playoff teams. Although their efforts have waxed and waned throughout the postseason, they’ve consistently put up disappointing offensive metrics.

Washington wasn’t the most prolific offense in the NHL this season, and that has continued early in these playoffs. The Capitals haven’t attempted more than nine High-Danger Chances in a game, averaging 8.3 per game. Their Scoring Chances have been even less impressive, with the Caps averaging just 19.5 per game with a range of 14 to 23.

With the series shifting back to Florida, the Capitals’ offensive ceiling takes a hit. The Panthers can line match at home to neutralize the Capitals’ already diminished scoring potential, where they limited the Caps to just two goals at five-on-five in Games 1 and 2.

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Panthers’ Strong Offense Has Been Underwhelming

As good as the Panthers have been this season, they’ve met their match with the Capitals through the first few games of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal. Florida’s typically torrid offense has been tempered early, and as bad as their output has been, their production metrics suggest that ongoing stagnation should continue.

The Panthers have been limited to three or fewer goals in all but one of their first four games, scoring on just 8.5% of their shots. Their decreased production metrics explain some of that downturn, as the Panthers have been limited to eight or fewer High-Danger Chances and 21 or fewer Scoring Chances in three of their four games. Depressed scoring should be anticipated without any meaningful improvement to their underlying metrics.

Sergei Bobrovsky has been an X-factor for the Panthers early this postseason. He’s alternated solid and below-average performances, but he’s positioned for success on home ice against the Caps. Bobrovsky ended the season with a 91.8% save percentage at home, compared to the 90.3% mark on the road, with a lower Goals-Against Average in his friendly confines. If the Panthers’ defense falters in Game 5, Bobrovsky will be ready to pick up the slack.

Capitals vs. Panthers Pick

These teams have stayed beneath the total in three of their four games. In assessing their metrics, there’s no indication that increased productivity or output should be expected.

Consequently, take a stake in Under 6.5 at +105 as things tighten up with the series down to a best-of-three.

Pick: Under 6.5 +105

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