NHL Picks: Florida Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Florida Panthers

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 9:14 PM GMT

Shop for the best number as we look for the favored Lightning to easily get the job done tonight when selecting the best hockey odds for our bet.

2016-2017 NHL Season Selection Record: 4-3 .571 +2.77 units

That makes it three of four winners after the Rangers had their way with the San Jose Sharks last night as a +115 underdog. If following, your bankroll is just under three units as we have slowly built by playing quality, plus money teams.

Tonight we are going to go against that trend as I've identified a strong favorite play on the Tampa Bay Lightning at -134 but like with all wagers make sure you shop for the best of this line. One book is offering -134 while most are at -145. Get every line right now at SBR's hockey odds.

Lightning Coach, Jon Cooper, said that tonight's match-up with the Florida Panthers should be a "pretty good clash". What he meant to say is he's not happy about losing in the Stanley Cup Finals to Pittsburgh nor is he happy about losing four of five games against the Panthers last season which eventually cost them the division crown. Even though it was the Lightning who's season turned out to be the better of the two, don't think for a minute that Cooper doesn't feel like there is something to prove to their in-state rivals.

Tampa is looking to start 3-0 for the second straight season as Ben Bishop is tonight's confirmed goaltender against James Reimer for the Panthers. It's tough to play against the Bolts at Amalie Arena where their 25 wins last season at home tied for their second most in their history. They have won 25 or more games at home in five of their last six seasons. The only season that they didn't, was Lockout shortened.

We see Panther money coming in mostly because of some talk that Andrei Vasilevskiy was getting the start but Bishop has been confirmed. Talk around the books is that many bettors see a Lightning team that was down by two goals twice in their first two games, only to come back and win. There is some perception that they could easily be 0-2.

That's all true but the tangible that the Lightning own is confidence in their system. Never once did they panic and change their style. There weren't any inspirational speeches in between periods, they just focused on their game.

As always we are not going to overreact to the Lightning's performance early in their first two outings. This is a team that has an embarrassment of riches on both ends of the ice. Worse for Florida and good for our hockey pick is we're going to be on the stronger team with something to prove.

@DanaLaneSports @DanaLaneNHL

Free NHL Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning -134

Best Line Offered: at Matchbox

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