Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:15 AM EST
7:05 PM EST. OT included. We have pointed out many times this year how low-ranked the Capitals have been on the analytics charts in several key categories, especially on the defensive end. Over the past six weeks, however, the Capitals have refined their game and their rankings over that span are much improved. For instance, Washington was sitting near the bottom of the league in Scoring Chances Against for the first four months but over the past six weeks, it is ranked 12th in that department. Still, whatever the Caps do, the Hurricanes do better and it’s not close. Washington may indeed win this game but chances are great that they’ll get outplayed.
When a team has spent the last nine seasons on the outside looking in on the postseason and are near the finish line in a great position to make it, nobody is taking a shift off. The ‘Canes come to play and they come to win. Since the calendar switched to 2019, the Hurricanes are 26-9-2 and it’s not a fluke. Only Tampa Bay has more wins (27). Since January 1, the Hurricanes have 130 goals scored in 37 games, tied with Tampa Bay (130 in 36 games). At the other end, they have allowed only 97 goals, tied for 9th-fewest in the league. They have done it mostly with a top-notch offense at even strength. They are the only team in the league with more than 100 even strength goals since the new year (107). Carolina also has the second-best road record in the league since January 1 (14-4-2). Again, their road record has been built on a strong offense, their 3.60 goals per game average in the new year being third-best in the league (Tampa Bay and San Jose: 3.67), while their 55 even strength goals on the road are tops in the league in that span. The Hurricanes are a possession beast, they’re getting very good goaltending and they’re about as live a pooch as one will find but the market still hasn’t caught up to how legit they truly are.
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Carolina +113 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.26)