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Can Ovechkin, Crosby Still be Betting Cash Cows?

Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin find themselves in diverging paths. Crosby just saw his Pittsburgh Penguins eliminated from the playoffs for a second straight season. Meanwhile, Ovechkin and his Capitals qualified after missing out last year. But one thing seems certain: Neither is a part of the Stanley Cup discussion anymore. Yet, both still remain worthy of betting as we find out beginning with NHL predictions tonight.


Can Ovechkin, Crosby Still be Betting Cash Cows?
Jeff Carter #77 of the Pittsburgh Penguins/Bruce Bennett/Getty Images/AFP

The Dominant Crosby/Ovechkin Era is Over But …

We can’t recommend betting online on Pittsburgh or Washington to win the Stanley Cup anytime in the near future. But we can still tout either team on a game-to-game basis. Sure, Pittsburgh was terrible on the betting lines this season, but bad luck and injuries are partly to blame for its demise. Washington, on the other hand, has been killing it in the sportsbook.



Capitals: New Life as Betting Underdogs

Washington inexplicably stumbled back into the playoffs. Despite a -37 goal differential and one of the worst offenses in the NHL, the Capitals made it to the postseason as the No. 8 season in the Eastern Conference. We can thank Ovechkin and goaltender Charlie Lindgren for this late surge that clinched it for the unlikely contenders.

Ovechkin scored 17 of his 31 goals in the final 30 games of the season. Washington went 17-10-3 in this span and had an even goal differential with a PDO of 101.1 And while “Ovie” scored, Lindgren stopped the opposition.

The 30-year-old Lindgren finished with a 2.67 goals-against average and a 91.1% save percentage in 50 games. He delivered late in the season by winning four of his last five starts, stopping all but seven shots against the likes of Tampa Bay and Boston.

Bettors loved Washington this season. The Capitals cashed on +200 odds to make the playoffs and were profitable for NHL public betting. Washington won its backers $718 (+7 units) had they bet $100 on each game. This is the second-best return among Eastern Conference teams. Only the New York Rangers were better.

The Capitals face these same Rangers in the first round of the playoffs. Washington will likely be a significant underdog when the lines open. And at 60/1 to make the Stanley Cup Final, it would be one heck of an underdog run should the Caps do it.

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Pittsburgh Still Has Futures Shelf Life

As for the Penguins, they cost their backers potentially 12 units through the season. This negative result is the third-worst in the East and ahead of only New Jersey and Columbus. But all is not lost for this team in the long term.

Part of Pittsburgh’s misery has been its inability to win one-score games. Pittsburgh went 11-22 on the moneyline in games decided by one goal. On top of that, the Penguins were also just 22-29 as favorites.

The Pens still outplayed its opponents for the most part. On 5-on-5 metrics, Pittsburgh ranked in the upper half of the NHL in Corsi percentage and expected goal differential. However, it also had the second-worst power-play (PP) percentage and was -7 in PP goal differential despite having 20 more opportunities.

We can dismiss Crosby’s Penguins as “cooked.” On the other hand, we can look to next season to see if we can get more affordable NHL lines.

This team has four potential Hall of Famers. Crosby still produced 94 points and scored on a Connor McDavid pace to end the season.

If folks want to give up on Pittsburgh, be our guest. But we’ll look for a strong rebound from Crosby and his friends next season.





Questions Of The Day

What is Pittsburgh’s ATS record in 2023-24?

Pittsburgh suffered as an NHL pick against the puckline (ATS) with a 39-43 record.

Who is the favorite to win the Stanley Cup in 2024?

Carolina and Dallas are tied at +700 with the shortest odds to win the Stanley Cup.

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