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NHL Picks: May 11

By Josh Goodwin

The Panthers are betting favorites tonight for a reason, but in my opinion, the moneyline odds are currently underrepresenting the chances of a Capitals win. I really like Washington moneyline at +194 on Sports Interaction, and I could definitely see this bet gaining some positive closing line value. 

Thus far, neither team has managed to win consecutive games in that series, and Washington just lost a 3-2 overtime effort. With their veteran presence and championship experience, I trust the Capitals to bring forward a formidable response tonight on the road. Also, as talented as the Panthers might be, they have not won a series since the 1996 playoffs, so that group still has a lot to prove. Florida’s greatest asset is their ability to score, which they did at a league-leading rate of 4.11 goals per game this regular season. Yet over the past two games, Washington has been perfect on the penalty kill and limited Florida’s lineup to a total of only 3 goals.

Don’t get me wrong, it will be difficult to continue limiting such a talented group, but I can at least still see Washington’s defense and goaltending trending in the right direction. Not to mention, Tom Wilson is still listed as a game-time decision for tonight’s matchup due to a lower-body injury he sustained in Washington’s game one victory. Say what you’d like about Wilson, but he scored the opening goal of this series and has proven himself as a championship-level contributor for the Capitals. His unique combination of size and skill would certainly help Washington match-up better with Florida, who has a massive and physical lineup of their own.

Although I’d be reluctant to bet the under, I still envision tonight being a very tight checking game where both sides have a close to equal chance of winning. Therefore, I consider +194 to be a valuable price for a Washington Capitals moneyline bet. Plus, I did select the Capitals to win this series when filling-out my playoff bracket, so this would be a pivotal victory for that prediction as well.

My Pick: Washington Capitals Moneyline (+194 @ Sports Interaction)

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