James Guillory, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Elias Pettersson
Betting odds: Vancouver Canucks at Tampa Bay Lightning
- Canucks moneyline: +235
- Lightning moneyline: -275
- Over/Under: 6.5 (-105/-115)
- Puck drop: 7:30 p.m. ET
>> All odds as of 12 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NHL odds and track your bets
This is the part of my job where I try to convince complete strangers that they should consider throwing their hard-earned money on a really bad hockey team against perhaps the best hockey team.
If you’re still with me, I’ll do my best to explain.
The Vancouver Canucks came into this season as a 100-1 longshot to win the Stanley Cup. They are in the middle of a rebuild and nobody expected much out of them in 2018-19.
Vancouver’s possession numbers and expected goal rates back up the notion that this is a bad team. The Canucks have controlled just shot 40% of the shot share (meaning they are giving up six shot attempts for every four they take at 5v5) and have allowed 3.26 expected goals against per 60 minutes at 5-on-5.
None of that screams “bet on this team!” but the Canucks won’t be this bad forever. They played Calgary (twice) and Carolina to open the season and those are two strong possession teams. They play another one on Thursday night in the Lightning, but Tampa had some trouble with the Panthers in its lone game this season.
I expect Tampa to win this game. The Lightning are the cream of the NHL crop. The Canucks are almost the polar opposite of that. But this number is still just a little too high.
At the current price, the Canucks have an implied probability of 29.9%. I think that is a little low, and Vancouver is worth a bet, albeit a risky one.
The Bet: Vancouver Canucks +235
Betting odds: Vegas Golden Knights at Pittsburgh Penguins
- Golden Knights moneyline: +170
- Penguins moneyline: -200
- Over/Under: 6.5 (-115/-105)
- Puck drop: 7 p.m. ET
The Golden Knights are on a back-to-back after losing to Washington, 5-2, in D.C. on Wednesday night. They will play backup goalie, Malcolm Subban, against Pittsburgh.