New York Islanders Vs. Washington Capitals
Market WatchThe Capitals opened as -145 (59.2%) favorites for this series. Sportsbooks don't value either of these teams too highly, but there is a clear lack of respect for the Islanders here, which doesn't leave much value for anyone picking Washington.
Bottom LineIf someone wanted to bet on the Islanders to win this series at +129, I wouldn't blame them at all. Given the odds, I tried to talk myself into taking them. They are one of the best puck possession teams in the league, they have great offensive depth up front, an improved blueline, and a better goalie than they had last year.
Yet, there are four reasons that I like Washington in this matchup. 1) Holtby has been far superior than Halak this season, both at 5on5 and on the PK. 2) I'm a big fan of Barry Trotz, and he's finally been able to bring out the best of this roster. 3) Caps have the most deadly power play in the league, and Halak is 26th among starters in PK SV%. 4) Evgeny Kuznetsov. Washington finally have another top 6 center that can give opposing teams matchup problems.
Value-wise, New York is the way to go, but I'm gonna take my chances with a Caps team that seems ready to make a run.
Pick: Capitals -1.5 (+166) (2u)
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