Penguins/Capitals Game 7 Preview And Betting Pick

We came up a goal short last night on the Rangers Team Total Over 2.5 as Ottawa finished off its second straight upset in the Stanley Cup playoffs, beating New York 4-2 at Madison Square Garden to advance to the Eastern Conference final.

Their opponent in that final will be determined tonight as the Penguins and Capitals meet in Washington for a winner-take-all Game 7. The Capitals have all the momentum in the series, winning the past two games by a combined score of 9-4 to even the series after Pittsburgh had built a 3-1 lead.

Penguins/Capitals Game 7 Odds At Bet365

By Game 7 standards, Washington is a massive favourite to get the job done tonight. Oddsmakers opened the Capitals at -170 favourites, and the line only went up from there, coming close to -200 at some books. The Over/Under was set at 5.5, with the juice shaded towards the Under at -117 odds. Money on the Under had bumped that to -130 by Wednesday morning.

(For up-to-the-minute odds, visit our Live Odds page)

Penguins/Capitals Game 7 Betting Pick

What a difference a few days can make.

Saturday night, the Penguins went into Washington with a chance to end the series and add yet another chapter to the long book of Capitals playoff disappointments. Most of the money was on Pittsburgh to finish the job in that game, especially with the return of Sidney Crosby after a one-game absence due to the concussion he suffered in Game 3, and the Pens looked good through two periods, leading 2-1.

But Washington stormed back with three quick goals in the third period to win 4-2, then carried that momentum into Game 6 Monday in Pittsburgh when the Caps scored the first five goals of the game. That meant Washington had scored eight straight goals over two games, seriously tilting the ice – and public perception – in the Capitals’ favour.

Everything looks like it’s going Washington’s way right now:

  • Crosby went hard into the endboards last game (for some reason, he was not subjected to the NHL’s concussion protocol) and did not look the same after that.
  • The Penguins defence looks tired and flat-footed, finally showing signs of missing Kris Letang.
  • Marc-Andre Fleury suddenly appears very beatable in net for Pittsburgh, while Capitals goalie Braden Holtby is finally displaying his regular-season form once again.
  • Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin have woken up offensively for Washington, and Evgeni Malkin was pretty bad in Game 5 for the Pens.

But -180 odds on Washington to win a Game 7 at home? This is a franchise that has lost 10 of the 14 seventh games it’s played, including all three of them against the Penguins. Pittsburgh is 5-0 all-time on the road in Game 7s as well. The rosters have changed over the years, but Washington is still saddled with the pressure of past playoff disappointments, and I don’t think playing at home helps them here. If the Penguins can pop an early goal, the Capitals and their fans will tighten right up.

We’re going with the value in this game. Getting close to 2:1 money in this spot with the defending Stanley Cup champions, especially coming off a poor performance at home, is worth a shot.

Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins +170 (Bet this game at Pinnacle)