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Thursday NHL Odds, Picks, Prediction: Carolina Hurricanes vs. Washington Capitals Betting Preview

Thursday NHL Odds, Picks, Prediction: Carolina Hurricanes vs. Washington Capitals Betting Preview article feature image
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Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin.

  • The Washington Capitals host the Carolina Hurricanes in Thursday's NHL showdown.
  • Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals have lost three consecutive games, so they'll be looking to end that slide.
  • Grant White breaks down the matchup below and details why he's expecting plenty of goals.

Hurricanes vs. Capitals Odds

Hurricanes Odds -130
Capitals Odds +115
Over/Under 6
Time 7 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Thursday schedule features a key Metropolitan Division matchup between the Carolina Hurricanes and Washington Capitals.

The Capitals have dropped three games in a row to fall to the cusp of the playoffs, currently sitting in eighth place with an eight-point cushion on the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Neither team has looked particularly impressive over their recent sample, though, but several key indicators suggest this contest will make its way over the total.

Carolina Hurricanes

The Hurricanes are coming off a loss to the Detroit Red Wings, which was their first defeat over the past six games, but it could be a signal for what’s to come for them.

Carolina has struck an unsustainable balance between defensive metrics and save percentage that should start teetering away from it. And the Capitals have the scoring capacity to make them pay.

Goaltending has bailed the Hurricanes out of late. Carolina has given up 12 or more high-danger chances at 5-on-5 in four of their past six contests and 30 or more shots at 5-on-5 in three of six games.

Not surprisingly, those metrics are even more inflated across all strengths. The number of quality chances jumps to 14 or more in four of six games, with 30 or more shots in five of six contests. Cumulatively, that has led to six-game averages of 14.0 and 32.7, respectively.

Carolina goaltenders have been up to the challenge so far, stopping 92.9% of shots in the six-game sample, elevating their season-long save percentage to 91.8 percent. Consequently, that has also elevated Carolina’s PDO to 1.023, the third-highest in the league and putting the team at risk of regression.

Washington Capitals

Washington has a knack for quality scoring, and could make Carolina pay for its defensive lapses. Over the past 11 games, the Capitals have scored at least one high-danger goal at 5-on-5 in nine of them. Across all strengths, that trend improves to high-danger goals in 10 of 11 games, with 18 goals coming from high-danger spots, representing 50% of their goals.

As good as they’ve been at finding the back of the net, the Capitals have some concerning defensive inefficiencies. Washington has out-chanced its opponents in high-danger chances just once over the past seven games and in scoring chances twice in the same span.

As expected, that’s resulted in more goals against. Opponents have tallied 21 goals against the Capitals in that span, with 13 of those coming from high-danger areas.

The current metrics support Washington is in the middle of a correction phase. Worse, there aren’t any green sprouts in their analytics that support better outcomes are on the horizon as they continue to get outplayed.

Nevertheless, there are metrics on both ends of the ice supporting more goals should be expected in Washington’s games over the upcoming contests.

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Hurricanes vs. Capitals Pick

Both Carolina and Washington have been offensively proficient, which has been illustrated over their recent sample. In tandem with the teams’ questionable defensive zone coverage, we’re anticipating goals to be scored here.

The under is juiced, but I’m making a play on the total going over six goals as my top pick.

Pick: Total Over 6 Goals (-105)

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