We inspect the opening lines & subsequent movements in NHL odds for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Our betting preview article includes news and notes on both clubs.
Stanley Cup Final Opening Line and Early Movement
The Stanley Cup Finals will resume on Monday as the series moves to Chicago for Game 3. The major sportsbooks opening line had Chicago as a -150 money line favorite, and the posted total was 5.0. A wager on going over the total was at a price of -140 and an under bet at +127. At the time of this writing (Sunday at 11:15 AM ET) there was some slight money line movement, and more noticeable change to the total. Both Heritage and Wagerweb moved the total to 5.5. The money line movement at this juncture could be viewed as inconsequential with 5Dimes lowering Chicago to -145, and Wagerweb raising the ante on the Blackhawks to -155.
Huge Question for Game 3 in Goal for Lightning
Before I even begin my quest to uncover wagering value in Game 3, the Tampa Bay goaltending situation must have some degree of clarity. The Lightning #1 goaltender Ben Bishop exited Game 3 late in the third period with his team clinging to a 4-3 lead, and was replaced by backup Andrei Vasilevsky. Bishop also removed himself earlier in the game and then proceeded to return a short time later. There were no visible or obvious signs of injury, although one must reasonably assume that to be the case. It’s customary in the NHL playoffs for teams to be vague when disclosing the injury status of a player. Unless Bishop sustained a season ending injury I look for that annoying tradition to continue.
News and Notes
The Tampa Bay Lightning have been the polar opposite pertaining to their home and away splits in the playoffs, compared to that of the regular season. They went 32-9 at home during the regular season which was best in the NHL. Despite their win in Game 2, they’ve gone a head scratching 6-6 on home ice during the postseason. However, Tampa is a superb 7-3 on the road during these 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and that’s in stark contrast to a below par 18-23 regular season mark. The Lightning has gone 6-3-1 under the total during their road playoff games. They’ve also gone 7-2 under the total in the postseason following a game which went over the number.
The Chicago Blackhawks were decent but far from dominating at home during the regular season with a 24-17 record. The playoffs have been a whole different story. The Hawks have gone a superb 7-1 at the United Center during the postseason. They’ve also gone 5-2-1 over the NHL odds total in those home games. Keep this in mind when preparing your NHL picks.