Blackhawks vs. Lightning Offer Great Value on Money Line & Totals for Saturday's NHL Picks

Ross Benjamin

Saturday, June 13, 2015 5:12 PM GMT

Our NHL consultant is 3-1 in the Stanley Cup Finals and 35-22 with his 2015 NHL Playoff selections overall. He’s providing us with a betting preview article on Saturday’s Game 5 which includes both a money line and totals pick.

NHL Stanley Cup Finals Game 5
The Blackhawks and Lightning are set to square off on Saturday in Tampa for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals. The series is currently deadlocked at two games apiece, and three of those first four have gone under the total. All four games have been decided by one goal, and neither team has possessed a two goal lead in the series. That’s the first time in which that’s occurred in the Stanley Cup Finals since 1968. The shots on goal have favored Chicago by a narrow 107-104 margin, and each team has accumulated 24 minutes in penalties. Needless to say, this has been a closely contested and evenly matched series to this point.

Check out this NHL pick by Dave for tonight's Blackhawks-Lightning

Money Line Analysis
There’s been nothing easy about picking a money line winner during the first four games of this series. Both teams have won on the road and lost at home.

Despite the Lightning advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals, they’ve been only 6-6 on home ice during these playoffs. This will also be the 25th playoff game for Tampa Bay, and they’re assured of tying the NHL record set by Los Angeles who played in 26 postseason contests in 2014. Granted there’s a lot of stake right now for fatigue to be an excuse or a factor, but there’s also the reality of a human element which needs consideration in that regard.

Chicago has gone a solid 6-5 on the road during these 2015 NHL Playoffs. This is a Blackhawks team which possesses a plethora of playoff and big game experience. After all, Chicago is currently playing in their third Stanley Cup Finals in six years, and has also been involved in five of the previous seven Western Conference Finals series. Experience hasn’t been a factor through the first four games but will certainly pay dividends for Chicago the longer this series goes.

I’m looking for Chicago to play their best game of these Stanley Cup Finals tonight. The Lightning’s uncertainty and instability in goal will catch up with them in Game 5. Heritage provides me with the best money line price for the visitors.

NHL Pick: Chicago +110 on the money line over Tampa Bay at Pinnacle.

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Totals Analysis and Pick
These teams have met a combined six times this season in the regular season and playoffs. They’ve gone 5-1 under the total in those contests. Despite the multitude of offensive talent on these two rosters, there’s been a mind boggling lack of quality chances during this series. As a matter of fact, Chicago has averaged only 26.7 shots on goal per game, and Tampa is at just 26.0 per contest. Chicago players seemed to indicate after Game 4 that it’s not to their advantage to get into a wide open game against Tampa Bay. I look for Tampa to play a tight checking defensive minded game due to their goaltending situation. They played that way in Game 4 at Chicago, and held them to only 19 shots on goal.

Both teams will be very attentive to defensive detail, and cognizant of their opponent’s ability to create outnumbered situations via the counterattack. As a result, my prediction is for this game to be a low scoring affair, and that will be one of my NHL picks. Heritage provides me with the best valued price on that totals selection.

NHL Pick: Chicago and Tampa Bay under 5.5 (-135) at GT Bets

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