The Washington Capitals (43-23-10) visit Sin City to battle the Vegas Golden Knights (41-31-5) Wednesday at T-Mobile Arena. Puck drop is slated for 10 p.m. ET (ESPN+). Below, we look at the Capitals vs. Golden Knights odds and lines, and make our expert NHL picks, predictions and bets.
The Capitals are flying high after their biggest win of the season, a 3-2 thriller over the Colorado Avalanche Monday. LW Alex Ovechkin scored his 48th goal of the season in taking down the NHL’s top team. The Caps are one point behind Pittsburgh to get out of a wild-card spot and into the third spot in the Metropolitan Division.
Vegas, on the other hand, suffered a bad 3-2 loss at home against the New Jersey Devils Monday. VGK trails Dallas by four points for the final playoff spot in the West with five games to go. The Golden Knights have now lost four of six, curtailing a good run to get back in the hunt.
Capitals at Golden Knights odds and lines
- Money line: Capitals +120 (bet $100 to win $120) | Golden Knights -145 (bet $145 to win $100)
- Against the spread (ATS): Capitals +1.5 (-220) | Golden Knights -1.5 (+165)
- Over/Under (O/U): 6.5 (O: -107 | U: -115)
Capitals at Golden Knights projected goalies
Ilya Samsonov (23-10-4, 2.97 GAA, .898 SV%, 3 SO) vs. Robin Lehner (23-17-2, 2.83 GAA, .907 SV%, 1 SO)
Samsonov is 4-1 with a 3.13 GAA and a .889 SV% in April. He stopped 24 of 26 shots in the 3-2 win at Colorado Monday. He has 112 saves against 126 shots in his five games this month. He has not faced the Golden Knights this season.
Lehner had two 5-goal outings against Vancouver recently (April 6 and 12), and he was the loser in Monday’s 3-2 clunker with the Knights being -322 favorites. Lehner is 2-2-1 with a 3.21 GAA and an .889 SV% this month. He stopped all 34 shots in the 1-0 shutout of Washington in January.
It’s actually really surprising to see VGK favored so heavily after Washington stole the show in Colorado Monday. But the sportsbooks know that Vegas needs this game or its season could be over.
Dallas will drop the puck in Edmonton 90 minutes before this game, and the Stars could take that one. Look for Vegas to look to match Dallas or take advantage. There could also be some hangover effect after such a big win for Washington.
Take GOLDEN KNIGHTS (-145), but do so lightly. Ideally, this number comes down before puck drop as the public should hammer Washington’s shiny +120.
Against the spread
There’s a chance Vegas comes out and puts a hurtin’ on the Caps here, but I’m really not confident enough in it, despite the attractive +165. PASS.
I would throw down on the OVER 6.5 (-107) fairly quickly unless you plan to wait until after puck drop. Someone dropped $20k on the Over earlier today, according to Pregame.com.
So the juice is likely headed toward the Over. Speaking of Over, it’s 6-1 in Vegas’ last seven at home. 4-1 in the last five as a home favorite and 6-2 against teams with a winning record.
The Over is 9-1 in the Caps’ last 10 road games, 8-1-1 in their last 10 games as underdogs and 6-1 in their last 7 games as road dogs.
I know the last two have hit Under, including a 1-0 affair earlier this season, but there are a whole lot of trends and struggling goalies pointing to the Over.