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Predators vs. Lightning Odds, Picks | Target the Total on Thursday

Predators vs. Lightning Odds, Picks | Target the Total on Thursday article feature image
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Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Nashville Predators forward Matt Duchene.

  • The Nashville Predators head to Florida to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in Thursday night NHL action.
  • Both teams have seen a decrease in scoring but maintain solid underlying metrics, meaning the scoring floodgates could open tonight.
  • Grant White breaks down the game and shares his top pick below.

Predators vs. Lightning Odds

Predators Odds +165
Lightning Odds -200
Over/Under 6 (-115 / -105)
Time 7 p.m. ET
TV BSSUNX
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Tampa Bay Lightning and Nashville Predators renew acquaintances on Thursday for the second time over the past few weeks and the last time this season.

Tampa Bay got the better of the Preds in the first matchup, knocking off its Central Division foes, 3-2, at the Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 19. Since then, the Predators have gone on to win four of their last five, while the Bolts have been a less enthusiastic 4-3-0.

How do these teams stack up against each other ahead of Thursday’s rematch?

Nashville Predators

The Predators of old relied on stifling defensive play to win games, but John Hynes has ushered in a new era for the 1998-99 expansion franchise.

Nashville ended last season in the top 12 in scoring, and although it’s had a more tepid start to the 2022-23 campaign, the Predators have amplified their production metrics over their recent sample. The Filip Forsberg-led Preds have scored four or more goals in four of their previous seven games, and their underlying metrics support ongoing success.

Nashville has dialed up the offensive intensity over its past seven games, attempting 26 or more scoring opportunities in four outings and 10 or more high-danger chances in all but two of those contests.

Overall, its scoring has improved, but its five-on-five shooting percentage remains below average, implying that we should see growth in its output metrics over the coming games.

The Preds are scoring on just 5.4% of shots over their seven-game sample — below their season-long average of 7.2% and below where we expect it to be relative to the chances they’re creating.

Lately, we’ve seen impressive scoring from the Predators; however, most of their success relates to special teams scoring. Since Nov. 17, nearly half of their goals have come on the power play or penalty kill.

But their elite production metrics are incompatible with diminished scoring, making them progression candidates in the coming games. We’re expecting them to have some luck scoring as their five-on-five shooting percentage starts working back up toward average.

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Tampa Bay Lightning

The Lightning have been in a similar offensive rut over their past few games, being limited to a 4.4% shooting percentage or worse in three of their last four.

Like the Preds, that decreased scoring has come despite increased production, suggesting that goals should start to flow more naturally for the Bolts as output catches up with their solid underlying metrics.

Tampa is coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Detroit Red Wings in which the Lightning attempted a torrid 26 (twenty-six!) high-danger chances. Somehow, the Lightning were held off the score sheet at five-on-five, which was the second time that happened over their previous four games.

Still, the Lightning have been the preeminent team at creating chances, leading the NHL with 11.7 high-danger opportunities per game. That’s reflected over their recent sample, with the Bolts hitting double-digits in eight of their last 10. With production like that scoring will inevitably follow.

Lastly, Tampa Bay has been one of the most reliable over teams in the league on home ice. The Bolts have eclipsed the total in nine of their 13 games as the hosts for a nice 69.2% over rate. At five-on-five, the team shooting percentage jumps to 8.8% at Amalie Arena compared to 7.4% on the road.

That difference is much more pronounced across all strengths, with the Lightning’s shooting percentage going from 11.7% at home to 9.9% as visitors.

Predators vs. Lightning Pick

Both teams come into this one earmarked for increased scoring.

The Preds haven’t lived up to their superior production recently, while the Lightning have hit a significant roadblock over their last few games.

We’re expecting the floodgates to open in this one, taking a firm stance on the over.

Pick: Over 6 (-115)

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