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Preds-Caps Matchups Have Been Consistently Exceeding Total

Calle Jarnkrok Roman Josi NHL Hockey Betting Preview Nashville Predators vs Washington Capitals

Captain Alex Ovechkin will return to the lineup on Wednesday when the Washington Capitals (34-11-5) try to extend their winning streak to five games against the struggling Nashville Predators (22-19-7). The Capitals played without Ovechkin on Monday as he served a one-game suspension for missing the NHL All-Star Game and doubled up the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 as -125 road favorites. The Predators are coming off a 5-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs as -115 home chalk the same day for their third defeat in four games.

Nashville Predators vs Washington Capitals

Opening Odds Analysis

There has been a little early action on a Nashville team that continues to underachieve, pushing the Capitals moneyline below -160 at some sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. The Predators have surprisingly played slightly better on the road than they have at home so far this season, but not enough to warrant any significant support. What does, though, is the fact that they have won the past seven meetings in the series, with the OVER going 6-1 in those games.

Nashville News & Notes

Nashville’s defense has been disappointing for most of the year, and that might very well be the main reason this team misses the playoffs for the first time since the 2013-14 campaign.

Former Vezina Trophy winner Pekka Rinne (16-11-3, 2.98 goals-against average) has started to show his age in net at 37 years old as the starting goaltender, and 24-year-old backup Juuse Saros has not been any better (6-8-4, 3.13). Part of that has to do with the decline of the blue-liners for the Predators, as all-star Roman Josi (team-high 48 points on 14 goals and 34 assists) simply cannot do it all.

Trading former all-star defenseman P.K. Subban away to the New Jersey Devils for center Matt Duchene has not helped the situation either. Duchene has underachieved a bit with 32 points (10 goals and 22 assists) and a minus-6 rating.

Washington News & Notes

Washington is playing like a legitimate Stanley Cup favorite again, and the futures market has taken notice. The Capitals are among the betting favorites to hoist the Cup for the second time in three years, sitting between +750 and +900 at most books.

Ovechkin put together hat tricks in each of his last two games before the all-star break and has scored eight goals in the past three combined. The fact that he wanted a true break instead of participating in the all-star game for the second consecutive year shows how focused he is on winning another Cup in 2020.

Like Nashville, though, the biggest issue for this top contender right now is goaltending, but in a good way. Veteran Braden Holtby (19-9-4, 3.05) is being outplayed by 22-year-old rookie Ilya Samsonov (15-2-1, 2.06), giving the team a tough decision to make.

Betting Pick: OVER 6

The OVER is on a blistering 11-1-1 run in the previous 13 head-to-head matchups between these teams, cashing in each of the last five as well. At worst, this could be a PUSH based on Nashville alllowing four goals or more in the team’s last 11 losses going back to December 12.

Shark Bites
  • Washington is 0-7 in its past 7 games vs Nashville.
  • The OVER is 11-1-1 in the past 13 meetings.
  • The UNDER is 3-1-1 in Nashville’s last 5 games.