Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:30 AM EST.
8:05 PM EST. OT included. This game is listed as a neutral site game and it is but the Caps will have a much larger fan presence than the Maple Leafs so we’re listing the game as a home one for Washington. This 2018 NHL Stadium Series will be held at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland.
These outdoor games were interesting when it all began with the Outdoor Classic many years ago but the novelty has worn off. We could live with one every New Year’s Day and that’s it. For one, if you go to the game, you can’t see shit. If you watch the game on television, it’s unusual and difficult to follow. The rink looks tiny being played in a football stadium and the fact that the fans do not surround the rink looks weird too. The closest seats that surround the rink are about 150 feet away or something like that and it stinks. These games are just another massive cash grab for another sport but there is nothing good about them. NOTHING and usually we don’t bet these games but this one we can’t refuse.
We’ve been telling you how bad the Caps are all year and it’s finally catching up to them. The Caps are coming off a 3-2 win over Ottawa in a game they mustered a mere 22 shots on net in. Prior to that, the Caps dropped six of nine games, which included a 5-1 loss to the Jackets and a 7-1 loss to Chicago. Washington’s last four victories have occurred against Minnesota, Buffalo (x2) and Ottawa. Over the past five weeks, Washington ranks 20th and 28th in xGF and xGA respectively during 5v5 play. They rank dead last over that span in Penalty Differential, meaning they have spent more time killing penalties than on the PP than any team in the NHL. They rank 27th overall in Expected Goals +/- over that same five-week span. The above metrics are not just a slump, as Washington’s rankings have been low all season long. The difference between now and earlier is that Braden Holtby was winning games for them but right now he’s not, as he’s hit a snag. Of course he can get it back anytime but Washington beats up on weak teams, which the Maple Leafs are not.
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Toronto +103 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.06)