Capitals vs. Red Wings NHL Betting Odds & Prediction
Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Detroit Red Wings goaltender Ville Husso
- The Red Wings host the Capitals at Little Caesars Arena on ESPN+ on Thursday night.
- Detroit has been leaking goals in its recent games, but goaltending help could be on the way.
- That's one reason Nicholas Martin is targeting the total for tonight's game, as he details below.
Capitals vs. Red Wings Odds
|Red Wings Odds
|6 (-105 / -115)
|7:30 p.m. ET
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.
Washington scraped together two points from a tough back-to-back set with Carolina and Vegas to start the week, which realistically was a positive result considering the amount of offensive talent missing from the lineup.
The Capitals now head to Little Caesars Arena for a date with the Red Wings, which has dropped three of its last four contests while allowing a combined 20 goals against.
Will Detroit be able to shore up its defensive play against a thin Capitals offense?
Goaltending a Bright Spot for Washington Capitals
With T.J. Oshie, John Carlson and Connor Brown now joining the likes of Tom Wilson and Nicklas Backstrom on the IR, Washington simply is not skating a ton of notable offensive talent for the time being.
That has led Washington to adapt to a less-eventful style of play. Over the last five contests, the team has played to an expected goals for of just 2.57.
That is the fifth-lowest mark in the league over that sample, and it could be unlikely to change too drastically with the current roster absences.
The Capitals displayed some sharper defensive play than we have seen throughout much of this season in its back-to-back versus Carolina and Vegas, and they allowed just four goals combined in regulation in those matchups.
Washington's goaltending duo actually appears to be a significant strength this season; Darcy Kuemper and Charlie Lindgren should serve as better-than-average options.
Holding two potentially high-end starters serves as one of the main reasons the aging Capitals may sneak back into the postseason, and the duo will likely see modest offensive support for the time being.
Kuemper should get the start in this contest, and he owns a stellar +6.2 goals saved above expected rating with a .922 save % throughout eight appearances.
Goaltending Help Tonight for Detroit Red Wings?
Detroit has allowed a plethora of goals against over the last handful of games. However, analytically the Red Wings' play appears far more reasonable than the actual results suggest.
And especially considering that Detroit has played a notable tough slate of offensive sides over this small stumble in terms of goals against, it seems possible the Red Wings are due for positive regression in that area.
Detroit has allowed an xGA/60 of just 3.06, which is good for 11th best in the league.
That was an area new head coach Derek Lalonde was widely expected to clean up entering the year, as the developing young Red Wings look to sneak back into the postseason picture.
Part of the Red Wings' high goals against totals are due to the struggles of Alex Nedeljkovic in goal, who has allowed a -6.5 goals saved above expected rating with an .871 save %.
However, Ville Husso should get the start in goal for Detroit on Thursday, and he has followed up his excellent campaign a season ago with a strong beginning in the Motor City.
Husso has played to a .926 save % with a +0.6 goals saved above expected rating in five appearances this season.
The Red Wings have some young forwards, such as Elmer Soderblom and Michael Rasmussen, who are showing some excellent form in the early going, but the team still projects to play to below-average offensive results moving forward short the services of top-six forwards in Tyler Bertuzzi and Jakub Vrana.
Capitals vs. Red Wings Pick
It seems clear that at this point in time the Capitals are not the offensive powerhouse seen in years past, particularly with what is now a lengthy list of producers on the IR.
Washington hung close in both games of its tough back-to-back with Carolina and Vegas with a very battened-down style of play, making very few mistakes in front of what appears to be an elite goaltending tandem.
It's likely Washington will look to play a similar type of game Thursday versus Detroit, and I believe the team is defensively very capable of holding the Red Wings, who are short two top-six forwards themselves, to a modest offensive total.
For the time being the Capitals are far more likely to play low-scoring hockey than we have seen in years past, and this matchup should not set up entirely differently, especially should Husso manage a reasonable performance in goal for Detroit.
At a high total of 6.5, I see strong value with the under at -110, and I would be open to backing 6.5 down to -130.
Pick: Under 6.5 -110 (Play 6.5 to -130)