NHL Best Bets: Penguins vs. Capitals Game Picks


Jan 26, 2023

One of the NHL’s biggest rivalries over the last two decades is set to go down tonight, with the Pittsburgh Penguins visiting the Washington Capitals.

All Odds Courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook

Pittsburgh Penguins (+106) vs. Washington Capitals (-128) Total: 6.5 (O -105, U -115)

The Capitals and Penguins have had some great playoff series against each other and two of the game’s all-time best players. This will be the second of three meetings during the regular season between the teams, with the Penguins coming out on top 4-1 in early November. The Pens and Caps are tied with 56 points in the Metropolitan Division, but Pittsburgh has three games in hand. 

There’s been more to like about the Penguins of late, posting a 5-3-2 record over their last ten games, compared to the Caps losing two in a row and owning a 4-6 record over that same sample size. We’re getting closer to the end of the line for these veteran franchises, but they’ve proven there is gas left in the tank. 

Looking toward the projected goalie matchup, the visiting Penguins are expected to start Casey DeSmith, while the Capitals should do the same with Darcy Kuemper. The Pens netminder has a 7-9-3 record with a .900 save percentage, while Kuemper is 14-13-4 with a .916 save percentage. It appears the Caps’ goalie should have the edge, but the Pens are playing better at the moment.

These two are priced tight on the moneyline, with the Capitals at -128 and the Penguins at +106. With the Pens playing well, we’re leaning in their direction on the moneyline. 

Best Bet: Penguins moneyline (+106) 

The Penguins and Capitals have been opposites regarding goals scored and goals allowed. The Pens have been a higher-scoring offense at tenth in goals per game, while the Caps are 16th. Things are reversed in goals allowed per game, where the Caps are ninth while the Pens sit 17th. Over the Pens’ last five games, they’ve seen six or more goals scored in three, while the Caps have also seen that in three. With recent trends, siding with the over should have value at -105. 

Best Bet: Over 6.5 (-105) 

Even with an aging core, there’s still plenty of talent on the Penguins. One player that still flies under the radar is Evgeni Malkin, who’s already compiled 47 points in 47 games. In addition, Malkin leads the Pens with three goals over their last five games. Malkin continues to be a player that’s undervalued with his odds of scoring. The Pens star is currently listed at a very attractive +210 price to score tonight.

Best Prop: Evgeni Malkin to Record Over 0.5 Goals (+210)

Thumbnail photo via Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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