Washington Capitals at Pittsburgh Penguins Free Pick

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

The Washington Capitals at PPG Paints Arena in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The action will get underway at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, May 3 and it will be broadcasted live on NBC Sports Network.

Washington Capitals at Pittsburgh Penguins Odds

With a moneyline of -165, Pittsburgh comes into the game as the obvious favorite. The line for Washington sits at +145 and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals. The line for betting the total stands at -110 money on the over and -110 on the under.

Washington is 55-36 straight up (SU) and has earned 12.9 units for moneyline bettors this season. Through 91 regular season contests, 51 of its games have gone over the total, while 38 have gone under and just two have pushed. As the away team this season, the Caps are 25-20 SU.

The Capitals offensive attack attempted 29.6 shots per game in the regular season, resulting in 3.2 goals per outing (ranked ninth overall in the NHL). In the playoffs, the clubs up to an average of 34.6 shots on goal (while being up to 3.8 goals per game).

After accounting for the seventh-best power-play unit in the regular season (converting 23.7 percent of all chances), the Capitals have connected on 31.4 percent of their postseason power plays. Their penalty kill has gone from 80.8 percent in the regular season to 84.8 percent in the playoffs.

Boasting a .909 save percentage and 27.5 saves per game, Braden Holtby (40-22-5) has been the top option in goal for Washington this season. If it chooses to give him a rest, however, Washington may turn to Philipp Grubauer (15-22-5), who has a .919 save percentage and 2.47 goals against average this year.

Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov will both look to continue their strong seasons for the visiting Capitals. Ovechkin has 100 points on 57 goals and 43 assists, and has recorded multiple points 29 times. Kuznetsov has 32 goals and 60 assists to his creditand has notched at least one point in 55 games.

Despite posting a record of 52-39 straight up (SU), Pittsburgh has lost moneyline bettors a total of 4.1 units this season. 50 of its games have gone over the total, while 36 have gone under and just five have pushed. This season, the teams 31-14 SU at home.

The Penguins come into the matchup with the first-best power-play unit in the NHL, as they’ve found the net on 25.2 percent of their extra-man advantages this year. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 17th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 80.6 percent of all penalties.

Penguins skaters have been penalized 4.0 times per game in total this season, and 4.8 per game over their last five at home. The teams had to stave off opponent power plays 11.8 minutes per contest over their last five home games.

Matt Murray (25.9 saves per game) has been the top selection in goal for the Penguins. Murray has 34 wins, 24 losses, and three OT losses to his credit and has registered a subpar .906 save percentage and 2.85 goals against average this season.

The home team will be led on offense by Sidney Crosby (37 goals, 69 assists).

Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Betting Predictions

NHL Tip: SU Winner – Penguins, O/U – Under

Betting Notes

  • The total has gone over in three of Washington’s last five games.
  • The Penguins are 16-8 in games where they outshoot their opponent by 10 or more. They’ve averaged the leagues second-most shots on goal (33.9) while the Capitals have attempted the 31st-most (just 33.9).
  • Four of Washington’s last ten games have been decided by two goals or more. The team is 4-0 in those games.
  • The Penguins this season have recorded the sixth-most hits per game (24.5), but the club has averaged 32.2 over their last five home outings.