Bruins vs. Lightning Game 4 Updated Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions (Saturday, August 29)
Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Dan Vladar
- Check out our NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs betting preview for Saturday's Game 4 between the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning.
- Michael Leboff breaks down today's matchup including odds, picks and predictions for Game 4.
Bruins vs. Lightning Odds
|Bruins Odds||-118 [BET NOW]|
|Lightning Odds||+102 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||5.5 (-117/-105) [BET NOW]|
|Time||12 p.m. ET|
Buying low on a team after a blowout loss in a playoff series is often a good strategy. Bettors often overreact to what they saw last, and that can inflate the price in the next game.
We’ve seen this happen a couple of times already in this tournament, most recently when Vancouver was toppled over by Vegas, 5-0, in Game 1 of their series. The Canucks climbed as high as +195 before Game 2, even though they closed at +163 in the opener.
So when the Boston Bruins lost 7-1 in Game 3, I expected bettors would flock toward the Lightning and create some value coming back on Boston in Game 4.
That hasn’t happened. At least not yet.
Bruins vs. Lightning Odds History
The odds for this series have been tight every game, and Boston’s capitulation in Game 3 did nothing to change that.
|Boston Bruins||Tampa Bay Lightning|
Odds via DraftKings
Boston and Tampa Bay are the two best teams in the NHL, and they’re playing on neutral ice, so you were never going to see a big number on either side, but I did think Boston would creep above even money on the heels of its two-game losing streak. Especially because Tampa has been the better 5-on-5 team to this point.
Boston jumped out to an early lead in Game 1 thanks to a sloppy first period and a few mistakes from Tampa, but other than those 20 shaky minutes, the Lightning have been pushing play in the right direction. Tampa has the advantage in goals, expected goals, shot attempts and high-danger scoring chances through nearly 150 minutes at even strength.
|5-on-5 Stat||Tampa Bay Lightning||Boston Bruins|
|High-danger scoring chances||34||19|
Expected goals (also known as xG) is a predictive statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as shooting luck or outstanding goaltending.
Simply put, an expected goals rate (xGF%) above 50% is considered good because it means a team is creating the majority of the scoring chances. Anything below 50% is usually a sign that a team is struggling to control play.
xG numbers cited from Evolving Hockey.
Tampa’s depth, especially up top, has played a key role in its success through the first three games of this series. Blake Coleman, Yanni Gourde, Barclay Goodrow and Patrick Maroon are having a lot of success against the bottom-half of Boston’s roster. The top of these rosters may be a wash, but so far Tampa’s depth is winning out against the B’s.
That could be the difference in a series this tight.
I’ve got a lot of time for both of these teams. The Bruins are masters of their defensive system, opportunistic and have game-breakers in all areas of the ice. The Lightning are deep, exciting, and despite their high-flying ability, don’t abandon their defensive duties to sell out for offense.
I wouldn’t call anybody nuts for taking Boston at a number like this, but in a pick’em environment, I’ll keep going back to Tampa Bay. There’s very little that separates these two teams, but the Bolts are deeper and have better goaltending, so I’ll keep backing the Lightning so long as I don’t have to pay up for them.
At -110 or better (check out our updated odds page to shop for the best number), I like the Bolts. If the Tampa money does show up and pushes Boston to +110, I’d back the B’s.