Our resident NHL handicapping professional provides us with a very unique perspective on the opening game of the playoff series between Detroit and Tampa Bay. Read this intriguing betting preview article that culminates with a money line selection.
Red Wings and Lightning Series Opener
Tampa Bay will begin their pursuit of their second Stanley Cup in franchise history when they host Detroit on Thursday at 7:35 PM ET. According to the NHL betting odds at Pinnacle, Tampa Bay is a -172 money line favorite, and the posted total is 5.5. These teams met four times during the regular season, and the Lightning won on three of those occasions. However, the last time they played was on March 28th in Detroit, and the Red Wings skated away with a convincing 4-0 win.
Two Betting Angles that Uncover Value
Both of these teams are part of the Atlantic Division so they don’t lack for familiarity. The Red Wings ended the regular season with a 2-0 win at Carolina. This creates a straightforward, yet very profitable, money line road underdog betting system that’s certainly passed the test of time.
Any money line road underdog (Detroit) that’s coming off a road shutout win, and they’re facing an opponent (Tampa Bay) from within their own division, has gone 48-37 (56.5%) since the start of the 1996-1997 NHL campaign. Before you begin to scoff at what can be seen as an unimpressive winning percentage, let’s take a moment to look inside the numbers of those eight-five games. The average line for the money line road underdog in those contests was +155. The current money line at the time of this writing has Detroit at +162. Below is an illustration of how much you would have profited by wagering on the underdog in all eight-five of these games.
Risking $100 made a profit of $3780
Risking $200 made a profit of $7560
Risking $500 made a profit of $18,900
Risking $1000 made a profit of $37,800
The next betting angle I want to discuss wins at a higher percentage, and has no parameters of home, away, underdog, or favorite. However, it does involve strictly money line betting.
The Tampa Bay Lightning finished the regular season by winning their final two games in overtime, 4-3 versus New Jersey, and 3-2 against Boston. As I alluded to earlier in this article, Detroit is coming off a 2-0 win over Carolina. These results fit perfectly into a money line betting system that wins at a very high percentage, and was the kicker for me regarding my NHL picks on Thursday.
Any team (Detroit) against the money line, coming off a win by two goals or more, versus an opponent (Tampa Bay) coming off two consecutive wins that both came in overtime, resulted in that team going 71-36 (66.4%) since 1996. The average money line for that team was +100, and this betting system also produced a very handsome return on investment.
NHL Pick: Play Detroit +162 on the money line over Tampa Bay at Pinnacle.