Our resident NHL handicapping professional previews Game 3 of the series between Montreal and Tampa Bay on Wednesday. His revealing betting article also includes a money line angle which has won 64% of the time since 1996.
Crucial Game 3 for Montreal at Tampa Bay
The Tampa Bay Lightning will return home for Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series versus Montreal on Wednesday at 7:05 PM ET. Tampa Bay possesses a commanding 2-0 lead in this playoff series by virtue of a pair of wins at the Bell Centre in Montreal. According to the NHL odds at 5Dimes, Tampa Bay is a -145 money line favorite, and the posted total is 5.0. Tampa Bay has gone a perfect 7-0 versus Montreal since the start of the 2014-2015 NHL campaign.
A call for Urgency and Desperation
Before you throw dirt over the grave of the Montreal Canadiens, a few things need to be considered. The Canadiens have gone a rock solid 26-18 on the road this season, and that includes 2-1 in their quarterfinal series win over the Ottawa Senators. This will be just Montreal’s third game in the last ten days. The Habs have gone a perfect 9-0 this season when playing their third game or less in the last ten days. The final point to be made involves Carey Price. The star goaltender allowed six goals in the Game 2 home loss, and that was the first time all season long in which he allowed more than five goals in a game. I fully expect to see Price turn in one of his lights out clutch performances in Game 3 with his team’s back up against the wall.
The Proverbial Nail in the Coffin
There’s been only three teams in the glorious history of the Stanley Cup Playoffs that were able to overcome a 3-0 series deficit to win. The point I’m attempting to make is quite simple. If Tampa can win at home on Wednesday, their odds of winning the series are extremely high, and Game 4 will once again be in their building where they’ve gone 33-10 this season, although they did drop two home games in their opening round series versus the Detroit Red Wings. The Lightning have gone 2-0 versus Montreal on home ice this season, and outscored them by a decisive cumulative score of 11-3.
NHL Money Line Betting System
Montreal is coming off losses in each of their previous two games versus their Atlantic Divisional rivals, and they’ll be entering Game 3 of this series playing on exactly two days of rest. This sets up an extremely profitable road underdog money line betting angle, and I can’t ignore the resulting wagering value when making my NHL picks on Wednesday.
Any money line road underdog of +100 to +200 playing with two days of rest, coming off two losses in a row, and both those defeats came at the hands of an opponent from within their own division, resulted in that road underdog going 42-23 (64.6%) since 1996. The average money line for those sixty-five road underdogs was +136.9.
NHL Pick: Montreal +135 on the money line over Tampa Bay at 5Dimes