NHL commissioner Gary Bettman would probably have a heart attack in terms of TV ratings (i.e. not good) if the Tampa Bay Lightning and Winnipeg Jets meet in the Stanley Cup Finals. But it’s quite possible as the Bolts have the most points in the NHL and the Jets are leading the Central Division as they face off Tuesday night with the NHL out of its All-Star break. So the question is, who’s the NHL betting favorite for this one?
Tuesday Night NHL Betting Pick & Odds: Tampa Bay at WinnipegWhen: Tuesday, 8 PM ETWhere: Bell MTS Place, WinnipegTV: NHL Center Ice, SUNStream: NHL.tvRadio: 970 WFLA (Tampa Bay) / 1290 AM (Winnipeg)Opening NHL Betting Lines: Winnipeg -1.5
First MeetingThese teams met in Tampa on Dec. 9 and the Lightning won 4-3 in overtime. Brayden Point scored 36 seconds into overtime. Point eluded a Winnipeg defender and put back a backhander past Connor Hellebuyck for the win. Yanni Gourde, Mikhail Sergachev and Kucherov also scored for Tampa Bay, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 17 saves. Andrew Copp, Kyle Connors and Nikolaj Ehlers scored for Winnipeg. Hellebuyck stopped 24 shots.
Why Bet on Tampa?Tampa Bay enters the post-All-Star break portion of its schedule leading the NHL for wins (34), points (71), points percentage (.724), ROW (32), goals (173) and goal differential (+50).The Bolts entered the break with a 5-1 win at Philadelphia, the team’s third straight victory. Vasilevskiy allowed one goal on 37 shots. The Russian goaltender improved his record to 29-9-2 with a 2.18 goals against average and a .931 save percentage. He has now won back-to-back games and appears to have put his cold run behind him. He’s a top candidate for the Vezina Trophy.Ryan Callahan ended his goal drought on a great individual effort. Callahan hadn’t scored since Oct. 24, but he made a great move on Philadelphia’s Shayne Gostisbehere before beating goaltender Michal Neuvirth with another slick deke for a shorthanded marker. Nikita Kucherov had a pair of assists in the win. Kucherov and Steven Stamkos combined to help set up two goals by Vladislav Namestnikov in the contest.Kucherov has no goals and four helpers in his last seven outings, but he leads the NHL scoring race. He has generated 63 points (27 goals, 36 assists) in 49 games this campaign. Kucherov netted a hat trick to propel Team Atlantic to the championship game at the NHL All-Star tournament.Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (lower body) has resumed skating. Hedman has missed the Lightning’s last five games due to the injury. He was initially diagnosed with a three-to-six week recovery but GM Steve Yzerman said it’s possible it will be closer to the three weeks making him eligible for a return at the start of February. Hedman has six goals and 33 points in 44 games this season.The Lightning have won four of their last five overall against Winnipeg, three of those four wins coming in overtime or a shootout. The Bolts are 6-2-1 in their last nine games versus the Jets. Tampa Bay has won four in a row in Winnipeg, netting four goals in each victory and outscoring the Jets 16-8. The Lightning are 10-4-1 in their last 15 games in Winnipeg dating back to the 2009-10 season
Why Bet on Winnipeg?The Jets come out of the All-Star break with 66 points, good for first in the Central Division – the franchise has never won a division title – by a point over Nashville. However, the Jets entered the break on a 4-3 shootout loss in Anaheim to end a three-game winning streak. Ryan Miller picked up the win without recording a save, but stopped all five Jets shooters in the breakaway contest. Miller entered the game with 6:40 left in regulation after Blake Wheeler lost and edge and hit into starter John Gibson. Hellebuyck made 36 saves on 39 shots on goal and rookie Jack Roslovic scored his first career goal for the Jets.To make matters worse, defenseman Jacob Trouba left injured and Coach Paul Maurice has confirmed that Trouba will be out six-to-eight weeks due to a lower-body injury. Trouba, 23, was in the middle of a breakout season with the Jets. He has three goals and 20 points with a plus-six rating in 50 games this season. He is also second on the team in ice time, averaging 22:09 per game. Trouba will join a lengthy injured list that also includes star center Mark Scheifele.Byfuglien may be paired with Josh Morrissey following Jacob Trouba’s injury. Trouba and Morrissey were playing well as a shutdown duo for the Jets. Tucker Poolman is projected to draw back into the lineup on Tuesday night in Trouba’s spot. Poolman has split time in the NHL and the AHL this campaign. He has one goal in 13 outings with Winnipeg.The Jets aren’t going with Hellebuyck for whatever reason on Tuesday but Michael Hutchinson in net. Hutchinson was slated to participate in the AHL All-Star Game Monday night and then rejoin the Jets. This will be his 2017-18 NHL debut. Usual No. 2 Steve Mason is out with a concussion.
Latest NHL Betting Trends
- Tampa Bay is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 games on the road
- Tampa Bay is 17-7 SU in the last 24 games
- The total went OVER in 7 of Tampa Bay’s last 9 games
- Winnipeg is 8-4 ATS in the last 12 games at home
- Winnipeg is 9-4 SU in the last 13 games
- The total went UNDER in 4 of Winnipeg’s last 6 games