Wednesday NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Edmonton Oilers vs. Washington Capitals Betting Preview
Andy Devlin/Getty Images. Pictured: Connor McDavid
- The Oilers are favored on Wednesday night in Washington against the Capitals.
- Neither Edmonton or Washington's strength is in defense, while both attacks are capable of winning a game.
- Nicholas Martin breaks down the matchup below and delivers his pick for bettors.
Oilers vs. Capitals Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.|
The Washington Capitals will look to refocus one night after a very hard-fought and hotly contested matchup with the rival Penguins. Washington will play host to Connor McDavid and the Oilers, who suffered a 3-2 overtime defeat Monday in Ottawa and will surely be desperate to avenge that poor result.
Can Edmonton take advantage of this favorable spot? Let’s break it down.
Caps Defense Needs Improvement
As John Carlson stated after a tough loss to San Jose, the Capitals were due for better offensive results, and the team just had to be patient.
Well, the star defensemen seems to be right, as the club has posted back-to-back victories, beating Dallas 5-0 and getting by the Penguins in overtime.
However, the defensive play is the more realistic concern in the big picture. The Caps were far from sharp in that regard against Pittsburgh, consistently having a tough time moving the puck out of the defensive zone against the Pens’ heavy forecheck. That ultimately led to a high expected goals against mark of 4.62 in a game where Washington probably was lucky not to see more pucks end up in its net.
Nicklas Jensen’s return was notable, helping to stabilize one of the more quietly offensively talented defensive pairs in the league with Dmitri Orlov, who posted two huge goals in the contest, and going a long way toward helping the Capitals create offensively.
Jensen’s return will help, but the Capitals have allowed 3.42 goals against per game over their last seven contests. They’ll be in for a tough test against a strong Oilers offense in this back-to-back situation.
Vitek Vanecek was injured early on in last night’s contest, and Ilya Samsonov stepped in and saved 43 of the 45 he faced in relief. It’s unclear who will draw the start for the Capitals in this one, but I would assume we will most likely see Samsonov go back-to-back.
Edmonton Coming Off Subpar Result, Strong Performance
Edmonton was arguably the better team on Tuesday night against Ottawa. For a team supposedly in win-now mode, though, a second consecutive defeat to the Senators is another low, even if it came in respectable fashion.
The Oilers appear to be a team due for an uptick in results, however, having posted a strong 57.82 expected goals for percentage (xGF%) over their last six contests, with a notably high 3.67 xGF/60 rate.
It’s easy to argue that this team should be able to produce effectively offensively in the long haul, especially if Evander Kane proves to be a legitimate top-six winger. We also won’t likely see many more nights of finishing like Tuesday, with fewer goals than expected.
The questions for me will always be how the goaltending and back end hold up in the bigger moments and against tougher competition for the Oilers. It’s hard to argue those areas are on par with other legitimate Cup contenders.
Mikko Koskinen should draw the start here. He has improved his play of late but still holds a -7.9 goals saved above expected rating with a .900 save percentage through 25 games this season. He’s viewed as a replacement-level goaltender at best.
This sets up as a good spot for this high-powered Edmonton offense to give Koskinen support. We could certainly see the Oilers find some of that positive offensive regression they’ve been waiting for. I could certainly see the Oilers producing a good output here against a Capitals team who played a very up-tempo matchup in Pittsburgh last night.
The Capitals’ defense has been relatively shaky this season, and we saw them put together a less-than-sharp effort last night against a talented Penguins squad.
It’s hard for me to believe the Capitals are likely to hold what should be a very hungry Edmonton team to a low offensive output here. I think the Oilers should likely cage three or more here.
With that said, Edmonton’s defense and goaltending are clearly well below average, and the Capitals have trended upward offensively over the last two contests. With that, I think we should see them able to post another solid total here.
I see value on the Oilers as a side here, but my favourite play on the contest is on the over with the total at 6 at -120, which I would play down to -130. I’ll also be making a half-unit play on the Oilers moneyline parlayed with the over. As of Tuesday night, that was +296, and I would play that down to +270.
Pick: Over 6 -120, (Play to -130) | Half-unit parlay: Oilers/Over 6 +296 (play to +270)
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