Two of the East’s playoff teams will battle on Sunday afternoon as the Washington Capitals — on the backend of a back-to-back — travel to Boston to take on a Bruins team who will be playing their sixth game in nine days.
The Capitals are clinging onto the East’s top spot after a 6-3 win on Saturday while the Bruins — winners of three straight — are looking to climb the standings after acquiring Taylor Hall at the deadline and getting No. 1 goalie Tuukka Rask back.
Oddsmakers have the home side Bruins as -132 favorites with the total opening at 5.5.
Here are our free picks and predictions for Washington Capitals vs. Boston Bruins for Sunday, April 18 (12:00 p.m. ET).
Capitals vs Bruins odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
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NHL sharp money and line movement reportBy Patrick Everson
As of 11:15 a.m. ET today, Boston is out to a -152 favorite at FanDuel, after opening -120 at lunch hour Saturday. However, the action belies the moneyline movement, with 64 percent of tickets and 60 percent of money on Washington. The total is stable at 5.5, with 86 percent of bets/81 percent of cash on the Over.
Check out the full line movement for this game.
Capitals vs Bruins betting preview
Capitals: Michael Raffl F (Questionable).
Bruins: Jaroslav Halak G (Out), Kevan Miller D (Questionable), Trent Frederic F (Out), Matt Grzelcyk D (Out), Brandon Carlo D (Out).
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Betting trend to know
The Capitals are 6-0 O/U in their last six Sunday games. Find more NHL betting trends for Capitals vs. Bruins.
In the span of six days, the Bruins got Rask, who had been out since mid-March, back, and acquired former Hart winner Taylor Hall. It’s no coincidence the team has ripped off three straight wins, including taking both games from the Islanders by a combined score of 7-1.
Hall has scored in back-to-back games (both at 5x5) and has seemed to rejuvenate a Boston team that was playing .500 hockey since mid-February. The three-game winning streak is the first since February 12 and Bruce Cassidy’s club will look to make it four against a traveling back-to-back Washington team in an early time slot.
Hall has added some secondary scoring to the Bruins, which was a major issue with the club as it relied on their No. 1 scoring line more than any other team in hockey. The power-play is just 1 for 11 over the winning streak so there is still room for this offense to grow.
With Ilya Samsonov going in yesterday’s 6-3 score fest, the Caps will start rookie goalie Vitek Vanecek versus the B’s. Vanecek was the hot hand in Washington but is coming off a game against the Sabres that saw him get yanked after allowing four goals on 21 shots. The rookie has seen the Bruins five times this year and is 3-2 SU with a 2.79 goals against average but has allowed three goals or more in three of those matches.
The Bruins and Caps played last Sunday, with Washington skating away with an 8-1 beatdown. Boston will be looking to avenge its worst loss of the season, against a Caps team with tired legs, so it's a great spot to aid in the Bruins' revenge.
PREDICTION: Boston ML (-128)
The Bruins have gotten back to their defensive ways and have allowed just three goals over their last three matches and have kept opponents from creating quality chances, with just 4.04 expected goals allowed over that stretch, per Money Puck. But over those three games, they've played some below-average offenses in the Islanders and the Sabres.
Fortunately for handicappers, the Capitals have been an Over machine all year and are in great Over-form, going 6-0 to the Over in their last six. The season series has also seen at least six goals scored in five of the six previous matches. Taking an Over with Bruins is never an easy move (15-25 O/U on the season) but against a Washington team that has been one of the better Over teams at 26-16 O/U makes things much easier.
Vanecek is 6-2 O/U in his last eight starts and the rookie goalie may be wearing down as his first NHL season — a hectic one at that — is drawing to a close. His team was involved in a back-and-forth game against the Flyers yesterday afternoon and with the quick turnaround and travel, will the Caps have a ton in the tank to play shutdown hockey?
Washington has the second highest-scoring offense this month at 3.62 goals per match and is very comfortable going shot for shot and has been accommodating to opponents this month allowing 3.11 goals per game.
Getting the Capitals at 5.5 is not a common occurrence and has been profitable this season with that total going 6-3 O/U. The Caps can score with the best of them but have also been giving it up, especially against Boston.
PREDICTION: Over 5.5 (-105)
Capitals vs Bruins betting card
- Boston ML (-128)
- Over 5.5 (-105)
Picks made on 04/17/2021 at 6:20 p.m. EST.
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