Tuesday NHL Odds, Picks, Prediction: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Carolina Hurricanes Betting Preview
Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Seth Jarvis
- The Tampa Bay Lightning visit Carolina Hurricanes in Tuesday's NHL showdown.
- The spread is tight in this matchup of top Stanley Cup contenders, so who will come out on top in this meeting?
- Greg Liodice takes a deep dive into this affair below and gives his top betting selection.
Lightning vs. Hurricanes Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Two Eastern Conference powerhouses square off Tuesday as the two-time Stanley Cup champs Tampa Bay Lightning visit the Carolina Hurricanes. It’ll be the second time these teams square off; the Hurricanes won in overtime back in November. The oddsmakers have opened this moneyline at around a toss-up.
Could the Bolts finally be feeling the heat? While they still remain one of the league’s better teams, they haven’t been playing their best of late. Tampa is 5-5 in its last 10 games, which is uncharacteristic for the champs.
Carolina isn’t playing its best hockey either. The Canes are 4-4-2 in their last 10 games, but still hold the top spot in the Metropolitan Division.
Lightning Loaded Up for Stretch
The Bolts loaded up their roster at the trade deadline in hopes to go on a run for a third-straight Stanley Cup. Picking up Nick Paul and Brandon Hagel bolstered their depth, which was much needed after losing key pieces in the offseason.
The usual suspects in Central Florida are dominating the league, with Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman all averaging better than a point per game, while Brayden Point isn’t far behind either.
With a loaded team and the experience that Tampa has, you’re bound to cause fits for the opposition. Tampa is averaging 3.36 goals per game and a 53.45 xGF% (expected goals for) which are both in the top 10. The Lightning do create a ton of high danger chances, but the power play isn’t as good as one might think — only scoring at a 20.4% clip.
The Lightning have a very solid blue line, and they continue to get better as the season progresses. They’re averaging 2.79 goals against per game, and stifle the opposition when it comes to creating high danger chances. They could be a little better on the PK, however, with only an 80.1% success rate.
Over the course of the past few years, there hasn’t been a better goalie than Andrei Vasilevskiy. The former Vezina and Conn Smythe winner is posting his usual elite numbers with a .919 SV% and a +22.4 GSAx (Goals Saved Above Expected). His backup, Brian Elliott, has done as good of a job as Tampa can ask for in limited relief. However, I’d expect Vasilevskiy to play against a fellow Eastern Conference powerhouse.
Hurricanes Clicking on All Cylinders
The Hurricanes snuck into the news as they were able to trade for Max Domi at the trade deadline. Though it’s uncertain if he will play in this game, it’s still a big pickup. Carolina has a loaded team up front with players like Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov, Teuvo Teravainen and Vinny Trocheck lighting it up.
Carolina is not a team many want to face, even if you are a two-time defending champion. The Hurricanes are one of the better teams offensively, scoring 3.34 goals per game and a 54.61 xGF%. Their ability to generate high danger chances is one of the best, as they’re third in that category, and a top team on the power play, scoring at a 23.8% clip.
Along with their deadly offense, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better defense. Carolina is currently No. 1 in goals allowed per game (2.37), and also have the best penalty kill, with a staggering 89.2% success rate.
Since coming to Carolina, Freddie Andersen is having himself a career year. The Danish net-minder is posting incredible numbers with a .928 SV% and a second best +28.6 GSAx. His backup, Antti Raanta, is one of the better backups in the league with a .918 SV% and a +6.5 GSAx. In the end, I see Andersen getting the nod against the two time champs.
Lightning vs. Hurricanes Pick
With two high-powered offenses, I would typically bet the over, but both net-minders are too good that I feel like it’s too risky.
Both squads have exceptional defenses and very similar offenses, but I will give the edge to the Hurricanes. They have an elite penalty kill and the ability to keep the puck out of the net. Factoring in that they’re nearly unbeatable at home, it’s hard not to side with the Hurricanes.
Pick: Carolina ML (-110)