Vegas Play of the Day: Carolina Hurricanes at Washington Capitals

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Karl B. DeBlaker / AP

Golden Knights goaltender Maxime Lagace blocks the shot of Carolina Hurricanes’ Nino Niederreiter (21) with Golden Knights’ Max Pacioretty (67) nearby during the second period of an NHL hockey game Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, in Raleigh, N.C.

Thu, Apr 11, 2019 (2:23 p.m.)

The fifth season of the annual Play of the Day betting competition between the Sun's sports staff is now underway, effective July 1.

Bankrolls start at $10,000 for each of the four participants, with the objective to increase it as much as possible over the next year. The minimum daily wager is $300, with a $200 penalty assessed for failing to place a bet on an assigned day.

Past winners are Case Keefer in 2017-2018, Ray Brewer in 2016-2017 and 2015-2016, and Taylor Bern in 2014-2015.

Carolina Hurricanes plus-135 at Washington Capitals: $400 to win $540

Two Stanley Cup Playoff series start tonight where the underdog has a strong chance of ultimately advancing — Carolina versus Washington and Toronto versus Boston. The Hurricanes are available at a higher price than the Maple Leafs, plus-125, in Game 1, so they get the nod.

Carolina has played better than Washington down the stretch of the season. Yes, the Capitals are the defending Stanley Cup champions and the Hurricanes haven’t been in the playoffs in a decade. And sure, the Capitals swept the Hurricanes this year.

But fixating on those easy-to-reach narratives is an example of focusing handicapping on the wrong things. It’s also why such an attractive price is available on Carolina.

The Hurricanes opened as a more fair plus-125 but action has come in on Washington to drive up the number. It’s high enough to where it’s worth taking a shot on Carolina.

Regardless of what happens tonight, this will be a close series. Don’t let Carolina’s history fool you from the fact that it won’t be an easy first-round out for Washington.

Current Standings: Keefer (30-31-2, $9,216), Brewer (19-19-2, $8,260) Emerson (7-7, $6,102), Grimala (21-21-1, $3,630)

Case Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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