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Islanders vs Capitals December 31 Betting Preview: Washington -160 Favorites Against Division Rivals

Angelo Montilla

by Angelo Montilla in NHL Hockey

Updated Mar 30, 2020 · 12:13 PM PDT

Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals are -160 favorites against the New York Islanders on New Year's Eve. Photo by Michael Miller / (Wiki Commons)
  • Washington has lost three games at Capital One Arena all season long
  • Capitals have defeated the Islanders six of last 10 meetings
  • Metropolitan Division leaders are 11-4 SU in last 15 games

The Washington Capitals have cooled off of late as the Eastern Conference leaders host the New York Islanders in a New Year’s Eve matinee on Tuesday at 1:05 pm EST.

The Caps have one win in their last three games heading into tonight’s action, but books are still listing them as -160 favorites against the Isles.

Washington has not lost at the Capital One Arena since December. 9 and have only dropped three games on home ice all year long. Is there any value in betting on the underdog Islanders at +144?

Here’s a closer look at the Capitals vs Islanders odds and stats.

Washington Capitals vs. New York Islanders Odds

Team Moneyline Puckline Total
New York Islanders +144 +1.5 (-180) Over 5.5 (-110)
Washington Capitals -160 -1.5 (+160) Under 5.5 (+100)

Odds taken on Dec. 30

When the line for this matchup opened on Monday morning, Books had the Capitals at -175 but the odds shortened throughout the day and held firm into the evening.

Washington is coming off a loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, but the club still sits first in the Eastern Conference at 27-8-5 this season. With both the Islanders and Penguins gaining ground with games in hand, the Capitals will look to finish 2019 on a high note.

Capitals Tough to Bet Against Straight Up on Home Ice

It’s hard to bet against the Capitals at the moment as the team has gone 11-4 on straight up wagers over the last 15 games. In 40 games played this season, Washington ranks fifth overall in goals for per game with an average of 3.50. By comparison, the Islanders are 19th overall at 2.89.

While Washington has been dominant straight up, the same can’t be said about the club’s record against the spread this season. The Capitals, who own a 21-19 season record ATS, are listed at -1.5 (+160) on the puckline for Tuesday’s game against the Islanders.

Washington has not covered the spread in its last three games and has only covered twice in its last six games leading up to their game on New Year’s Eve.

Books had set the total goals at 5.5 for Tuesday’s game, but it’s important to note that the teams have not played to an “Over” outcome in its last three meetings.

Washington has an Over/Under record of 25-14 this season and two of their last three games have resulted in “Over” outcomes. The Islanders are 15-21-1 and three of their last six games have gone “Under”.

Ovechkin Third in League With 24 Goals

The Islanders are first overall in goals against this season, but their stingy defense will have a tough time against Washington’s potent offense, led by Alex Ovechkin.

Ovi’s 24 goals is tied for third in the NHL with Buffalo Sabres sniper Jack Eichel. Ovechkin seems to have some of his best performances against the Islanders as the Great 8 has 36 career goals in 55 games against Long Island.

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Then there’s John Carlson, who is also turning in a Norris Trophy-worthy season midway through the 2019-20 NHL campaign. Carlson’s 50 points in 40 games puts the defenseman ninth overall in league scoring. He’s on pace for 103 points, according to ESPN’s stats forecast for the current season.

If you’re basing your betting decisions on head-to-head matchups between the Capitals and Islanders, the numbers are a lot closer than you may first think.

Washington has won six of the last 10 meetings against the Islanders but the Caps are 2-1-0 over the last three games. Their last game on October 4 resulted in a close battle with the Capitals skating away with a 2-1 win.

There may be better value in playing the puckline, but straight up, the Capitals are tough to beat on home ice.

Pick: Washington Capitals (-160)

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