NHL Picks: Expect Canadiens to Bounce Back & Even the Series Against Lightning in Game 2

Ross Benjamin

Saturday, May 2, 2015 2:38 PM UTC

Saturday, May. 2, 2015 2:38 PM UTC

Our NHL handicapping expert has gone a stellar 17-8-2 in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Join us in reading his betting preview article on Game 2 of the series between Tampa Bay and Montreal. He’s also included his money line selection on this game.

Game 2 at the Bell Centre in Montreal on Sunday
The Montreal Canadiens will host the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference playoff series on Sunday at 6:05 PM ET. Tampa Bay took the opening game of this series at Montreal in a thrilling 2-1 double overtime win. The Lightning has now defeated the Canadiens in all six of their meetings this season. According to the  NHL odds at 5Dimes, Montreal is a -120 money line favorite, and the posted total is 5.0.


My Personal Take
Let’s not get carried away by the Lightning being 6-0 versus the Canadiens this season. Granted it’s certainly a factor that can’t be ignored, but I also believe it’s an overrated aspect pertaining to handicapping this contest.

There’s a big difference between losing Game 2 at home that resulted in a 1-1 series deadlock, compared to dropping the opener in your own arena. The Canadiens can ill afford to fall 2-0 down in this series, and go on the road versus an opponent which has gone an outstanding 34-11 in their home building during the 2014-2015 NHL campaign.

Montreal had a 44-35 edge in shots on goal during Game 1. The Canadiens were also a bit unlucky in the first twelve minutes of that contest when they hit the post twice. Montreal will display a high degree of urgency and desperation on Sunday in order to even the series before heading out on the road. I would take Carey Price over Ben Bishop in goal 7 days a week and 365 days a year. Especially when it pertains to a big game scenario such as this one does. I’m supremely confident that Montreal will bounce back in Game 2.

We think both of these teams haven't been playing up to expectations

NHL Money Line Betting Angle
The Tampa Bay Lightning is coming off 2-0 and 2-1 wins in their last two games. The Lightning is a +0.6 goal per game differential this season. The combination of these factors, coupled with the time of the year in which the game is being played, creates a rock solid money line betting system that I’ll be following when making one of my NHL picks on Sunday.

Play against any money line road underdog (Tampa Bay) in the second half of the season, coming off two straight games in which they allowed one goal or less, and they possess a +0.3 or more goal per game differential on the year. When fading that money line road underdog in this exact situation, you would’ve been 97-36 (72.9%) since 1996.

NHL Pick: Montreal -120 on the money line over Tampa Bay at 5Dimes.

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