NHL Odds Prove Sharps & Public Split in Blackhawks-Lightning Game 2: Who's Side are we on?

David Lawrence

Friday, June 5, 2015 11:38 AM GMT

The Chicago Blackhawks took Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final and that puts a lot of weight on the Tampa Bay Lightning’s shoulders for Game 2. If they can’t win Game 2, this series is practically over. That’s why Tampa Bay is favored on the NHL betting lines here.

The Chicago Blackhawks Can Win Because…
They expect to each and every night. The Blackhawks have been the team to beat all season long and they are playing like the champs right now. Even in games that they aren’t supposed to win – like Game 1 – they find ways to do it.

What’s scary for the Lightning is that the Blackhawks got the job done in Game 1 and they didn’t get anything from their big guns. Jonathan Toews was quiet and Patrick Kane was held off the scoresheet and Chicago still managed to find a way to win. They also have a power play that’s normally pretty effective but they failed to score on all three attempts in Game 1. In otherwords, Chicago brought their ‘B’ effort and got the job done. What’s going to happen if they bring their ‘A’ game on Saturday?

Tampa Bay is at home and they are favored here, but that doesn’t mean much. Tampa Bay is just 5-6 at home this postseason and they been very weak in front of the home audience. They are giving up 3.18 goals per game at home these playoffs, which is the second-worst number of all 16 playoff teams. That’s why Chicago is the better choice for your NHL picks.

 

The Tampa Bay Lightning Can Win Because…
This is do or die for them. Although they played well in Game 1, expect them to kick it up a notch in Game 2. This is a team that won 31 home games in the regular season – more than anyone else – and while they’ve had their fair share of problems at home in the playoffs, they’d rather Game 2 be at home with the audience on their side.

The reality is that the Lightning dominated Game 1 for most of three periods but they just had a rough three-minute stretch. If they can do the same in Game 1 but find a way to get a lead of more than one goal, they’ll be in far better shape. They have an electric offense that’s scored 2.67 goals per game in the playoffs and averaged 28.2 shots per game. They only had one goal and 22 shots in Game 1. Look for them to ramp it up in Game 2 and make Corey Crawford work a little harder.

Must read: Check out this O/U NHL pick for Saturday's game 2

Outlook
Bodog has the Lightning at -125 compared to The Greek, who has them at -130. That shows me that the public likes the Blackhawks in this spot yet the sharps are leaning more towards Tampa Bay. I don’t think it’s a great play but if we’re picking sides in Game 2, I think Tampa Bay’s motivation should be much stronger than Chicago’s here. Take the Lightning.

NHL Pick: Lightning -125 at Bodog

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