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.