The Tampa Bay Lightning head to the United Center this Monday night to face the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 6 of this season's NHL Stanley Cup Finals. The Blackhawks are on the verge of laying claim to their third Stanley Cup title since 2010 with a 3-2 series lead in this best-of-seven clash, so the action should be fast and furious on the ice.
Bovada is also dialing up the action off the ice for Monday's game with a complete set of prop bet odds for both team and player bets. Chicago has been listed as a -170 home favorite, with Tampa Bay set as a +150 underdog on the road. The following is a look at some of my prop bet picks to go along with these moneyline odds.
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First Team to Score
Bovada's prop bet odds for which team scores first have the Lightning getting the early lead at +120, while the odds that Chicago posts the first goal of the game are set at -150.
Going over the first five games in this series, Tampa Bay tallied the initial score in the first three games, while Chicago has taken the early lead in the last two games. Given just how close this showdown has been with all five games being decided by a one-goal margin, I am going with the value in Tampa Bay's odds to score first on Monday night.
Desperation has a tendency to bring out the best in a good team. And despite the fact that Tampa Bay has struggled to find the back of the net in this series, it still ended the regular season as the highest-scoring team in the NHL with an average of 3.2 goals a game.
More Points: Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay) vs. Patrick Kane (Chicago)
The betting odds for which one of these two sharpshooters tally the most points in Game 6 have Stamkos listed at +165 and Kane listed at +125. The moneyline odds for a tie are set at +200.
Stamkos led Tampa Bay in total points (72) and goals (43) in the regular season, but he has fallen to fourth on the list in the playoffs with a total of 18 points. The team's captain has only posted one assist through the first five games of this series and he has just one goal in his last seven playoff games. The big question for Monday night is does this scoring drought continue, or does the desperation factor kick into high gear to set up a big night?
Chicago's Kane is tied for the team lead with Jonathan Toews in the postseason with 10 goals and 11 assists, but he has also been rather quiet in this series with just one assist in the first five games. The early report out of Chicago is that Kane will be paired with Brad Richards and Kris Versteeg in an effort to shake things up for Monday night. To me, this change actually opens the door for a play on Stamkos in this player prop given the added value in his +165 odds.
Total Shots on Goal: Steven Stamkos
The betting odds for the "over/under" on Stamkos' total shots on goal in Game 6 are set at -130 for over 3 and at an even-money +100 for under 3.
Given my play in the previous player prop bet, I decided to parlay my confidence level that Stamkos has a big night with a play on the over 3 in this prop. While he has not found the back of the net against the Blackhawks in this series, he has still been able to generate some scoring chances with 12 shots on goal over the course of the first five games. He started this series with five shots on goal in Game 1, and he posted two shots on goal in each of his next three games against the Blackhawks. The sense of urgency to make something happen to help keep his team's title hopes alive should result in at least four shots on goal by Stamkos in Game 6.
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