NHL Monday best bets: Lightning to get revenge vs. Stars
We have a fun six-game slate on the docket to begin the week. Let's take a closer look at the best ways to attack it.
I think this is a great buy-low spot for the Lightning. Although the Bolts have dropped four consecutive games and five of the last eight, I think they are playing a lot better than their record indicates.
At five-on-five, Tampa Bay generated 2.81 expected goals per 60 minutes over the past eight games. That is a very healthy mark for any team. Despite all the shooting talent the Lightning possess, those outputs have translated to only 1.75 goals per 60 minutes. That's more than a full puck difference.
We have seen a similar story between the pipes. The Bolts have conceded 2.34 expected goals per 60, which slots them a hair outside the top 10. That has converted into 3.55 actual goals, a higher rate than all but the Ducks and Blues.
Put another way, the Lightning are not scoring as much as they deserve, and the chances they concede are ending up in the back of the net far too frequently.
That is not going to continue forever, especially with Andrei Vasilevskiy back in the fray.
Dallas completely embarrassed Tampa Bay last time out, winning 8-1 and leading from the first minute onwards.
I don't think that sat well with Jon Cooper and an experienced Lightning team used to dishing out rather than taking. Expect a much better effort, and perhaps some positive regression, from the Lightning in a game where a win is needed.
Bet: Lightning (-105)
The Hurricanes are a little underrated right now. I don't think they're getting enough respect for the powerhouse that they are. They rank fifth in the league in wins, and that is with the NHL's worst team save percentage. Yes, worst.
They have absolutely dominated teams at five-on-five. They generate chances in bulk while giving up very little. Their power play ranks in the top half of the league in scoring efficiency. Their penalty kill is elite. I could go on.
Top to bottom, the Hurricanes are playing like a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. They're just not getting any saves.
While it is easy to point at their lack of a name-brand goaltender and say they're getting what they deserve, the Hurricanes used the exact same trio last season and finished top 15 in total save percentage. It's not as if they're putting everything on false hope.
With how well the Hurricanes limit chances, they don't even need their goaltenders to be good. They just can't be this bad.
That shouldn't be an issue against the Jets. They are a middle-of-the-pack team in terms of shot and goal generation and don't have many high-end finishers.
If the Hurricanes get semi-respectable goaltending, they have a strong chance of winning.
The Hurricanes are absolutely tormenting teams at five-on-five right now, while the Jets rank 20th in expected goals share over the past couple of weeks. Getting Gabriel Vilardi back in the lineup helps, for sure, but it'll take some time before he's firing on all cylinders.
Look for the Hurricanes to grind out a road win against a solid Jets side.
Bet: Hurricanes (-125)
Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @ToddCordell.