Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:30 AM EST.
12:35 PM EST. The Capitals have recorded 18 wins at home this season, tied with the Vegas Golden Knights for the most in the NHL. Additionally, the Capitals are 10-2-0 in their last 12 games at home. During that 12-game stretch, which began Dec. 2, the Capitals' 44 home goals rank second in the NHL, while their 27 goals against are 17th. That’s nice, it really is and we expect the Caps to be much better today than they were in their first two games back off their bye but this is an ordinary hockey team on their best day, which makes them beatable on their best day. The Brett Connolly, Lars Eller and T.J. Oshie line is the only line that looks noticeable out there these days, as the Caps were completely dominated by the Devils two games ago and had six shots on net through 1½-periods against the previously lifeless Habs with Antti Niemi in net on Friday. Going back to Washington’s home record, it’s pretty on paper but AT HOME this season, the Caps 5v5 Score and Venue Adjusted Corsi For % ranks just 18th out of 31 teams and their Corsi Against ranks 24th. No team in the NHL has looked worse than Washington has over its past two games and we cannot overreact to that, as we’re sure that Barry Trotz is not going to tolerate what he and everyone else saw. The Caps will be better today but they are still one of the NHL’s most overrated clubs that we cannot wait to fade in the playoffs. We’ll fade them here too.
On December 4, the Flyers started a three-game Western Canada road trip with a win over Calgary, which started a six-game win streak. Since that date, the Flyers are 14-5-1 over 20 games for 29 points. They are outscoring opponents 65-52 in that timeframe, have scored three or more goals in 11 of those 14 wins, and 10 of the 14 have been by more than one goal. They have scored either one or two goals in all six of the losses, and in the remaining three wins but nobody is talking about the Flyers because they have less points than the Rangers, Colorado, Columbus and New Jersey among others. However, Philadelphia is playing at an elite level and has been for weeks. Since December 4, the Flyers rank 7th in Corsi Against/60, 9th in expected/GA and 11th in Goals Differential while the Caps do not come close to those rankings over the same time span. Perhaps most importantly is the Flyers are feeling it these days while the Capitals are not. We’d be much happier if Michael Neuvirth were in goal today but since he played yesterday, we would expect that stiff, Brian Elliott to be in net but that’s not going to deter us from backing the Flyers at such a good price.
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Philadelphia +137 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.74)