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Lightning vs. Blue Jackets Sharp Report: Are Professionals Betting On a Sweep?


Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard (58) celebrates with teammates

  • The Tampa Bay Lightning are -135 favorites against the Columbus Blue Jackets in tonight's Game 4 (7 p.m. ET, CNBC).
  • Tampa Bay trails the NHL playoff opening round series 0-3 and needs a win to avoid an embarrassing sweep.
  • Using The Action Network's betting tools, we analyze which team professional bettors are backing tonight.

Well, nobody saw this coming. The Tampa Bay Lightning, perhaps the greatest regular season team in NHL history, trail the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-0 in the first round of the NHL playoffs.

Will Tampa Bay continue to fight to stay alive? Or are the Lightning ready to end this nightmare of a playoff series? According to The Action Network’s John Ewing, history says that the Lightning should be able to extend the series.

Since 2005, all teams down 0-3 are 26-22 (54.2%) in Game 4. Favorites — Tampa Bay is -135 tonight at the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas — are even better at 11-5 (68.8%).

Admittedly, those are both small sample sizes and it’s unlikely that professional bettors are relying solely on those numbers to place their bets on tonight’s Game 4.

So, how are the sharps playing this matchup? According to The Action Network’s betting tools, wiseguys have already jumped on one side of this game, forcing oddsmakers to adjust the betting line.

Tampa Bay opened at -140 against Columbus at Westgate and the majority of bettors are counting on the Lightning to push the series a little longer.

Sixty-seven percent of moneyline bets are taking Tampa Bay, yet the line has ticked down to -135.

According to Sports Insights’ Bet Signals, sharp bettors have hit the Jackets twice, in the form of one Steam Move and one Reverse Line Move.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that professional bettors expect Columbus to finish off the sweep, but that the plus-money price offers enough value to warrant a wager.

With respected bettors aligning themselves with the Blue Jackets, oddsmakers have had no other choice but to move the line despite the one-sided action coming down on the Lightning.

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