Ice Hockey

Betting tips: Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins 10/13

Friday’s NHL slate may be just two games altogether, but one of them is the evergreen Metropolitan classic between two rivals.

Caps are aging fast

Washington enters the new season with an almost unchanged lineup. The most prominent signing of the summer was Max Pacioretty, who has been on an injury spiral in recent years and will unfortunately start this season on the IR as well. Behind the bench, it’s the first head coaching duty in the NHL for Spencer Carbery. Carbery gets to coach a team that enters the season with low expectations in the action-packed Metropolitan division. 

In particular, the age structure of the team stands in the way of the Capitals’ success. Almost all the players playing key roles have already crossed the 30-year-old mark. Yevgeny Kuznetsov was a burden for his team last season based on expected goals statistics. Nicklas Backstrom suffered injuries and produced only .54 points per game – his lowest career total by a wide margin. The Caps are still heavily dependent on Alexander Ovechkin’s expertise. Watching the captain chase Wayne Gretzky’s all-time goal record is once again the most interesting thing to follow around the capital.

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Disappointing opening night for the Pens

The Pittsburgh Penguins’ season opener was anything but expected. Tuesday’s opening-round home game against Chicago turned from a lead into a loss in the second half of the third period. The Penguins lost the expected goals comparison by two goals, so in that sense, the loss was deserved. We only got to see the worst of all-star defenseman Erik Karlsson in his first game as a Penguin. Karlsson had a -2 plus/minus to begin the new campaign, and while he was on the ice, Chicago hammered Pittsburgh with close to a 60 percent share of expected goals 5-on-5.

That was game 1, and it’s way too early to draw any definitive conclusions. Of course, there is a lot of work to be done defensively if you get destroyed by a team ranked to the bottom of the league. From an offence point of view, the Penguins should be one of the best teams this season. Like today’s rival, the Penguins are also a team aging fast. There are many teams ahead in the early-season rankings, but compared to the Capitals, the Penguins enjoy a clear advantage in both top player and depth comparisons.

Great value in the away team’s success

There has long been a battle between the clubs, although that is fading away as both organizations approach the inevitable rebuild. In Washington, that moment is closer than in Pittsburgh, where the acquisition of Karlsson marks the final push to hoist the Stanley Cup once more.

The Penguins are a completely different team than Washington and deserve a reasonably clear favorite position even away from home. Unibet has this game being somewhat close to a coin flip, a position I must disagree with. Pittsburgh in regulation offers +138 which is good enough for betting half of our max bet.

Tip: Pittsburgh Penguins in regulation @ +138
Units: 5/10

The match will start on 10/13/2023 at 7:30 PM EDT.
The odds are from the time of publication of this article and are subject to change.

Esa Kostet
X: @konekostet

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Register and Bet $25 on any match (min odds +100). Win or lose, you’ll get $100 in bonus bets!

This offer is available only for new Unibet players residing in New Jersey. 21+.

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