Lay the Juice & Take the Lightning's Money Line -165 Over the Red Wings With Your NHL Picks

Joe Catalano

Friday, March 20, 2015 1:18 PM GMT

Friday, Mar. 20, 2015 1:18 PM GMT

Those placing NHL picks tonight would be wise to understand that this is a huge game for Detroit as they need to turn the tables in this head to head series of meetings against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

 

Face-off is set for tonight at 7:30 pm ET at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida.  Things appear one-sided as the Lightning are a -165 betting favorite, according tothe NHL odds, and the total for the game is listed at 5.5 goals.

 

Starting Goalies
The Red Wings have things set as Jimmy Howard is the confirmed goaltender to try to turn things around against the Lightning. As for the Lightning, there's no confirmation, but we're expecting Ben Bishop in net.

Howard has the unenviable task of stopping a Lightning team which possesses one of the best offenses in the league. That said, Howard hasn't been over worked and has been a very solid goalie this season. For the season, he's 20-11-9 with a 2.38 GAA.

The only red flag that I see and it's a big red flag is that Howard is coming off of a terrible outing against the Flyers on the 14th of March in which he allowed 7 goals! Detroit is hoping that the time off will help Howard forget about that game because Tampa Bay is quite capable of putting up a 7 spot on any team in this league.

Ben Bishop has gotten a ton of support on the offensive end this season and it reflects this fact in his record. For the season, Bishop is 34-11-4 with a 2.32 GAA. In the month of March, Bishop is 3-1-1 with a 1.97 GAA while he's also experienced success against Detroit going 2-0 with a 1.92 GAA. Everything in this matchup thus far leans towards the Ligtning as the betting pick.

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Steven Stamkos
The Lighting are averaging 3.2 goals per game, which is tops in the NHL, and a big reason for that has been the play of Steven Stamkos. Stamkos.

Stamkos leads the Lightning in points and has been a a flatout beast as of late. He had 2 goals and 1 assist in his last game, a 4-2 victory against Montreal and Stamkos has 5 goals and 3 assists in his last 8 games. He's also faired well against the Red Wings. In 2 games, he's had 3 goals against Detroit. This guy is an offensive machine that's nearing the 50 goal mark and Detroit appears to be in trouble here as this is the perfect matchup for Stamkos, who plays well beyond his age.

The Lightning Are +550 to Win the Eastern Conference

Zetterberg On the Assist
The Red WIngs will be without 2nd leading scorer, Pavel Datsyuk, and that will be a major blow as they need guys that can put the puck in the net. Datsyuk was one of the WIngs 3- 20 goal scorers and now they'll have to rely on Tomas Tatar (25 goals, 24 assists) and Gustav Nyquist (22 goals, 26 assists). The one thing that these two player excel at his the power play and I'm sure that they'll get an opportunity in this game. Of course, Detroit has leading scorer, Henrik Zetterberg, who is a terrific set up man. In his last 8 games, Zetterberg has 1 goals and 9 assists

When everything is said and done, the Lightning are the better team that's gotten the best of the Red Wings with their ability to score. I wouldn't be surprised if Stamkos has another big game. Lay the juice and take Tampa Bay as your NHL pick.

NHL Pick- Tampa Bay -165 at 5Dimes

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