The Washington Capitals face off against the Boston Bruins in Game 4 of their best-of-seven NHL playoff series on Friday night. The Capitals lost 3-2 in double-overtime in Game 3 on Wednesday and now trail 2-1 in the series.
NHL betting lines have the Caps installed as +140 underdogs for this crucial contest, while the Bruins come back as -161 home favorites.
Here are our best free Capitals vs. Bruins picks and predictions for Friday, May 21, with the puck dropping at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Capitals vs Bruins game info
• Location: TD Garden, Boston, MA
• Date: Friday, May 21, 2021
• Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
• TV: NBC SN
Capitals vs Bruins odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
Compare NHL odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.
NHL Sharp Money and Line Movement ReportBy Patrick Everson
Boston landed on PointsBet USA's odds board at -165 Thursday morning, bounced up to -170 a couple of times and is back at the opener as of 4:30 p.m. ET. It's almost dead-even two-way action on the moneyline, with the Bruins taking 51 percent of tickets and money. The total opened at 5.5 (Under -135) and adjusted a few cents to Under -130, with 54 percent of bets and 71 percent of cash on the Under.Check out the full line movement for this game
Capitals vs Bruins series odds
Capitals vs Bruins betting preview
Capitals: Vitek Vanecek G (Questionable), Michal Kempny D (Questionable), Lars Eller C (Questionable).
Bruins: Ondrej Kase RW (Questionable), Jakub Zboril D (Questionable), Jacob Lauzon D (Questionable).
Find our latest NHL injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Capitals are 22-8 in the last 30 meetings with the Bruins. Find more NHL betting trends for Capitals vs. Bruins.
Washington goalie Ilya Samsonov took the brunt of the blame for Wednesday's loss after a behind-the-net blunder cost the Caps in overtime. But the young goalie was a big reason his team was even in the game, turning aside 43 of 46 shots.
The Caps have gotten decent play from their goalies, but the real key to their success has been their offense, led by future Hall-of-Famer Alex Ovechkin. Washington ended the season ranked third in the league with 2.89 goals per 60 minutes in 5v5 hockey, but ranked a modest 15th in goals allowed per 60 mins with 2.36.
Boston was practically the mirror image of that, seventh in the NHL in GA/60 with 2.08 but 15th in GF/60 with 2.39.
Despite losing the last two games in this series, the Capitals are still 22-8 in their last 30 games versus the Bruins, including going 10-4 in the last 14 meetings in Boston.
With all three games in this series going into overtime, this has been a closer battle than oddsmakers seemed to think when they curiously opened the playoffs with the lower-seeded Bruins as -193 series favorites.
Being able to bet the Caps at +140 in this matchup – the best value they've had against the Bruins all season – with their backs against the wall is well worth it.
PREDICTION: ML Washington (+140)
The Bruins have been one of the toughest teams to score against and last year's Vezina Trophy runner-up Tuukka Rask finished this season with a 2.28 GAA and a save percentage of .913 in 24 starts.
The Capitals are certainly capable of high-scoring shootouts, but they ranked just 18th in the league in high-danger chances per 60 minutes at even strength, and the Bruins were even worse in that category, ranking just 28th.
Both squads have also been excellent on the penalty kill and the Caps should place additional emphasis on defense tonight with how crucial this game will be.
Keep in mind that the Caps have cashed the Over just once in their last seven games overall, while the Bruins are 10-4-1 to the Under in their previous 15 playoff games as a favorite.
With the Under also going 24-9-2 in the last 35 meetings in Boston between these division foes, take it again.
PREDICTION: Under 5.5 (-130)
Capitals vs Bruins betting card
- ML Washington (+140)
- Under 5.5 (-130)
Picks made on 5/21/2021 at 11:30 a.m. ET
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