Winning a championship in back to back seasons is one of the toughest things that a team can hope to do, regardless of the sport. The punishing nature of hockey means that a top player can be lost for the season with a single hit, which can seriously upset the delicate balance of even the best teams in the league. There is very much a fine line between winning and losing in this league, and that is clearly evident in the opening round match-up between the Carolina Hurricanes and the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals. The champions are in as the #2 seed in the playoffs, while the Hurricanes are in as the #7 seed after landing a Wild Card spot.
That might lead you to believe that there is a bit of a gulf between these two, yet they were only separated by 5 points in the regular season standings. The Capitals will open this series on home ice, where they are favored by 1 ½. The goal total for this one has been set at 5 ½. There were a lot of upsets on day 1 of the playoffs, but will we see another one here?
Hurricanes vs Capitals 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs Odds & Game 1 Pick
- When: Thursday, April 11 at 7:30 PM EST
- Where: Capital One Arena, Washington
- TV: USA
- Live Stream: NHL.tv
- 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs Odds: Washington Capitals -170 (Total 5.5)
Why bet on the Carolina Hurricanes?The Metropolitan Division proved to be one of the tightest in the NHL during the entire season, with the top 5 teams separated by just 6 points. It’s perhaps no surprise then that they sent all 5 to the postseason, including the Hurricanes, who nabbed the first Wild Card spot. Carolina finished just shy of the 100-point mark, ending the season with 99 points.
They may be starting the playoffs out with a pair of road games, but they were good away from home this year, going 22-16-3. They are also coming into the playoffs on a solid run of form, closing out the season with 3 straight wins. The Hurricanes are not a great road bet against the spread, going 17-24 ATS away from home.
- Goals: 2.99
- Shots: 34.40
- PP/PK Percentage: 17.81
- Goals: 2.72
- Shots: 28.56
- PP/PK Percentage: 18.41
Why bet on the Washington Capitals?The Washington Capitals ended the season well, ousting the New York Islanders from the top spot in the Metropolitan Division to finish the year with 104 points and the division crown. They did lose their final game of the season, but they were still a respectable 6-3-1 through the last 10 games of the year.
The Capitals will come into this series as firm favorites given that they took all 4 games from the Hurricanes in the regular season. That said, they will also be well aware of how tough it is to navigate the postseason. Before breaking through and winning it all last year, the Capitals had always underwhelmed in the playoffs. Was last season a sign of things to come or just an aberration?
- Goals: 3.39
- Shots: 30.40
- PP/PK Percentage: 20.76
- Goals: 3.04
- Shots: 31.51
- PP/PK Percentage: 21.07
Hurricanes vs Capitals 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs Betting Trends
- Carolina is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
- Carolina is 12-5 SU in its last 17 games on the road
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Carolina’s last 6 games on the road
- Washington is 6-3 ATS in its last 9 games at home
- Washington is 8-3 SU in its last 11 games at home
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Washington’s last 5 games at home
Expert Pick and Final Score PredictionIt’s easy to look at the regular season series between these two and simply put the Capitals on your win ticket, but we also know that weird things can happen in the postseason. There were a lot of surprises on opening night, but I don’t think we see one here.
Score: Carolina Hurricanes 2 – Washington Capitals 4