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Holtby Must be Better if Caps are Going to Win in Pittsburgh

The Washington Capitals have gone down 2-0 to the Pittsburgh Penguins and this may be a case of a zebra not being able to change its stripes. Heading to Pennsylvania in a two-game hole is not a situation many predicted the Caps would be in but that’s the reality we’re living in. If Alex Ovechkin wants to beat Sidney Crosby in the playoffs for the first time in his career, he and the Caps will have to become just the ninth team since 1996 to win a series after losing the first two games at home.

  • 12 teams have started a Round 2 playoff series 0-2 at home since 1996; only 1 has gone on to win that series.
  • Braden Holtby has a .829 5-on-5 save percentage in the series so far.
  • Washington outshot the Penguins by 11 during 5-on-5 play in Game 2.

Opening as the +115 underdogs, the Capitals are probably going to win tonight – according to the trends. After underdogs went 3-1 on the moneyline over the weekend, they’re now 31-21 straight up this postseason and I still think the Caps are the much better team in this series. They’ve absolutely crushed five-on-five play the first two games in the best-of-seven, but Braden Holtby has just not been making clutch saves.

Given the scenario and all the trends, tonight’s game is unquestionably a must-win for Washington. The Penguins have been really good at home for two seasons now but so have the Capitals. I have a hard time seeing Washington getting swept in this series and I’ll be betting the Caps on the moneyline as long as I’m getting decent value.

If Washington closes as the underdog, it will be the first time they’ve not been favored to win a game all postseason so I think it would be a little foolish to not consider a bet on Ovi and the Caps in this spot.

Opening Odds & Computer Pick

Sportsbooks such as Bovada had the Pittsburgh Penguins as -135 favorites earlier today. The over under opened at 5.5 at MyBookie for betting fans hoping to turn a profit on totals.

Handicapping models based on recent betting stats and prediction formulas pick a 3.8-1.8 win for the Penguins. View the computer score prediction and who will win the pick on the moneyline for all upcoming NHL matchups here.

Washington Capitals vs Pittsburgh Penguins Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

The Washington Capitals will try to spoil to the party on Monday; they are 59-21-10 this season, while the Penguins are 56-22-11. Washington is 40-35-15 on the totals; Pittsburgh is 51-33-5. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and Pittsburgh vs Washington injuries news.

The Capitals - Penguins odds would favor the Capitals if the lines were set according to our power ranks. Pittsburgh is rated No. 5 in the current Odds Shark poll, while Washington is at No. 3.

Statistical Matchup

Offensively, the game matches up the Pittsburgh Penguins No. 1-ranked offense (3.51 goals per game) against a Washington Capitals defense that ranks No. 1 at 2.3 goals per game allowed. The Penguins powerplay has clicked at a 23.57% rate while the Capitals have a 83.73% rate on the penalty kill.

Recent Outings Betting Recap


Betting Trends
  • Washington is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games
  • Washington is 14-6 SU in its last 20 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Washington's last 12 games
  • Washington is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games on the road
  • Pittsburgh is 7-1 ATS in its last 8 games
  • Pittsburgh is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 4 of Pittsburgh's last 5 games
  • Pittsburgh is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games at home

Next Betting Matchups

Washington at Pittsburgh, Wednesday, May 3rd