NHL Hockey Betting: Tampa Bay Lightning at Pittsburgh Penguins

NHL Hockey Betting:  Tampa Bay Lightning at Pittsburgh Penguins&h=235&w=320&zc=1

Game Two of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins is set for Monday night in the ‘Steel City’. Tampa holds a 1-0 lead after a 3-1 victory in Game One. The winner of this series will advance to the Stanley Cup Finals to face the winner of the San Jose/St. Louis series current lead 1-0 by the Blues.

The big story coming out of Game One wasn’t the Lightning victory but the scary looking injury to their starting goalie, Ben Bishop. Bishop had to be stretchered off the ice with an apparent leg injury. The news since has been good with a MRI and X-ray both coming back negative. He’s listed as ‘day to day’ but won’t be playing here. That means the start will go to 21 year old Andrei Vasilevskiy who was very good in relief following Bishop’s injury giving up just 1 goal on 26 shots. And as the media will tell you ad nauseum before during and after the game Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray is also 21 years old.

The thing that has left me scratching my head since before this series started is the pricing. Actually, by ‘scratching my head’ I mean ‘grabbing my bankroll’. This series is priced incorrectly due to public perception, the popularity of Canada National Team captain Sidney Crosby or whatever. There’s no way the Penguins should have been a -200 favorite to win this series prior to Game One. It’s even more absurd that they’re still favored after losing Game One. And even without Bishop in net there’s no way to justify them being a -210 favorite in Game Two.

On paper this is essentially a ‘coin flip’ of a matchup. And there’s no way to justify laying -210 on one side of a coin flip. If you look at what has transpired between these teams in recent meetings it’s even harder to justify the Penguins being a 2-1 favorite. Tampa Bay won all three meetings between the teams this season including a win in Pittsburgh. That means if you include Game One of this series the Bolts are 4-0 against the Penguins this season with two wins at home and two on the road. Pittsburgh is a good team and they’ve got a realistic chance to win Game Two and win this series. But the ‘price is not right’.


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