The Washington Capitals have the best points total in the NHL through mid-February; and NHL betting, pay per head agents and bettors are taking notice.
The Caps are crushing it in the Eastern Conference, and have a commanding lead over rivals Pittsburgh in the Metropolitan Division. Meanwhile, Columbus, a team that was expected to take the east around Christmas time, has fallen off.
The Capitals are currently Stanley Cup favorites at +550. Last year’s Stanley Cup winners, Pittsburgh, sit at +1000.
The Capitals have 26 games to go this season with 11 of those coming at home. Washington have made the Verizon center a fortress, winning 24 games at home.
And, although the Metropolitan Division is very competitive with Pittsburgh and Columbus right behind them, Washington have shown great character.
The Capitals have given up the fewest goals this season (121). Goalie Braden Holtby has been outstanding. He is giving up 2.02 goals a game and has made over a thousand saves this season.
His 2.02 goals against average is second lowest in the NHL and is just behind Devan Dubnyk’s 1.97. Holtby currently leads all goalies with seven shutouts and the Caps have done it with defense all season.
The Capitals have never won the Stanley Cup. Of course, that doesn’t mean they won’t this season, but just because they have played well to this point, it doesn’t mean they will either.
Last season, Washington finished with the most points of any team in the NHL, a feat they accomplished in 2009-10 as well. But neither time did the team lift the Stanley Cup at the end of the playoffs.
Last season ended with a second round loss to eventual winners Pittsburgh. So, what is different this year?
Players to watch
Washington’s top player is arguably Nicklas Backstrom. The Swede has 60 offensive points this season, which is fourth in the NHL.
Add in former NHL Most Valuable Player Alex Ovechkin, and you have a one-two punch of offensive firepower. The Caps have scored 192 goals this season, second to the Penguins.
Since Christmas, the team have been scoring for fun. Fifteen times since December 25, Washington have scored five or more goals in a game.
Possible NHL betting on Washington
With the structure of the NHL playoffs and the fact that Washington were in this same position a season ago, it is likely that the team will get knocked off again. Online bookies should check their NHL history.
Only once in the last eight season has the team with the most points at the end of the regular season won the Stanley Cup. History is not on the Capitals’ side.
So, wagering on the Penguins to repeat as cup winners at +1000 is a great bit of business.
The Capitals are scoring a lot of goals and now that they are preventing them this season, it could be their year. Plenty of NHL journalist believe the team is destined to win the Stanley Cup.
Unfortunately, history doesn’t make it look so clear cut.
Online bookies should also keep an eye on the Blackhawks. At +750, Chicago is a sleeper team with the playoffs approaching. Meanwhile, Columbus have fallen since Christmas.
Now at +1000, the Bluejackets don’t offer much hope of winning Sir Stanley’s Cup.
NHL Betting – Stanley Cup odds
Washington Capitals +550
Minnesota Wild +700
Chicago Blackhawks +750
Pittsburgh penguins +1000
Columbus Bluejackets +1000