NHL Betting Odds, Picks (Tuesday, March 3): Bruins vs. Lightning, Wild vs. Predators and More

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Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

Mar 03, 2020, 05:00 PM EST
  • The updated odds for the Boston Bruins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning make the Lightning -120 favorites at home.
  • Tampa enters the matchup 1-4 over the past five games and is dealing with a key injury.
  • See the full betting breakdown below for tonight's games below including Michael Leboff's picks.

Hockey is weird.

Basically every contender in the Eastern Conference got better on paper at the Trade Deadline.

The Bruins, Lightning, Capitals, Flyers, Penguins, Islanders, Maple Leafs, Panthers and Hurricanes all made impact deals during the trade period. Most of the moves were for role players, but there was plenty of buzz about the business that was conducted in the East.

But, as they say, the game isn’t played on a spreadsheet and plenty of teams in the East have struggled over the past two weeks. The Penguins have lost six in a row, the Lightning have lost four of five, the Capitals are 4-5-1 in their last 10, the Isles are in the midst of a 2-5-2 stretch, the Hurricanes have one win in their last five games, the Blue Jackets have two wins since Feb. 8 and the Panthers have completely fallen off.

These parallel stumbles have allowed the Bruins to expand their lead over the Bolts in the Atlantic, the Leafs to separate themselves from the Panthers and the Flyers to make a run at the Metropolitan Division title.

Let’s look at Tuesday’s slate and see where it takes us.


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Boston Bruins at Tampa Bay Lightning

  • Bruins odds: +100
  • Lightning odds: -120
  • Over/Under: 6
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
  • TV: NBCSN

Not only are the Tampa Bay Lightning in the middle of a skid, but they lost star forward Steven Stamkos for up to eight weeks due to a core muscle injury. The Bolts still have an outside chance of catching the Bruins and winning the Atlantic Division, but it looks very likely that the Lightning will take on the Toronto Maple Leafs in Round 1 of the playoffs.

If Tampa wants to avoid a first-round tussle with the Leafs, they better win Tuesday’s showdown with the Bruins (who may also be missing star forward Brad Marchand, questionable with an illness, for what it’s worth).

While Tampa’s season has featured a couple of peaks and valleys, the Bruins have remained remarkably consistent. Boston ranks fifth in the NHL in expected goals rate, second in expected goals against per 60 minutes and first in goals against per 60 minutes (all at 5-on-5).

Add in Boston’s terrific power play and its terrific goaltending and you’ve got yourself a recipe for arguably the best team in the NHL at the moment.

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