Free NHL Bets and Picks: Toronto Takes on the Capitals in Washington
October 17 has eleven games on, including some top team battles like Toronto facing Washington and the Blue Jackets meeting the Jets. Here are my free NHL picks for Tuesday, with odds found at BetOnline.
Toronto Maple Leafs (+130) at Washington Capitals (-144)
The Maple Leafs and Capitals met in the first round of the playoffs last year and Toronto gave Washington a scare. Toronto lost to the Capitals in six games. In those six games, five went to overtime. All six were decided by one goal or less. Now Toronto will be looking for revenge.
Washington started the season off red-hot. After starting 2-0, the Capitals have gone 1-2-1. A big part in that is Alex Ovechkin, who started the season with seven goals in the first two games, has only scored two more since. He has still put up an impressive amount of goals.
The Maple Leafs sit at 4-1, with their only loss coming to New Jersey. Auston Matthews is starting where he finished off after winning the Calder Memorial Trophy last season. Matthews leads the team with five goals and eight points.
The Capitals haven’t been able to keep the puck out of the net. Holtby and Grubauer have put up a .894 save percentage and allowed 3.61 goals per game. Holtby has been the more impressive of the two, putting up a .923 save percentage and holds a 3-1 record.
On the other end the Maple Leafs have also had difficulty keeping the puck out of the net. Toronto has a save percentage of .880 and a GAA of 3.76. The Maple Leafs will be in likely another high scoring affair against the Capitals. Andersen has started all five games for the Maple Leafs.
The Power Plays for both teams have been ridiculously good. The Maple Leafs have a 30.77 power play percentage, while the Capitals have a 26.32. The league average is 18.21. Each team will need to avoid taking stupid penalties. If that does not happen, it could be the deciding factor in the game.
To go along with the strong power play, each team has been underperforming on the penalty kill. The Maple Leafs have a near-league average 79.17 percent penalty kill (league average is 81.79), while the Capitals have a 76.92 percent.
The Maple Leafs will be looking to prove their strong start as well as prove that last season’s playoff series was not a fluke on Tuesday night. The Maple Leafs will be able to play a strong matchup on the road, and as an underdog I believe they are the better pick. I expect a close game, with perhaps another overtime.
Columbus Blue Jackets (-105) at Winnipeg Jets (-105)
Columbus and Winnipeg meet, each on a three-game winning streak. The Blue Jackets are sitting at an impressive 4-1, while the Jets are 3-2. Each team has younger stars who have been stepping up and have been a big reason why each team is coming in on a three-game win streak
Columbus’s point leader has been offseason acquisition Artemi Panarin, who has seven points. The Blue Jackets goal leader is rookie Sonny Milano with four. The Blue Jackets have had all but four skaters contribute a point this season. It shows the depth the Blue Jackets have been playing with and how it is paying off at this point.
The Jets have had all but six players contribute a point on the season. Nikolaj Ehlers leads the team with seven points and five goals. One player who the Jets were hoping for more from was last season’s rookie sensation Patrik Laine. Laine has two goals and two assists in five games. While that production is reasonable, the Jets will be looking for more goals from him.
The big problem with each team is their special teams. The Jets have gone 2-19 for a 10.53 percent. The Blue Jackets have been worse, going 1-13 for a 7.69 percent. The Blue Jackets have a 76.92 penalty kill percent, while the Jets have a 71.43 percent. I expect one of these teams to get the power play going in this matchup.
While the Jets have been much better the last three matchups, none of the three teams have been outstanding. The Jets beat the Oilers, Canucks and Hurricanes, who together own 3-6-2 record. The Jets could solidify their case for being a competitive team with a win against the Blue Jackets.
I believe the Blue Jackets will get the offense rolling against a team that allows around 35 shots per game. The Jets will put up a fight, but in the end the Blue Jackets will be able to shut them down and continue their own winning streak.