Stephen R. Sylvanie, USA Today Sports. Pictured: William Karlsson
Betting odds: Anaheim Ducks at Tampa Bay Lightning
- Ducks moneyline: +210
- Lightning moneyline: -235
- Over/Under: 6
- Puck drop: 7:30 p.m. ET
>> All odds as of 12 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NHL odds and track your bets
The Tampa Bay Lightning are who we thought they were. The Bolts are 17-6-1 with 35 points and a +24 goal differential. They are tied with the Nashville Predators for first in the NHL and with the Maple Leafs for best goal differential.
Under the hood everything checks out for the Lightning. They are fourth in Corsi (54.2%) and High-Danger Scoring Chance rate (55.7%) and fifth in expected goal rate (54.2%). While Tampa Bay’s high-powered offense is their calling card, they are actually one of the league’s best defensive teams, allowing the second-fewest expected goals against per 60 in the NHL.
Tampa Bay is a well-oiled machine and it is no surprise that the Bolts are such heavy favorites over the Ducks at home.
However, there is a path to victory for Anaheim here and it won’t be pretty. The Ducks will, in all likelihood, get caved in. They have the worst expected goal rates in the NHL, allow the second-most shot attempts per 60 minutes and allow four more High-Danger Scoring Chances per 60 than they create.
Things won’t get easier for Anaheim as the Ducks will be without Cam Fowler and possibly Hampus Lindholm, two of their top-four defensemen, in Tampa.
Where the Ducks do have an edge, and it’s a big one, is in goal. John Gibson is among the elite goaltenders in the league (he’s ranked No. 3 by Corsica) and is single-handedly keeping Anaheim’s season on the rails. The Lightning, on the other hand, will be without their star goalie, Andrei Vasilevskiy, for a few more weeks and will need to rely on Louis Domingue for the time being.
Domingue has been a below replacement-level netminder for his career and even though he’s getting wins, the 26-year-old is not turning any heads with his .905 raw save percentage and -1.51 Goals Saved Above Average this season.
These odds suggest the Ducks have a 31.5% chance of winning (when removing the vigorish) and while there is a big gap between these two teams I think Gibson levels the playing field just enough to give Anaheim some value and I’d play them at +195 or better.
The Bet: Anaheim Ducks +210
Betting odds: Vegas Golden Knights at Chicago Blackhawks
- Golden Knights moneyline: -120
- Blackhawks moneyline: +100
- Over/Under: 5.5
- Puck drop: 8 p.m. ET
- Channel: NBCSN