NHL Wednesday best bets: Capitals to rebound at home

John McCreary / National Hockey League / Getty

We have a relatively small five-game slate on the docket Wednesday, but there are a few plays that stand out.

We are mixing things up, providing a side, total, and shot prop for our best bets. Let's dive in.

Sharks (+175) @ Capitals (-210)

The San Jose Sharks are not a good road team. At five-on-five, they've controlled only 45.6% of the shot attempts and rank 19th in expected goals for percentage. Now they're without Erik Karlsson, by far their best play-driving defenseman.

That's not ideal, especially going up against a team like the Washington Capitals. They're in the top half of the league in points percentage on home soil and their underlying numbers have been remarkably good. Washington owns a 54.88 xGF% in their own building. Their share of the xG is very high, which is a recipe for success given all the firepower getting those opportunities.

I think the Capitals should be able to dictate the run of play at five-on-five and take advantage of James Reimer.

The veteran Sharks netminder started the season strongly but his level of play has fallen off a cliff. He owns a .878 save percentage since Dec. 1. That ties him for 48th among 54 eligible goaltenders. Not great!

To recap, Washington is the better five-on-five team, they're at home, and they're going up against a struggling netminder. I like their chances of taking care of business inside 60.

Bet: Capitals in regulation (-135)

Flames (-180) @ Blue Jackets (+150)

The Calgary Flames and Columbus Blue Jackets have had a difficult time keeping the puck out of the net of late. Yet it's the under that appeals to me in this game.

For one, Elvis Merzlikins is getting the nod in goal for the home side. He owns a respectable .912 save percentage on the season and has saved 3.8 more goals than expected. He's a huge upgrade over Joonas Korpisalo (.881 SV%, -8 goals saved above expectation) and gives me faith Columbus can keep Calgary to a reasonable number in this game.

The Flames have also defended much better than their recent numbers indicate. They rank 12th in high-danger chances allowed per 60 at five-on-five over the last 10 games. Despite that, they sit 30th in goals against per 60.

On the year, Jacob Markstrom and Daniel Vladar have combined to save 8.2 more goals than expected. They make up an above-average goaltending tandem. Regardless of who starts here, I think the Flames are bound to do a better job of limiting the goals against sooner than later - so long as they continue to be an above-average side in terms of preventing high-danger opportunities.

I don't think that'll be an issue Wednesday against a Blue Jackets team below average at generating said opportunities.

Bet: Under 6 (+105)

Tyler Bertuzzi over 2.5 shots (-125)

Tyler Bertuzzi is not a guy we've targeted much this year but he's been shooting the puck more of late, especially on home soil. He's accumulated 25 shots over the last eight home dates, which equates to a little more than three per night.

This is a good spot for his success to continue. The Chicago Blackhawks have allowed 61.16 shot attempts per 60 minutes of five-on-five play over the last 10 games. That ranks them 29th in the league during this spell. They're really struggling defensively and they won't have the ability to get the matchups they want.

Instead, the Detroit Red Wings will have the ability to put their best players in advantageous positions and Bertuzzi is a guy who will benefit. I also like that he no longer plays on a line with Dylan Larkin. He's spearheading his own unit, meaning there's more puck to go around.

Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.

NHL Wednesday best bets: Capitals to rebound at home
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