NHL Odds, Preview, Expert Pick & Prediction: Devils vs. Capitals (April 13)
Via Rich Graessle/Getty Images. Pictured: Luke Hughes #43 of the New Jersey Devils during warm up prior to the game against the Buffalo Sabres on April 11, 2023 in Newark, New Jersey.
- The Capitals look to play spoiler in the final game of the regular season against the Devils on Thursday night.
- The Devils need a win and some help to claim the Metropolitan Division crown, but can they take care of business against the Capitals?
- Nicholas Martin breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet for Devils vs. Capitals below.
Devils vs. Capitals Odds
|Over/Under||6.5 (-115 / -105)|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The New Jersey Devils will take the ice for game 82 with a lot on the line, as grabbing two points would give it a realistic chance to win the Metropolitan Division and avoid a tough first round matchup against the New York Rangers.
It will take some luck, however, as New Jersey would need Carolina to lose its matchup against the Florida Panthers in any fashion.
The Capitals played the role of spoiler effectively Monday against the Islanders, but such a result was rare as the Capitals have lost eight of the last 10 games and been one of the worst sides in the league since the turn of the New Year.
New Jersey Devils
Whether New Jersey ultimately steals the division crown tonight or not, it is poised to be an extremely tough out come the postseason and has been from start to finish one of the most impressive sides in the league.
It owns a +64 Goal Differential, which is the third-best mark in the NHL and the second-best mark in the Eastern Conference. It has played to a 56.16 Expected Goals rating, which is the second-best mark in the league over the entire season.
Over the last month, New Jersey’s play has remained very consistent, and it holds a 56.38 xGF% while continuing to look great at both ends of the ice.
Whether or not New Jersey’s fast paced, rush-based offensive style will entirely translate to playoff success remains to be seen, but it has also played extremely strong defensively and is far from a one-trick pony.
Top prospect Luke Hughes also offers some newfound upside to the middle and third pairings on the blue-line as well. If in one month we are sitting here talking about him as a reason New Jersey went on a run, it would not be a surprise.
Vitek Vanecek should make this important start for the Devils. Vanecek has played to a +5.1 GSAx and .911 save % in 52 appearances this season.
Since the All-Star Break, the aging Capitals have really collapsed with a third-worst 7-17-3 record and a 43.3% Expected Goals Rating in that time.
Both of those marks suggest Washington should be priced in the betting markets closer to the league’s worst sides, but that has rarely been the case, and consequently, Washington has been a profitable fade.
It put together two scrappy performances to start this week versus New York and Boston and will surely look to finish the season out on a high note at home Thursday with a competitive performance.
However, Washington is quietly skating no true stars on offense for the time being and is at a massive disadvantage on that front.
Alex Ovechkin is day-to-day and may remain out, while T.J. Oshie is out for sure. Evgeny Kuznetsov and Nicklas Backstrom are both shells of their former selves and well below league average in their respective roles.
Darcy Kuemper has remained solid and is a bright spot on the Caps’ current roster. He has played to a +8.6 GSAx rating and will start this matchup.
Devils vs. Capitals Pick
By no means do I think that Washington will simply lie down and hand New Jersey the two points it needs badly from this matchup, but that does not mean the Capitals will hang in with the Devils, who are playing at an extremely high level.
The Devils are a specifically tough matchup for the aging Capitals. New Jersey is elite at generating offense in transition, and its mobile defensive corps should force Washington into lots of turnovers at the blue line and get it moving the other way often in this matchup.
New Jersey will carry far more of the play in this matchup and win in regulation often enough that there is value at -110 to back a Devils regulation win. Looking at Darcy Kuemper to go over 30.5 saves is another very reasonable look.
Pick: New Jersey Devils 3-Way Line -110
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