Washington Capitals vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Free Pick

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

The Washington Capitals at Nationwide Arena in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. CNBC, RSN, TVA2 and FSOH will broadcast the game, and the action gets going at 7:30 p.m. ET on Monday, April 23.

Washington Capitals at Columbus Blue Jackets Odds

Each side currently has an identical -110 money line for this one. The Over/Under (O/U) is set at 6 goals and initially opened at -110 for the over and -110 for the under. Those odds have shifted, however, and they now sit at -105 for the over, -115 for the under.

Washington is 52-35 straight up (SU) and has earned 10.8 units for moneyline bettors this season. 49 of its matches have gone over the total, while 36 have gone under and just two have pushed. As an away team this season, the Caps are 23-20 SU.

Following a regular season where they scored on 23.5 percent of all power-play chances (the seventh-best), the Capitals have been able to score on 33.3 percent of their extra-man advantages in the early stages of this postseason.

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 team is climbed to an average of 39.0 shots on goal ( 3.6 goals per game).

Averaging 27.5 saves per game with a .909 save percentage, Braden Holtby (37-21-5) has been the best option in goal for Washington this season. If it decides to give him a rest, however, Washington might turn to Philipp Grubauer (15-22-5), who has a .919 save percentage and 2.47 goals against average this year.

The visiting Capitals have relied on Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov this season. Ovechkin (93 points) is up to 52 goals and 41 assists, and has recorded multiple points in 27 different games. Kuznetsov has 31 goals and 59 assists to his credit, and has registered at least one point in 52 games.

Columbus is 47-40 straight up (SU) and has lost 0.4 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 87 regular season contests, 44 of its games have gone over the total, while 42 have gone under and just one has pushed. This year, the team is 26-17 SU as the home team.

The Blue Jackets have converted on just 17.3 percent of their power play chances this season, a mark that’s ranked 25th in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 27th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 75.1 percent of all opponent power plays.

Columbus players have been whistled for penalties only 3.1 times per game in total this season, and 4.8 per game over their last five outings. The team’s been forced to kill penalties just 6.4 minutes per game over their last five home outings.

Sergei Bobrovsky has stopped 28.7 shots per game as the top netminder in goal for the Blue Jackets. Bobrovsky has 39 wins, 31 losses, and eight OT losses and has recorded a .920 save percentage and 2.46 goals against average this year.

The Jackets offense will be led by Artemi Panarin (29 goals, 60 assists).

Washington Capitals at Columbus Blue Jackets Free Picks

Pick: SU Winner – Blue Jackets, O/U – Under

Betting Trends

  • Over Washington’s last ten games, five of them have been decided by two or more goals (the team is 4-1 in those games).
  • Power plays and penalty kills may have a key role in tonight’s matchup. The Capitals are 16-12 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 30-18 in games where they’re in the box for fewer than 10 penalty minutes, total. The Blue Jackets are 20-18 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 39-32 in games where total penalty minutes are in the single digits.
  • Washington is 3-1 in games decided by a shootout this season while Columbus is 6-4 in shootouts.
  • The over has hit in three of Columbus’ last five games.
  • One of the best teams when it comes to possession and valuing the puck, Columbus is ranked 4th this season with just 6.5 giveaways per game. That figure has trended higher recently, as the team’s averaged 8.3 giveaways over its last 10 games and 9.6 giveaways over its last five.
  • Washington skaters have averaged 6.6 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 10.8 giveaways per game (ranked 25th overall).