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NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Golden Knights vs. Capitals Pick, Best Bet (November 1)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Golden Knights vs. Capitals Pick, Best Bet (November 1) article feature image
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Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images. Pictured: Jonathan Marchessault (#81, left), Chandler Stephenson (#20, center-left), Mark Stone (#61, right), and a young fan (center).

Golden Knights vs. Capitals Odds

Golden Knights Odds -130
Capitals Odds +110
Over/Under 6 (-120o/+100u)
Time 7 p.m. ET
TV NBCSWA
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

After a thoroughly disappointing 2021-22 campaign which saw Vegas miss the postseason due to a wealth of injuries, the Golden Knights made for a very logical bounce-back candidate this year.

That narrative has come to fruition in the early going, as the now healthy Knights have played to an 8-2-0 record under new coach Bruce Cassidy.

Washington, meanwhile, has had a middling start the campaign and will enter this contest fighting through a number of meaningful absences and having played a tough contest in Carolina on Monday.

Will Vegas take advantage of this favorable scheduling spot against a depleted Capitals side Tuesday?

It’s Good to be Golden

The Golden Knights have been one of the most impressive teams in the entire NHL to start this young season, as a stellar 8-2-0 record has come with an elite xGF% of 60.5 and a goal differential of +15.

As we have always seen from coach Bruce Cassidy’s sides, the Knights have played extremely stingy defensively and have allowed an xGA/60 of just 2.49, which is the second best mark in the league.

At the other end of the ice, Vegas has been in strong form as well, with an average of 3.20 goals for per game and talent which dictates that mark should rise if anything moving forward.

Jack Eichel playing the part of a truly dominant two-way center was always a very logical path to Vegas being far better than we saw a season ago, and in the early going, Eichel has been stellar, with four goals and 10 points in his first ten games.

Captain Mark Stone is back in strong form himself with eight points and three goals in the season’s first 10 games and is another very clear argument as to why the Knights are going to bounce back this season. Stone only played 37 contests a season ago and was far from himself when in the lineup but is showing out closer to what we have come to expect from the dominant two-way forward.

Logan Thompson was quietly brilliant down the stretch for Vegas last season and was one of the main reasons the Knights almost still snuck in the postseason. Keeping that in mind, it’s really not that shocking to see the 25-year-old netminder dominating behind some considerably improved team defensive play this year.

Thompson has played to a +5.1 goals saved above expected rating with a .943 save %, and should start this game after resting in favor of backup Adin Hill Sunday, who has also offered up strong form thus far.

A Litany of Injuries for Washington

The Capitals will enter this matchup short the services of John Carlson, T.J. Oshie and Connor Brown, who now join Tom Wilson and Nick Backstrom on what has become a crowded IR.

Altogether, I would argue that those absences do not add up to move the needle as significantly as others might expect due to the fact that Washington has quietly become a team that wins by committee.

Underrated names like Nick Jensen, Dmitry Orlov, Nick Dowd and the likes pull more weight than people realize, but it still makes it quite a reach to think the Capitals can pull off the win in this spot after a divisional battle last night in Raleigh with how strong the Knights have been.

More importantly the Capitals really just have not been entirely sharp to this point in the season, with a 46.34% expected goals for rate, and have looked relatively lifeless on a number of nights thus far.

There will likely be some nights moving forward where the Capitals could become an undervalued betting side as the public overvalues the name power out of the lineup, but I do not see it being in this spot against a Vegas side in excellent form.

A huge positive for Washington in this spot could be seeing supposed backup Charlie Lindgren draw the start in goal. Lindgren has been absolutely fantastic throughout his opening two appearances of the season, with a +3.3 goals saved above expected rating and a .925 save %.

And if you’re thinking a two game sample is irrelevant, which is pretty fair, it’s worth noting that Lindgren held a +4.5 goals saved above expected mark with a .958 save % with St. Louis last year, and is likely just better than many credit.

Golden Knights vs. Capitals Pick

This line opened at -110, which realistically was never the correct number, and it is not even mildly surprising to see bettors quickly shifting the line to -120 or longer as of Monday.

The Capitals will be playing what will likely be a highly competitive contest Monday in Raleigh, against a Hurricanes side which plays at a breakneck pace and makes the opposition work for every inch of ice.

Even with a healthy roster, that makes playing night two of a back-to-back against Vegas the next night tough for any team, let alone for a Capitals side which is icing less truly elite talent than it has in recent history.

And outside of worrying about the Capitals heading into this matchup, Vegas has played extremely well thus far in this young season themselves, and should arguably be priced near pick-em with any team in the league right now.

This number could get somewhere crazy like -145, and at that point it becomes pass, but for now, grabbing the Knights at -120 holds a lot of value and is something I recommend doing early, or if you feel like taking a shot with the Capitals I am fairly certain we will see better numbers with Washington by puck-drop.

Pick: Vegas Golden Knights to -120 (Play to -135)

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