Lightning vs. Flyers Betting Guide: Is Philadelphia Still Undervalued?
Len Redkoles/Getty Images. Pictured: Cam Atkinson
- Updated Flyers vs. Lightning odds list Philly as a +150 on the road at DraftKings Sportsbook, up 10 cents from when it opened last night.
- Nicholas Martin is backing the underdog here, especially with Brayden Point on the shelf for Tampa.
- Get his full Flyers at Lightning preview and pick below.
Lightning vs. Flyers Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Flyers will head into Amalie Arena to get reacquainted with the Lightning after suffering a tough 4-3 loss to the defending champs at home on Thursday. Philadelphia followed that up with a disappointing 5-2 loss to the Bruins, while the Lightning managed a weekend split playing host to the Devils and Wild.
A home loss to the Devils Saturday was far from the worst news to Bolts fans this weekend because a frightening collision into the boards Saturday left superstar center Brayden Point out indefinitely.
Most teams would be crippled with the losses of two players of the calibre of Point and Nikita Kucherov, but will we see coach Jon Cooper’s excellent Lightning group continue to manage?
Tampa Bay Lightning
The resilient cup champs have displayed just how much talent this roster holds in the early going this season by posting a 10-4-3 record skating without one of the league’s very best in Nikita Kucherov and coming off of another short summer.
The Bolts will face a daunting new challenge however now skating without center Brayden Point, who is arguably the most important roster piece outside of Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Tampa did manage yet another win past regulation Sunday in their first contest without Point, their sixth win in 3-on-3 or shootout, pushing their record past regulation to 6-3.
The team to my eye hasn’t looked as dominant as a 55.24 xGF% indicates in the early going however, and I am not overly surprised to see a Goal Differential of just +3, which is lower than one would expect given a 10-4-3 mark.
Andrei Vasilevskiy has been otherworldly again however, and he has stopped 5.1 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx), with a .917 Save %. He will all but certainly start tomorrow after having rested Sunday against Minnesota in favor of backup Brian Elliott.
The Bolts managed effectively Sunday against a strong a Minnesota group, but I expect the results to worsen as Point’s absence wears on.
Defender Eric Cernak is a very underrated piece as well, and he will likely remain out for the contest.
A somewhat surprising 8-5-3 start goes as a notable improvement for coach Alain Vignault’s Flyers group as he has Philly holding a wildcard berth for the time being.
Philly have had a tough schedule to start the year by facing competition currently averaging 14.43 in the league rankings. Two of those games came against Boston, who are ranked notably lower than we can expect in 19th due to some odd scheduling.
The Flyers have played a number of contests against analytical darlings (who are also mainly very good where it counts) in Boston, Toronto, Florida, Tampa Bay, Calgary, Pittsburgh, and Carolina among others. I believe the result has left the Flyers with worse numbers wise than we will see as the season wears on.
The team might not finish with the ninth best goals against per game average, where they currently sit, but I feel we can safely assume they won’t finish anywhere near third worst GF/GP, as their xGA/60 2.81 at even strength suggests they could, and I do not feel that number is fair altogether.
Last season Carter Hart posted a -18.3 GSAx with an .877 Save %, while Martin Jones held a league worst -18.9 GSAx rating, as well as an .896 Save %. This season Hart owns a GSAx of +12.1, with a .932 save %, while Jones owns a +2.0 GSAx with a .920 Save %.
I’m sure some regression is coming to those numbers, but it is hard for me to believe both goaltenders could see such drastic improvement if the Flyers have been as bad in front of goal as some numbers indicate (even considering how much of a guessing game goaltending is after such horrendous seasons last year).
They have likely managed the level of breakdowns to an extent, limiting the number of chances which offer the ability to truly curve the data as broken down here.
Kevin Hayes and Ryan Ellis will remain out for the contest.
Lightning vs. Flyers Pick
Outside of xGF% ratings, I feel these teams have been closer than some may believe. Specifically defensively, where as stated I feel the Flyers are showing worse analytically than they may actually be playing — did Martin Jones and Carter Hart both really get this much better over a summer?
Seems a little hard for me to believe, and my thoughts are that the Flyers have cleaned up the shot quality more than indicated, although the loss of Ryan Ellis to the back end is meaningful.
As we saw during Tampa’s 4-3 shootout victory in Philly last week, the Flyers have the ability to hang in with this talented Lightning squad.
Brayden Point was true to form in that contest, claiming the game’s first star selection. As stated, the Bolts will be without his services here, which is a very crucial absence as his spectacular play down the middle and in all situations has made him the Bolts’ most valuable skater this season.
Considering that loss, and the Flyers’ very reasonable play altogether this season, I think the Flyers hold value at +140 and would play them down to +130.
Pick: Philadelphia Flyers Moneyline +140 (DraftKings, play to +130)