NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Panthers vs Capitals (Wednesday, November 8)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Panthers vs Capitals (Wednesday, November 8) article feature image

Via Melissa Tamez/Getty Images. Pictured: Matthew Tkachuk #19 of the Florida Panthers reacts after scoring a goal during the third period against the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on November 4, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois.

Panthers vs. Capitals Odds

Wednesday, Nov. 8
7:30 p.m. ET
Panthers Odds-138
Capitals Odds+115
Over / Under
-106/ -114
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

TNT's Wednesday hockey features an exciting matchup between two teams right in the thick of the Eastern Conference's hectic wild-card race, and I have a preview and prediction for Panthers vs. Capitals.

The Panthers have played well so far this season without some key pieces, and they sit tied with the Islanders for the final wild-card spot at 6-4-1.

New coach Spencer Carbery has the aging Capitals playing well-structured hockey, but an inability to produce offense has them sporting a modest 5-4-1 record.

Find my preview and betting prediction for Panthers vs. Capitals tonight below.

Florida Panthers

Top defenders Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour have not played a game for the Panthers this season, yet they still own a record of 6-4-1.

Most observers would consider that record a win, especially because both are on the team's current road trip and are expected to return soon.

The Panthers' top six projects as one of the better units in the league, and that has been the case in the early going.

Matthew Tkachuk has been one of the most effective two-way wingers again this season, even if his on-ice production does not entirely suggest as much. He leads a second line alongside Anton Lundell and Carter Verhaeghe, who should produce at well better-than-average rates this season.

Evan Rodrigues has fit in extremely well on the Panthers' top line alongside Alex Barkov and Sam Reinhart. They have allowed only 1.96 xGA/60 and are capable of winning matchups against top opposition units.

Defensively, the Panthers have fared far better than most would have expected considering their current blue line. Their weak blue line is well insulated by an offense that spends lots of time in the offensive zone, but a third-best 2.80 xGA/60 is still surprising.

Sergei Bobrovsky has followed up his absurd playoff run with a solid start to the year. He owns a +2.1 GSAx and .904 save percentage in nine games this season. Backup Anthony Stolarz played Saturday against Chicago, which makes me feel more confident that Bobrovsky gets the start here.

Washington Capitals

Under new head coach Spencer Carbery, the Capitals have played fundamentally sound hockey thus far.

Most respected observers power-rated the Capitals in the league's bottom quarter. To the eye, their process has looked solid, and a 50.19 xGF% agrees with that sentiment.

The problem is the Capitals' true scoring talent leaves more to be desired at this point. T.J. Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin have not looked overly dangerous by any means.

Washington has generated only 1.90 Goals For per game.  A large part of that lowly number is that their power play has clicked at just 9.7%, which is the second-worst mark in the league.

The top unit still offers more or less the same looks the rest of the league has been scouting for several seasons and features far less interchangeability than other modern units.

The Capitals are due for some positive regression in terms of their shooting percentage at even strength and on the power play. Even still, they should be viewed as a relatively low-upside offense this season.

Darcy Kuemper is expected to start Wednesday. He has played to a +1.5 GSAx and .899 save percentage this season and is likely to remain a better-than-average starter the rest of the way.

Panthers vs. Capitals

Betting Pick & Prediction

The Capitals have played a relatively sharp team game through 10 matchups this season, so it is not surprising to see their process being respected by oddsmakers in this matchup.

Their underlying results suggest their 5-4-1 record is quite fair, and they have not looked like a team heavily favored to miss the playoffs.

Considering the recent form of Ovechkin, Oshie and Kuznetsov, their lineup looks quite stale in terms of the ability to actually create and finish truly dangerous scoring chances. The same cannot be said about the Panthers, who feature a top six littered with legitimate offensive stars.

Florida has generated chances at a high rate yet again this season and should be able to do so Wednesday. The Panthers blue line has also not been exposed as badly as expected without Ekblad and Montour.

With respect to the Capitals' surprisingly solid play, the Panthers are not getting enough credit here to be only -135 favorites at the time of writing. Betting the Panthers to win this one at anything better than -145 presents value.

Pick: Florida Panthers -135 (bet365 | Play to -145) 

Check out the latest bet365 bonus code offer before placing your bets on the Panthers moneyline.

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