The Nashville Predators (22-19-7) visit the Washington Capitals (34-11-5) Wednesday at Capital One Arena for a 7:30 p.m. ET puck drop. Capitals W Alex Ovechkin returns to the lineup following his one-game suspension for bowing out of the NHL All-Star Game. We analyze the Predators-Capitals sports betting odds and lines, while providing NHL betting tips and picks around this matchup.
Predators at Capitals: Projected starting goalies
Pekka Rinne vs. Braden Holtby
Rinne has alternated wins and losses over his last five outings, but he gave up four goals on 30 shots Monday in a loss against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He is 16-11-3 on the season with a .897 save percentage and 2.98 goals against average.
Holtby stopped 31 of 33 shots in a win over the Montreal Canadiens Monday in his first action out of the all-star break. He improved to 19-9-4 on the campaign with a .899 SV% and 3.05 GAA.
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Predators at Capitals: Odds, picks and betting tips
Odds courtesy of BetMGM; access USA TODAY Sports for a full list.
Odds last updated at 7:20 a.m. ET.
Capitals 4, Predators 1
The CAPITALS (-167) are up to four wins in a row and seven in their past 10 outings. They’re 15-5-4 at home and have their star goal scorer back in Wednesday’s lineup. The Predators (+140) are buried in last place in the Central Division through 48 games and are quickly fading from the playoff picture. They’re 11-9-3 on the road, but Rinne just can’t be trusted.
The Preds earned a 6-5 win over the Capitals in Nashville Oct. 10 in the first and only head-to-head meeting of the cross-conference opponents this season. Now squarely atop the Metropolitan Division, the Capitals will return the favor Wednesday.
New to sports betting? A $10 bet on the Capitals to beat the Predators in regulation, overtime or a shootout returns a profit of $6.
Puck Line/Against the Spread (ATS)
Increase your profit margin and back the CAPITALS (-1.5, +155) to win by at least 2 goals. They’re 27-23 against the spread overall but just 9-15 at home, while the Preds are 18-30 ATS overall and 10-13 on the road. Each of Washington’s last five wins came by a margin of at least 2 goals, and Holtby has a significant edge in the creases Wednesday.
Take the UNDER 5.5 (+125) at the more profitable number. The Caps are 6-3-1 against the O/U across their last 10 games while the Preds are 5-4-1 in the same span. The season’s first meeting was an 11-goal shootout, but the Preds have been held to two or fewer goals for in each of their last five games.
Esten’s NHL betting record: 184-172
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