Devils vs. Capitals NHL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Bet On A High-Scoring Night? (March 26)

Devils vs. Capitals NHL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Bet On A High-Scoring Night? (March 26) article feature image

Derek Leung/Getty Images. Pictured: Anthony Mantha

  • Devils plus Capitals should equal fireworks, but is there any value betting on it?
  • Our NHL betting analyst breaks down the Devils-Capitals odds in order to make his picks and predictions.
  • Find his full take on the matchup and where the betting value lies based on the odds below.

Devils vs. Capitals Odds

Devils Odds+165
Capitals Odds-200
Over/Under6 (-120/+100)
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

A strong offensive showing helped to cover up for yet another shaky defensive night for the Washington Capitals in Friday's 4-3 shootout victory over the Buffalo Sabres.

Washington will have no easy task solving those problems on Saturday night, as New Jersey's talented young offense has created problems for many of late. The Devils have allowed a ton of goals themselves all season long, however, and could struggle to put a stop to the Caps' strong offensive game.

Is there much reason to look past the obvious narrative that this matchup should create offensive fireworks?

New Jersey Devils

New Jersey's defensive woes have continued of late, as the Devils have posted a 1-4-0 record over their last five games whilst allowing 4.8 goals against per contest.

Consistent with what we have seen over a massive sample dating back all of last season, the Devils continue to allow far more goals against than the expected numbers suggest. This season, they have seen 39.77 more goals than expected enter their net, and have allowed the fourth-most goals against altogether.

The main reason for the high goals against has clearly been the well below-average goaltending. However, to the eye, I have never found this Devils roster to appear anywhere near as defensively strong as the data suggests. And it has appeared that they offer more extreme nature breakdowns than an average club in each of the last two seasons.

Offensively, the Devils hold some very capable young pieces, and it does not surprise me that this club put up a four spot in the last matchup against the Capitals.

The greatest upside for a number of top Devils talents such as Jesper Bratt, and Jack Hughes is the ability to push defenders back off the rush and find high trailer's.

For several Caps defenders, such as John Carlson, this has been a clear weakness. And altogether, we have seen the Capitals struggle with team's offering above-average speed up front this season.

Nico Daws has played to -4.1 goals saved above expected rating with a .901 save % throughout 16 games played this season in goal for the Devils, and will likely start on Saturday.

Washington Capitals

Washington broke through with a shootout win yesterday in Buffalo, but the performance was again was worthy of some critique to be sure. While Ilya Samsonov's .870 save % in the game appeared to be part of the problem, a review of the game reel would certainly show the Sabres had three goals worth of chances.

The Capitals have put together below-average defensive play for much of 2022, and that narrative has stayed true over their last three outings, when the opposition has scored a combined 11 goals for.  It's clear that the Capitals' greatest strength lies in an ability to create offense and not suppress it.

I imagine we see that narrative play out here.

Washington ranks ninth in offensive production this season, and has had a strong month of March, scoring 4.0 goals per game so far. An effective return of Anthony Mantha to the second line is one clear reason, and the usual suspects in Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin remain red hot.

Vitek Vanecek will start in goal on Saturday. He holds a -0.4 goals saved above expected rating with a .917 save %, and considering the Capitals middling defensive play, has surely been a little sharper than credited this season.

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Devils vs. Capitals Pick

Both of these clubs figure to produce at a better-than-average rate offensively down the stretch, but hold less-than-dominant defensive play.

New Jersey's speed off the rush can certainly expose several of Washington's defenders, and I believe the Devils will find a way to create offense against a Capitals defense that has looked very shaky over their last three outings.

To see the Devils shutdown this Capitals roster playing at near full health would be quite surprising, however, as New Jersey has consistently allowed high opposition outputs against nearly all competition and has continued that trend of late.

You can find the over six goals at -120 odds as of writing, and I would act fast, because this looks like yet another one that should be a half-goal higher by game time. Should you like the under, I imagine waiting and hunting down better prices closer to puck-drop would be beneficial.

Pick: Over 6 (-120)

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