There’s just one game in the NHL on Monday: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Edmonton Oilers. Our resident sports betting guru gives us his professional analysis, which includes a NHL free pick on the total.
Contender versus a Cellar Dweller
The Oilers host the Lightning on Monday night at Rexall Place in Edmonton with the opening puck drop slated for 9:35 PM ET. According to the NHL betting odds at Heritage, the Lighting is a -160 money line favorite, and the posted total is 5.5. Pinnacle has Tampa Bay -1.5 (+184) and Edmonton +1.5 (-205) on the puck line. The home team has won the last 4-meetings between these teams.
Oilers Futility Continues
The Edmonton Oilers have been the poster team for futility in the Western Conference during recent years. After finishing dead last in the Western Conference standings a season ago, they’ve began the 2014-2015 NHL campaign by going 0-5, and they’ve been outscored by a cumulative score of 25-11. The Oilers have seen 4 of their first 5-games go over the total with a combined average of 7.2 goals scored per outing. Edmonton has gone a dismal 12-43 in their last 55-games versus an opponent with a winning record. They’ve gone under the total in just 1 of their last 10-games versus an Eastern Conference opponent.
A Beast in the East
There’s a pretty good chance when the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs arrive, the Tampa Bay Lightning will be mentioned as a serious threat to make a deep postseason run barring key injuries. This will be the 2nd of a 5-game in 8-day road trip for the Lightning. They opened the trip with a 4-2 win at Vancouver on Saturday. The Lightning has averaged 3.4 goals per game in their 3-2 start, and they’re converting a very good 29.2% of their power play opportunities. Dating back to last season, Tampa Bay has seen just 1 of their last 12 road games go under the total, and have played on the low side of the number in only 6 of the last 26 when facing a Western Conference opponent.
Both of these teams have showed a tendency of playing high scoring affairs when in non-conference games. This one has all the ear marks of a wide open entertaining game. If it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, then it’s a duck.
Free NHL Pick: Lightning/Oilers to go over the total of 5.5 for your NHL pick today