Bettors to Get Hammered in Tampa Bay: NHL Picks of the Day

Dana Lane

Saturday, October 14, 2017 3:56 PM UTC

Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017 3:56 PM UTC

Last night the New Jersey Devils showed us why we shouldn’t get too enamored with the NHL flavor of the week which I tried to protect against by betting the first period but there is still a definitive difference between the Devils and the Washington Capitals.  No sweat as it was only our second loss of the season. 


Tampa Bay - St. Louis

No sooner did we finish today’s episode of the ‘Ice Guys’ and the line on my best bet dropped as I said it might.  The Tampa Bay Lightning opened at -160 according to the SBR odds page, a line I wanted no part of until the public and ‘sharps’ pounded the St. Louis Blues dropping this number to a manageable -135.  I’m adding a half unit to tonight’s play because the goal is to get to the 10 unit mark as fast as I can so I can live off of that for the rest of the season. A little risky at -134 but even if the game loses we’ve still been profitable. 

I’ve been told that speed and offense wins in the National Hockey League.  I suppose I’m old fashion in thinking that defense and depth win Stanley Cups but I’ll trust the analytics guys today by backing the offensively superior Tampa Bay Lightning.  Jon Cooper’s team is averaging 4.50 goals per game ranking them 3rd in the NHL early on. The Lightning hasn’t been held to under four goals through four games, so if you’re on the Blues you’re anticipating a defensive meltdown.  I suppose it’s not out of the realm of possibility because Andrei Vasilevskiy has yet.  Through four games the Russian hasn’t allowed less than three goals but we know he’s better than what he’s shown so far even though I’ve never been a huge Vasilevskiy supporter.   

I gain confidence in this play when I hear Cooper talk about a renewed commitment to defense.  The Lightning has given up too many chances, allowing 40 shots in two of their first four games (37.5/gm).  Only the Calgary Flames have given up more shots (37.8) 

The Lightning Can Outshoot Their Defensive Issues for Now  

Steven Stamkos finally found the scoresheet Thursday against Pittsburgh giving him his first goal since November 15th, 2016.  If Stamkos can get into a groove that will add to a top line that has as much potential as any top line in the league with Nikita Kucherov and Vladisav Namestnikov on his wings.   

Cooper made a good point when he stated that the majority of their chances given up are on the power play so the focus tonight will be to cut down on penalties and protect Vasilevskiy.  Although Tampa is among the most penalized teams this season (12:15), it’s the Blues who are ranked 8th with 13:00 of penalty time per game.  Doesn’t seem like a major difference but when teams go on the road, and their legs get tired in the 3rd period, they have a tendency to take more penalties giving our bet another edge. 

Wait until game time to make this NHL pick, as the line might move more in our favor. 

NHL Picks: Tampa Bay Straight Up
Current Best Line is (-137) at Heritage

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