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NHL Betting Preview: Home Ice Rules Between Capitals and Blackhawks

Capitals vs Blackhawks Betting Odds Alex Ovechkin October 20, 2019

Two of the hottest teams in the league face off Sunday night in the Windy City as the Washington Capitals tangle with the Chicago Blackhawks. Both teams come in having won back-to-back outings, but it's the Blackhawks who have a sneaky betting edge if recent history is any indication.

Matchup Information
  • Washington Capitals at Chicago Blackhawks (Matchup Report)
  • Date/Time: October 20, 7 p.m. ET
  • TV Coverage: NHL Network
  • Opening Odds: Capitals -140, Blackhawks +120 | O/U 6.5 (Line History)

Opening Odds Analysis

Washington opened as a slight favorite, and bettors wasted no time hammering the visitors to the point where the line has moved as high as -140 in some spots; the total opened at 6 but has since risen to 6.5.

Washington News & Notes

The Capitals wrapped up a 2-1-0 homestand with a 5-2 victory over the New York Rangers fueled by another fantastic showing from John Carlson. The veteran defenseman poured in three points and is now tied for the league lead with Edmonton's Connor McDavid (17). The Capitals improved to 4-1-1 SU in games in which Carlson records multiple points this season.

But while Carlson has thrived, not all is perfect in the U.S. capital. The Capitals have been more undisciplined than head coach Todd Rierden would like, having allowed 30 powerplay opportunities through eight games; entering the weekend, only three teams have been shorthanded more often. But to their credit, the Caps own an 83.3 percent penalty kill success rate.

Chicago News & Notes

The Blackhawks own an impressive offensive arsenal led by Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Alex DeBrincat – but the back end has been a major concern so far this season. Chicago comes in having allowed a whopping 34.4 shots per game – fifth-most in the NHL as of Saturday and a worrisome carry-over from last season when the Blackhawks gave up the second-most shots per outing (34.8).

The penalty kill is also a trouble spot for Chicago, particularly with the high-powered Capitals coming to town. The Blackhawks have already allowed five power-play goals on just 17 opportunities and could be hard-pressed to contain a Washington attack that ranks 10th in the league with the man-advantage (25 percent).

Betting Pick: Chicago Moneyline (+120)

With so little separating these teams at this point in the season, the home-ice advantage could play a big part. With the road team winning just four of the last 18 meetings between the teams since the 2004-05 lockout, we're leaning toward the 'Hawks at great odds.

Shark Bites
  • The home team has won 14 of the previous 18 meetings.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Washington's last 7 road games.
  • The OVER has hit in 14 of Chicago's last 18 games vs the East.