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Washington Capitals betting favorites against Pittsburgh Penguins in key Game 4 matchup

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With Sidney Crosby sidelined, oddsmakers have shifted their lines in favor of the Washington Capitals against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Capitals are the -125 betting favorite against the +105 underdog Penguins with a five-goal total for their Game 4 matchup on Wednesday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

This season, the Capitals are 7-7 straight-up on the road as a moneyline favorite of -115 to -135, according to the OddsShark NHL Database. Washington is also 9-2 in its last 11 road games.

The road team has won every game so far in the two series that are in action on Wednesday.

Home-ice advantage has been a misnomer in the playoffs, with road teams going 30-23.

The Capitals trail the best-of-seven series 2-1, but have outshot the Penguins in each game thus far. With Crosby (concussion) sidelined, captain Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals stand an excellent chance of maintaining an edge in generating chances. The performance of goaltender Braden Holtby is an ongoing concern for Washington, as his save percentage has dipped to .914 in the playoffs (11 percentage points lower than in the regular season).

Historically, the Penguins have managed to maintain their usual level of defensive play when Crosby is out of the lineup, but typically suffer a drop-off in goals and shots. Much of that sample also came while Pittsburgh, which is 6-2 in its last eight home playoff games, had the services of Kris Letang (out with neck surgery) on defense.

That said, Pittsburgh, with Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel both ranking among the leading point-getters so far in the playoffs, should be competitive on home ice. Winger Conor Sheary (concussion) will also miss the game for the Penguins.

The total has gone over in only two of the Penguins’ last 10 home games in the month of May.

Elsewhere, led by Hart Trophy finalist Connor McDavid, the Edmonton Oilers (-125) are a slim favorite at home against the Anaheim Ducks (+105) with a 5.5-goal total for their Game 4 matchup on Wednesday.

The experienced Ducks, who might reunite top center Ryan Getzlaf with right wing Corey Perry after separating them to create more offensive depth in Game 3, are 7-3 in their last 10 divisional home games.

Anaheim will continue to be without defenseman Kevin Bieksa. Right wing Patrick Eaves (lower body) did not practice after Game 3.

McDavid and the Oilers, who are receiving their first exposure to the playoffs, are 11-2 in their last 13 home games against fellow Pacific Division teams. While Edmonton was defeated decisively in the most recent game (6-3 at home on Sunday), they have not lost consecutive games since March 12. In the first round against the San Jose Sharks, Edmonton won the series’ final two games after being clobbered 7-0 in Game 4.

The total has gone under in four of the Ducks’ last seven road games against the Oilers at online sports betting sites.

Predators favored against Penguins on betting lines for Game 4

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The Pittsburgh Penguins have an excellent track record as a bounce-back team, but they are giving off some distressing signals against the Nashville Predators going into Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.

The Predators are a -155 moneyline favorite against the +135 underdog Penguins with a 5.5-goal total for Monday’s matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Predators are 9-1 in their last 10 home playoff games, according to the OddsShark NHL Database. Nashville is 11-4 in its last 15 home games as a favorite of -140 to -500 on the moneyline.

Pittsburgh leads the best-of-seven series 2-1. The home team has won each of the clubs’ last six meetings.

The Penguins are 13-2 in playoff games after a loss under coach Mike Sullivan and are also 6-4 in in their last 10 playoff games as an underdog on the road. However, star centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were each held without a shot on goal during Game 3, a first in their time playing together.

Pittsburgh has also counted on its power play throughout much of its playoff run, but it is only 1-for-13 with the extra skater so far against Nashville. Crosby has yet to score in the series.

Health-wise, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan might have to shuffle his forward lines if center Nick Bonino (left foot) is unable to play. Bonino is listed as doubtful, although he practiced on Sunday. Pittsburgh also needs to create more opportunities for Phil Kessel. While Jake Guentzel has a series-high four goals, those have come on only six shots on goal (hardly a sustainable shooting percentage).

Nashville, which is 13-6 in the playoffs, has been the better team in even-strength play during the course of the series. The Predators are often able to control the tempo of a game due to the defensive foursome of P.K. Subban, Mattias Ekholm, Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis, who all have at least 10 points during the playoffs.

While some puck luck played into the 5-1 score during the Predators’ first win against Pittsburgh on Saturday, other key elements included staying out of the penalty box as well as getting an injection of speed from the creation of a line of Frederick Gaudreau, Harry Zolnierczyk and P.A. Parenteau.

Goalie Pekka Rinne (27 saves on 28 shots) also regained his usual form. If that continues, Nashville should have an excellent chance of taking another win at home and reducing the series to a best-of-three.

The total has gone over in seven of Nashville’s last 10 home games against Eastern Conference teams. The total has gone over in 11 of Nashville’s last 16 home games (playoffs and regular season) when it was a favorite of -150 to -500 on the moneyline.

Predators take 2-1 lead into Game 4 vs. Ducks as clear betting favorites

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As great as their record at home in the playoffs is, the Nashville Predators also consistently take care of business when installed as a big favorite, be it home or away.

The Predators are -140 betting favorites against the +120 underdog Anaheim Ducks with a five-goal total in their Game 4 matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Nashville is 10-0 straight-up in its last 10 home playoff games and the OddsShark NHL Database also reveals that the team is 12-3 in their last 15 games as favorite of -135 to -500 on the moneyline. Eight of the last nine games within that sample have gone under. Nashville is also 5-2 SU in its last seven home games against Anaheim, including a win on Tuesday that gave it a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference Final.

Anaheim, who is 13-7 overall in its last 20 games, faces a virtual must-win situation. The Ducks will need to do a better job screening and obscuring the sight lines of Predators goalie Pekka Rinne than they did during Game 3. The trend in the series has been that Anaheim, whose forward corps is led by Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Jakob Silfverberg, has been getting fewer shots on goal and fewer shot attempts than Nashville. Perry scored in Game 3, but had only two total shots.

John Gibson will start in goal for Anaheim, which will be missing Kevin Bieksa, Patrick Eaves and Logan Shaw due to injuries.

Nashville, which is 12-8 overall in its last 20 games, might well be the smart-money choice to win the Stanley Cup even though they had the fewest points in the regular season of any playoff team.

The Predators have a deep cadre of offensively astute defensemen in Mattias Ekholm, Ryan Ellis, Roman Josi and P.K. Subban. During Game 3 on Tuesday, the Predators’ defensemen took more shots on goal (21) than the entire Ducks team. Filip Forsberg has scored in all three games of the series and has a total of 13 shots on goal.

While the Predators seem to have all the momentum, Anaheim has lost back-to-back games only twice within its last 30 games overall.

The total has gone over in five of Anaheim’s last seven games on the road heading into the Game 4 matchup on Thursday. The total has gone under in nine of Nashville’s last 12 home games, with two pushes. Overall, the team scoring the first goal is 48-25 during the playoffs this year.