Few teams in any sport have to deal with the high expectations that the Toronto Maple Leafs faced entering the 2018-19 season. With the NHL’s best coach in Mike Babcock, the 2016 number one overall draft pick in Auston Matthews, and the biggest free agent singing over the summer in John Tavares, the Leafs got off to a hot start that had their fans planning a Stanley Cup parade route. But since the start of the new year the Leafs have slumped badly which has cut deep into gambling bankrolls with their status as expensive overlays. The Washington Capitals have reverted back to bad old habits after winning the Stanley Cup last June. New head coach Todd Reirden lacks the ability that predecessor Barry Trotz had to command a full 200-foot game.
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Washington Capitals vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
Date and Time: Wednesday, January 23, 2019, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location:Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
NHL Betting Online Odds at Bookmaker.eu: Check Back Later
Capitals vs. Maple Leafs TV Coverage: NBCSN
Betting action should be even on both teams based on their marquee status as top tier Stanley Cup contenders. Both clubs are among the most popular on the NHL board and have plenty of star power. Live betting figures to be quite fluid with plenty of ebb and flow.
The Maple Leafs have lost six out of their last nine to now stand at 29-16-2 with just 21 out of their 47 games going over the total. Toronto still holds second place in the Atlantic Division behind the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Leafs have also gone under the total in eight of their last ten games. At home Toronto is 13-10-1 with just 10 of their home games going over the total.
Washington has suffered a stunning drop lately with eight losses in their last 10 games which has dropped them to 27-15-4-1 overall. The Caps are in second place behind the New York Islanders in the Metropolitan Division. Washington has a road record of 14-7-2 with just 10 of their away games staying under the total.
The Washington Capitals have always been a top offensive unit and that remains true this season with their NHL mark of eighth for goals scored. The power play has slipped some to rank 11th in the NHL. The back end of the rink is where regression has occurred. Washington ranks 15th in the NHL for goals against and an alarming 23rd for penalty killing.
Toronto has been one of the better-balanced teams in the NHL this season with rankings of fourth for goals scored, ninth for power play efficiency. eighth for goals against, and 12th for the penalty kill.
Washington netminder Braden Holtby is best known for coming off the bench in last year’s playoff to backstop the Capitals to a Stanley Cup championship. His current save percentage has improved to .912. after a slow start.
Toronto goaltender Frederik Andersen has an impressive save percentage of .923. After beginning his career with the Anaheim Ducks, he has served as the Maple Leafs top goaltender since 2016-17.
Players to Watch
Washington team captain and left wing Alex Ovechkin has 33 goals to lead the Caps. Defenseman John Carlson is one of the best in the NHL and quarterbacks the power play with 18 assists on the man advantage. John Tavares has a team best 29 goals for Toronto.
Free NHL Live Betting Odds Pick
Washington will be the better value as the road team in this matchup, which looks even. The Capitals have also won their last three visits to Scotiabank Arena against the Leafs. With both teams slumping but still top contenders the road dog is always the best place to look first due to the likelihood of enhanced value.
NHL Live Betting Odds Picks: Washington Capitals
NHL Score Prediction:Capitals 3, Maple Leafs 2
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