NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction, Expert Pick: Devils vs. Capitals (March 9)
Curtis Comeau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jersey Devils goaltender Vitek Vanecek
- The Capitals host the Devils in Thursday night NHL action.
- New Jersey (23-4-4) has excelled on the road this season and will be looking for another road win against a struggling Washington squad.
- Continue reading to see where Tony Sartori found betting value in this matchup.
Devils vs. Capitals Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetRivers. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
There is a Metropolitan Division tilt set to kickoff Thursday night’s slate as the sixth-place Washington Capitals host the second-place New Jersey Devils.
These clubs enter this contest in opposite form, with New Jersey winning seven of its past 11 games and Washington losing eight of its past 11.
Here’s a look at the odds, as well as our betting pick and prediction for Devils vs. Capitals.
New Jersey Devils
Winners of seven of their past 11 games, the New Jersey Devils enter this contest in fantastic form. The offense is firing on all cylinders and recently acquired star forward Timo Meier is working his was into the offense having scored one goal through two games.
During this 11-game stretch, the Devils are averaging 4.1 goals scored per contest. This offensive outburst is not surprising given New Jersey’s excellent underlying metrics.
At 5-on-5, the Devils rank fourth in the league in expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60). Defensively, this team is nearly as dominant. New Jersey ranks eighth in the league in expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60) at 5-on-5.
One of the best two-way teams in hockey, the Devils are backed up by goaltender Vitek Vanecek. Through 41 appearances this season, Vanecek is 27-7-3 with a .907 save percentage (SV%) and a 2.55 goals against average (GAA).
The season is starting to wind down quickly for the Washington Capitals, who are five points back of the final wild card spot with two more games played. Quite frankly, it is not shocking that the Capitals will likely miss out on the playoffs as they are merely average across the board.
Washington is not really bad at anything, but it’s certainly not exceptional at anything either. At 5-on-5, the Caps rank 19th in the league in xGF/60 and 17th in xGA/60.
Darcy Kuemper is slated to start between the pipes for the Capitals. Through 44 starts this season, Kuemper boasts a .910 SV% and a 2.78 GAA.
Among starting goaltenders, he ranks higher than Vanecek in goals saved above expected per 60 minutes (GSAx/60) at 5-on-5. This goaltending advantage is perhaps the only reason New Jersey is -139 in this contest, but that number is still far too short considering the disparity between these teams as a whole.
Devils vs. Capitals Pick
Vanecek’s excellent season should continue against Washington, a team he completely stifled earlier this season. In that contest, Vanecek stopped 37 of 38 pucks (97.4%) en route to New Jersey’s 5-1 win.
On the flip side, Kuemper possesses a lifetime 0-5-2 record against the Devils. Not only is New Jersey better offensively and defensively, but the Capitals’ goaltending advantage could be neutralized given recent performances.
If that is the case, the Devils should have no issue taking care of business once again.
Pick: Devils Moneyline | Play to -150
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