Predators vs. Lightning Odds & Picks: Value on Not-So-Flashy Nashville Saturday
John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: The Nashville Predators celebrate a shootout win.
- The Tampa Bay Lightning look to end their two-game losing streak on Saturday when they face off against the Nashville Predators.
- Matt Russell explains why the value is on Nashville in this matchup instead of the favored defending champs.
Predators vs. Lightning Odds
|Moneyline||+145 / -167|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Friday night and via DraftKings.|
There’s no “Kansas City Chiefs of the NHL.” No team that you should be completely terrified to bet against.
Since people tend to compare one sport to another, you might hear someone say that the Tampa Bay Lightning are that team. In sports betting parlance, that’s an inauthentic comparison, because the Lightning will never be a -500 favorite against anyone in the NHL.
Football is also different in that, if the Chiefs lost two straight games, there would be a constant “What’s wrong with them?!” chime throughout the sports media talking-head orchestra.
If the Lightning lose two games in a row? Nobody notices. No one uses phrases like, “There’s no way they’ll lose three in a row.” It happens all the time to the best teams in hockey. Unfortunately for Tampa, it happened four times in a row two years ago, to start the playoffs. A three-game losing streak would be nothing to panic about.
Let’s see if we can test that theory.
Without their mascot jumping an ATV onto the ice to start the game or the home playoff crowd all dressed in yellow, there’s not much to the Nashville Predators for the common sports fan. Their results to start the season haven’t been particularly impactful, either.
The Predators survived the first two games against the equally grind-y Columbus Blue Jackets, getting a pair of wins in evenly played games. They weren’t so lucky after that, dropping three straight while getting absolutely worked while short-handed, particularly in Dallas.
The Stars lit up the Predators for eight total power play goals in two games. Staying out of the penalty box would be a good idea when facing the team with the offensive firepower of the Lightning.
Tampa Bay Lightning
The Lightning haven’t been that hot to start the season (13th in the league), and while they’ve had massive games from a chance-creation standpoint at 5-on-5, the conversion rate has been a disappointing 12%. This might be the time to take advantage of the Lightning’s struggles to convert as they adjust to not having star winger Nikita Kucherov this season.
The Blue Jackets and Hurricanes were able to keep the Bolts at bay offensively as Tampa’s two opponents after an early season warm-up against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Hurricanes survived 16 High-Danger Chances (HDC) from the Lightning to score a 1-0 overtime win on Thursday night. The Blue Jackets gave up just two goals on 23 HDCs from the Lightning in getting a split off the defending champions.
My model makes the Lightning slightly better than a 56% favorite to beat the Predators, so it expects a price of TB -140/NSH +120 based on the way they’ve each played this season. However, the market is more likely to consider the Lightning closer to -200.
From an eye-test standpoint, the Lightning aren’t gaining the separation from teams to get the credit that their moneyline price is expecting from them. From a strictly numbers standpoint, the value is on the not-so-flashy Predators, so I’ll take a chance on Nashville handing Tampa Bay its third straight loss — which won’t result in more than a raised eyebrow in the hockey betting community.
Pick: Predators (+150 or better)