The Capitals are two wins away from their first Stanley Cup finals appearance in 20 years - and the odds are heavily in their favour as they prepare to host the Lightning in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final on Tuesday night.
Only two out of 41 teams have ever squandered a 2-0 lead in the conference final in NHL history, and oddsmakers don’t think the Caps will become the third team to join that list.
Lightning vs Capitals Stanley Cup Playoffs Betting Analysis
Washington isn’t the comfortable favourite the Lightning were in the first two games of the series, despite having won 22 of its past 29 games overall and trouncing Tampa Bay in its own arena, outscoring the hosts 10-4 over the opening two games. Washington also has a decided edge over the Lightning in their recent history at Capital One Arena, having won a whopping 37 of their previous 53 head-to-head meetings in the U.S. capital.
Both teams boast compelling trends to support either the over or the under, but there are two particularly strong trends that stand out – and they’re both good news for over bettors. The Capitals have gone above the total in six of their previous eight games at Capital One Arena dating back to the end of the regular season. The Lightning, by comparison, have gone over 12 times with a pair of pushes in their previous 18 games away from Amalie Arena.
Tampa Bay Lightning
The flabbergasted Lightning have gone from series favourite to major underdog – but with most teams down 0-2, there’s sensational value in a potential comeback. You’ll get +219 on a Tampa Bay series victory, and the two potential outcomes – six games (+900) and seven games (+415) also offer generous payouts. Oddsmakers have a six-game series as the most likely outcome at +219; a four-game sweep pays at +229 while a seven-game series is +251.
While the Western Conference final between the Winnipeg Jets and Vegas Golden Knights is as even as it gets, oddsmakers are firmly in the Capitals’ corner heading into Tuesday’s third game; Washington is a -334 favourite to book its trip to the final, and is a not-so-ridiculous +224 to complete a four-game sweep of the team with the top record in the conference. Those are the best odds among the remaining series result options.