Winnipeg vs Tampa Bay Free NHL Pick
With the Winnipeg Jets and Tampa Bay Lightning both struggling heading into Thursday night’s pro hockey odds matchup, NHL bettors need to know which team is the right pick to bring home the bacon in this understated pairing. Let’s find out now.
Winnipeg @ Tampa Bay NHL Pick Preview, TV and Game Information
When: Thursday, February 18, 2016, 7:30 PM ET
Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
Radio: TSN 1290 Winnipeg
TV Stream: TSN
NHL Odds: TBA
Why Bet The Winnipeg Jets Odds
Because they’ve been pretty hot on the road! The Jets (25-28-1-2, 26-30 ATS) have lost two of their last three games including a narrow 2-1 road loss against Carolina on Tuesday. Right winger Blake Wheeler scored in the third period for Winnipeg while goalie Ondrej Pavelec stopped 27 shots. Head coach Paul Maurice said his team under performed in every phase. “I don’t think the special teams was any different than the five-on-five,” Maurice said.
The good news for the Jets and their betting backers heading into this contest is that they’ve won each of their previous three road games before falling to the Hurricanes.
Why Bet The Tampa Bay Lightning Odds
Because they’re playing at home! Tampa Bay (30-22-1-3, 20-36 ATS) has lost four of their last five games including their 4-2 loss against San Jose on Tuesday night as a -123 home favorite.
The Lightning are tied with Pittsburgh for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race, with the Penguins having a game in hand. “These points are important, and we let them slip through,” Tampa Bay goaltender Ben Bishop said. “Luckily other teams are losing as well, so we’re not falling too far behind. We’ll probably wake up (today) not being in the playoffs. We’ve got 26 games left and they’re all going to be important… It’s gut-check time.”
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction
Winnipeg is ranked 19th in scoring (2.5 gpg) and a discouraging 24th in goals allowed (2.9) while the Lightning are ranked 15th in scoring (2.6 gpg) and a stellar eighth in goals allowed (2.4 gpg), seventh in shots allowed per game (28.1) and eighth in penalty killing (82.8%).
Tampa Bay’s far superior defense – and edge in offensive talent – will be the difference in this contest. I know the Jets are 4-1 in their last five road games, but they’re also just 2-5 in their last seven games after scoring two goals or less in their previous game and a winless 0-5 in their last five games against Eastern Conference opponents.
Conversely, the Lightning are 4-1 in their last five games when their opponent scores two goals or less in their previous game, an identical 4-1 in their last five games against teams from the Central division and 8-2 in their last 10 games against a team with a losing record. The Jets are also just 4-9 in the last 13 road dates against Tampa Bay and 8-18 in the last 26 meetings overall.
My final score prediction: Tampa Bay 4 Winnipeg 2