Washington Capitals vs Tampa Bay Lightning Predictions, Betting Odds & Picks

  • Washington was running out of gas back in March
  • Tampa Bay postseason woes are definitely still relevant
  • Checking in on the latest team trends

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Washington vs Tampa Bay Odds

Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.

Capitals vs Lightning Odds
Washington +108
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Tampa Bay -125
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The Lightning do have a slight edge on the competition right out of the gates but it’s not really enough to switch gears entirely and jump off this team. As noted below, the second season hasn’t been kind to the Bolts. Although it’s a unique round-robin seeding structure, breaks, in general, have not served this team well.

That fact, in itself, could bode very well for the Capitals to jump all over the sleepy Lightning right off the bat.

Washington vs Tampa Bay Predictions and Picks

We like the Capitals to upset and take the first game of the seeding round robin by a score of 4-1. We have confidence in Braden Holtby to shut the door early and often while putting on a masterful performance.

A Closer Look at the Trends

The Capitals are 10-3 in their last 13 as an underdog. They have also gone 22-5 hitting the Over in their last 27 against teams with a winning record.

The Over-Under is currently set at 6.5 goals.

Tampa Bay is 72-27 in their last 99 games against Eastern Conference opponents. Meanwhile, the Bolts have gone 7-1-1 in their last nine hitting the Under.

How to Watch Washington vs Tampa Bay

Washington vs Tampa Bay Information
What Washington Capitals vs Tampa Bay Lightning
Where Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON
When August 3, 2020 4:00 PM EST
How to Watch NBC Sports,Sportsnet

NHL Return to Play Format and Preview

The new format is ready to roll! 12 teams per conference have been broken into pairs and will face off in a best-of-five play-in style series. Meanwhile, the top four finishers (in win percentage) in each conference will shuffle through each other in a three-game round robin tourney to determine playoff seeding.

Sitting atop the Metropolitan Division are the Washington Capitals with 41 wins. However, even though they have a higher divisional rank, the Bolts are considered the top dogs in this one as they finished the year with 43 victories to their name.

How Much Gas is Left in the Tank in Washington?

Before the team even made the trip up north, star goalie standout Ilya Samsonov’s breakout year ended early with an injury suffered during the shutdown period. The nature of his ailment is unknown although the team did confirm that it is thankfully not COVID-related.

To add another log to the fire, the team won just five of their final 15 to close out the 2019-20 regular season. A rough go which included a four-game losing streak. The Caps finished atop the Metropolitan thanks to their dominance earlier in the year. They had a 14-2-4 start through their first 20 which turned a lot of heads early.

That hot trend began to slide a bit though and to help combat injuries, the Caps added a few big pieces at the trade deadline. Veteran forward Ilya Kovalchuk from Montreal and tough defenseman Brenden Dillon of San Jose came to the team through a pair of major deals.

Given their late-season woes it’s going to be pretty hard to gauge just what team we’ll see hit the ice on August 3rd. However, the good news for Caps fans is the same can be said (with more emphasis) about their first opponent.

Will the Tampa Bay Lightning Please Stand Up

We’ve all seen this story before. Steven Stamkos, Brayden Point, and Nikita Kucherov carry the team through the regular season and then they decide to go home early when the games truly count. If last year’s playoffs especially were any indication, when they set the world on fire in the regular season and were swept in the quarters by Columbus, they could be out of the conversation quickly. However, we have to believe that after five months off, they’ll be ready.

Not talking playoffs, the Bolts have been stellar to start each regular season the past few years and also now have a roster filled with well-rested talent. Nikita Kucherov finished seventh in points with 85 and 11th in goals with 33. Meanwhile, Andrei Vasilevsky finished atop the league in goaltender wins with 35.

It’s hard to tell just which Bolts team will show up in Toronto given their track record, but either way, you slice it, we should have a total goal fest on our hands. The Lighting and Capitals finished the year one-two with the highest goals for tally of any teams in the league. This should be a phenomenal way to start the new league calendar!

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