NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Capitals vs. Coyotes
Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: TJ Oshie as the Washington Capitals.
- The Washington Capitals travel to Tempe on Thursday to take on the Arizona Coyotes in NHL action.
- The Capitals enter as big favorites, but Nick Martin found another way to bet them.
- Check out Martin's full betting preview and pick for Capitals vs. Coyotes below.
Capitals vs. Coyotes Odds
|Over/Under||6 (-115 / -103)|
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetRivers. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
With a record of 8-8-0 on home ice, Arizona has been the third-most profitable home team in the NHL this season. A $100 bettor would be up $630, and although the Coyotes have played only 16 home games, that mark is actually the highest by ROI.
Arizona will skate as a heavy underdog again Thursday at home as it hosts Washington at Mullett Arena, which will be enticing to a number of bettors given the results so far.
With Nicklas Backstrom, Tom Wilson and T.J. Oshie all back in the lineup, one would think the Capitals are a likely candidate to build on what was an extremely strong month of December.
The opposite has been true. Washington has put up a record of just 3-4-1 and controlled play to an expected goals share of just 49.31%, which is a gigantic drop-off from its league-leading rate in the previous month.
Washington had been receiving notably strong play from a number of surprising sources, such as Dylan Strome, Sonny Milano and Marcus Johansson.
The returns of the big names sounded excellent in theory — and most likely will be over a larger sample — but it also meant smaller roles for several players who had been playing well and shaking up a ton of lines attempting to see how things fit.
Over the last two games, it seems that things are starting to fall back into place for Washington.
The Capitals played a tough back-to-back versus the Islanders and Wild, and they dominated on expected goals with a combined 7.71 xGF compared to their opponents' mark of 4.50.
Oshie, Backstrom and Wilson all put together better efforts in those three contests, and logic does dictate that the Capitals should settle back into better form with the trio playing big roles.
Darcy Kuemper will likely make the start in goal against his former side. Kuemper has played to a +6.6 goals saved above expected rating with a .917 save percentage. He has rewarded general manager Brian MacLellan for paying up to solidify the goaltending situation thus far.
Arizona finally snapped its lengthy nine-game losing skid last time out on home ice, as it stole a win from Detroit in a shootout, 4-3.
The rested Coyotes were in a very favorable spot hosting a poor Red Wings side for the second game of a back-to-back. However, they were still outshot by a total of 40-23, which included plenty of quality looks for Detroit.
The Coyotes have controlled play to an xGF% of just 40.77 throughout January, which is something their roster is always going to produce.
Arizona does boast some potent scorers at the top of the lineup, such as Nick Schmaltz and Clayton Keller, as well as some young pieces to inspire a little hope. But it also features a number of skaters who are not getting minutes on most other NHL sides.
Head coach Andre Tourigny is competing at a professional level and playing a well-structured game on a lot of nights the lack of overall talent is far too much to overcome.
Arizona will likely look to display a potential trade chip once again in Karel Vejmelka. Vejmelka has played to a +11.4 GSAx rating and .902 save percentage in 32 games and could be an attractive addition to a number of playoff teams.
Capitals vs. Coyotes Pick
Arizona's home success seems unlikely to continue over a larger number of games. When looking at its wins one by one, it seems this early success has been randomness in a small sample.
Perhaps playing in a college arena is messing with some NHLers, but I still believe the Capitals are a good bet here.
Washington is controlling play at a significantly higher rate than Arizona, and the recent gap in form between these two sides is still pronounced enough that I see value on the Capitals as a massive favorite.
At -120 (bet365), this is a very strong number to back a Capitals win in regulation, and I would play it down to -135.
Keeping an eye out on Vejmelka's saves prop is another angle I like, and I'll be looking to back the over if 30.5 is available at -120 or better.
Pick: Capitals Regulation Win (-120 · Play to -135)