Nationwide Arena plays host to an enticing tilt as the Columbus Blue Jackets prepare to face the visiting Washington Capitals. The opening face-off takes place at 7 p.m. ET on Monday, December 16, and fans at home can see this Metropolitan Division matchup live on NBC Sports Washington.
Washington Capitals at Columbus Blue Jackets Odds
Playing the role of underdog will be Washington (-160), while Columbus is favored showing moneyline odds of +140, and the Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 6 goals. The line for betting that total stands at -115 money on the over and -105 for the under.
Washington is 24-10 straight up (SU) and has earned 9.3 units for moneyline bettors this year. 22 of its matches have gone over the total, while 12 have gone under and none have pushed. The Caps are 15-3 SU as a road team in 2019-20.
Washington has converted on 23.5 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a mark that’s good enough for sixth-best in the NHL. Its penalty kill is ranked sixth overall, and it’s successfully killed off 85.1 percent of all penalties.
For the team as a whole, Washington has been penalized 4.2 times per game in the 2019-20 season, and 5.4 per game over its past five. The team’s had to kill penalties an unhealthy 14.2 minutes per game over their last five outings.
Boasting a .911 save percentage and 28.0 saves per game, Braden Holtby (16-8-4) has been the top option in goal for Washington this season. If head coach Todd Reirden decides to rest him, however, the team could turn to Ilya Samsonov (8-3-1), who has a .918 save percentage and 2.38 goals against average this year.
The visiting Capitals have relied on John Carlson and Alex Ovechkin heavily this year. Carlson has 45 points on 12 goals and 33 assists, and has recorded two or more points 14 times. Ovechkin has 21 goals and 12 assists to his name (and has notched a point in 20 games).
On the other side of the ice, Columbus is 12-20 straight up (SU) and has lost 7.0 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 32 regular season matches, 18 of its games have gone under the total, while 13 have gone over and just one has pushed. It’s 8-9 SU at home this year.
Columbus has converted on 17.3 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 20th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 79.1 percent of all opponent power plays.
Columbus skaters have been penalized only 3.2 times per game this season, 3.4 per game over their last five contests total, and 3.0 per game over their last five home outings. The team’s had to stave off opponent power plays just 7.4 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Joonas Korpisalo (25.4 saves per game) has been the primary selection in goal for Columbus. Korpisalo has 12 wins, 13 losses, and three overtime losses and has recorded a pedestrian 2.73 goals against average and a subpar .906 save percentage this season.
The home team offense will be led by Gustav Nyquist (seven goals, 13 assists) and Pierre-Luc Dubois (10 goals, 10 assists).
Washington Capitals at Columbus Blue Jackets Free Picks
NHL Prediction: SU Winner – Blue Jackets, O/U – Under
For both of these teams, the under has hit in three of their last five outings.
The Capitals are 7-3 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 12-5 when they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes.
Washington (3-2 in shootouts) has more experience this season in games decided by shootout. Columbus fell short in its only shootout this season.
Columbus is ranked 28th in the NHL this season with 6.5 takeaways per game. That figure has trended lower recently, however, as the team has averaged 5.4 takeaways over its last 10 games and 5.6 takeaways over its last five.
Washington has created 5.6 takeaways per game over its last five road games, a drop-off from its season average of 7.7 takeaways per game (ranked 14th in the NHL).
Washington may hold the upper hand if this one comes down to the wire. The team’s an impressive 12-6 in one-goal games, while Columbus is 9-11 in such games.