Anaheim Ducks vs. Washington Capitals Free Pick

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

Two teams riding winning streaks, the Anaheim Ducks and the Washington Capitals meet at Capital One Arena in a cross-country showdown. This one gets going at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 16 and it is being shown live on NBC Sports Washington.

Anaheim Ducks vs. Washington Capitals Odds

Washington (+130) is playing the role of underdog to Washington (-150), and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at 6 goals. The odds for betting that total sit at -120 under, +100 over.

Washington is 20-13 straight up (SU) and has netted moneyline bettors 5.0 units this season. That winning percentage, ranked second in the Metropolitan Division so far in this young season, is a slide from what the team recorded during the 2016-17 season (55-27). Through 33 regular season outings, 19 of its games have gone over the total, while 14 have gone under and none have pushed. This season, the teams 13-5 SU at home.

The Capitals have converted on 20.8 percent of their power play opportunities this year, a mark that’s good enough for seventh-best in the league. On the other hand, their penalty kill is rated 22nd overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 79.8 percent of all penalties.

The Capitals, as a collective unit, have been penalized 4.5 times per game overall this season, and 3.6 per game over their last ten games. The team has had to kill penalties for 8.6 minutes per game over their last 10 outings, overall.

Averaging 28.2 saves per game with a .918 save percentage, Braden Holtby (18-7) has been the best option in goal for the Caps this year. If the Caps, however, decide to give him the night off, head coach Barry Trotz may turn to Philipp Grubauer (2-9-9 record, .899 save percentage, 3.01 goals against average).

The Caps will continue seeking leadership from Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin. Kuznetsov (35 points) has tallied 10 goals and 25 assists and has recorded multiple points in nine different games this year. Ovechkin has 22 goals and 13 assists to his name and has notched at least one point in 19 games.

On the other bench, Anaheim is 14-18 straight up (SU) and has lost 2.5 units for moneyline bettors this year. A total of 20 of its contests have gone under the total, while 11 have gone over and just one has pushed. The Ducks are 6-8 SU as the visiting team this season.

The Ducks have converted on just 17.2 percent of their power play opportunities this season, a mark that’s ranked 24th in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked fourth overall and it’s successfully killed off 83.7 percent of all penalties.

Anaheim’s skaters have been whistled for penalties 4.9 times per game this season, and 3.6 per game over their last five match ups. The teams been forced to defend opponent power plays just 8.2 minutes per game over their last five outings.

John Gibson (31.3 saves per game) has been the primary choice in goal for Anaheim. Gibson owns a 10-15-4 record, and has registered a .922 save percentage and 2.83 goals against average this year.

For the visiting Ducks, the offense will run through Corey Perry (six goals, 16 assists) and Rickard Rakell (eight goals, 12 assists).

Anaheim Ducks vs. Washington Capitals Betting Predictions

Predictions: SU Winner – Capitals, O/U – Over

Betting Notes

  • Nine of Washington’s last ten games have been decided by two or more goals, and the team is 7-2 overall in those games.
  • Power plays and penalty kills may be critical in tonight’s matchup. The Ducks are 2-6 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 7-7 in games where they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes. The Capitals are 8-1 when the team serves fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 11-4 in games where total penalty minutes are in the single digits.
  • Three of Anaheim’s last ten games have ended in a shootout. The team is 0-3 in those games and 2-4 overall in shootouts this season.
  • The total has gone over in four of Washington’s last five games.
  • Washington is ranked 27th this season with 12.0 giveaways per game. That figure has regressed recently, as it’s averaged 16.0 giveaways over its last 10 games and 15.2 giveaways over its last five.
  • Anaheim is ranked 21st this season with 10.5 giveaways per game. That figure has trended lower recently, however, as it’s averaged 8.2 giveaways over its last 10 games and 9.2 giveaways over its last five.
  • Anaheim skaters have dished out the leagues sixth-most hits per game (23.6), but that numbers down to just 17.6 hits over their last five away games.