Our NHL handicapping professional has gone an outstanding 15-7-2 with his 2015 Stanley Cup Playoff individual game selections, and also is a terrific 5-2 thus far with series predictions. Read his betting preview article on Game 7 of the series between Detroit and Tampa Bay which includes a money line pick.
Red Wings and Lightning in Game 7 on Wednesday
The Tampa Bay Lightning will host a deciding Game 7 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal playoff series versus the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday at 7:35 PM ET. According to the NHL betting odds at Wagerweb, Tampa Bay is a -175 money line favorite, and the posted total is 5.0. This will be the eleventh meeting overall between these clubs this season, and there’s not a lot to draw from in terms of those head-to-head matchups. Tampa Bay won six of the first ten, and going under the total has gone 5-4-1.
Home Ice Disadvantage in this Series
The only thing that has seemed to be predictable in this series has been the unpredictable nature of the outcomes. The road teams have gone 4-2 following a 5-2 Tampa Bay win in Game 6 at Detroit, and neither team has been able to string together two wins in a row.
Wings and a Prayer for the Underdog
I think if you asked the Red Wings players and coaching staff prior to the start of this series, how they would feel about having to play a Game 7 on the road, the reply in all likelihood would’ve been, “where do we sign up for that”. Well be careful what you wish for. The Red Wings squandered a glorious opportunity to close out the series in Game 6 at home. The old adage in sports is “anything can happen in a Game 7 of a playoff series”, and Detroit will undoubtedly carry that mind set into this win or go home scenario.
Can Lightning Strike Tampa Again at Home?
The Tampa Bay Lightning was the highest scoring team in the NHL this season, yet, they’ve been held scoreless on two separate occasions during this series. As a matter of fact, the Lightning has been shutout only three times this season, and each of those times it came versus Detroit. Tampa Bay was the best team at home in the NHL during the regular season by going an outstanding 32-9. Needless to say, losing two of three at home in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals has been a bit of a surprise, and it would be difficult for Lightning backers to fathom losing three at home in a single playoff series.
The Detroit Red Wings possess a core group of veteran players that have a vast amount of playoff experience in comparison to their opponent. That factor will pay huge dividends in a Game 7 setting. Despite a shaky outing in Game 2 of the series when he was pulled early, I’m of the opinion that Peter Mrazek of Detroit has outshined Ben Bishop of Tampa Bay. I picked Detroit to upset the Lightning before the start of the playoffs, and I’m not going to veer of course in that regard. My lean is with the road underdog in this deciding Game 7 for one of my NHL picks this week.
NHL Pick: Detroit +155 on the money line over Tampa Bay at The Greek