Free NHL Picks: Senators at Lightning Odds
by George Monroy - 12/4/2013
The Tampa Bay Lightning are in their first slump of the season and as recently as two weeks ago had not lost consecutive games. Unfortunately, the team had to run the gauntlet of a brutal Western Conference road trip and came out of the other end with four straight losses. Tampa Bay has since lost four of its last six matchups and is on a two-game skid entering its first home game of the month against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night.
Ottawa is sitting near the bottom of the pack in the Eastern Conference playoff race, but with 26 points on the year the team is still within striking distance of the eight seed. However, the key to closing that gap is actually winning games, which is something Ottawa failed to do on its most recent two-game homestand. The team lost by multiple goals to the Vancouver Canucks and Detroit Red Wings before hitting the road and earning a solid win against the Florida Panthers. Ottawa will try and continue its winning ways when the team takes on the Lightning. Let’s take a closer look at Thursday’s matchup and figure out which side of the wager has the most value to bet on.
Senators at Lightning Betting Story Lines
Ottawa won the first game of a two-game road trip that will end Thursday night against the Lightning. The team enters the matchup with a 5-9 overall road record and a 3-1 mark over its last four games. The Senators are coming off a solid win over the Florida Panthers, which included falling behind by two goals midway through the first period. Goaltender Craig Anderson regained his composure after allowing two power-play goals, and he ended up stopping 30 shots on the night. Florida was held scoreless for the rest of the game as the Senators scored four straight goals to pull off the come-from-behind victory.
Ottawa is tied for the 11th spot in the Eastern Conference with 26 points, and even though the group may be on the outside looking in, the team is still within two points of the New York Rangers, who currently sit in the eight seed. Overall, Ottawa is ranked eighth in goals scored this season with an average of 2.9, but the team has struggled to produce offense during its last 10 games. The Senators’ leading scorer, Bobby Ryan, has continued to be productive while his teammates have struggled on the offensive end.
Tampa Bay has been a bettors dream over the course of the season. The team has an excellent 17-10 puckline record, which has earned NHL bettors $925 on the year. The Lightning also have a 16-10-1 moneyline record, which has brought bettors a profit to $640 for the season. Tampa Bay, however, has struggled over its last eight games. Goaltender Ben Bishop has given up only nine goals over the last 159 shots he has faced, but the team’s problem is its inability to score goals.
Tampa Bay is coming off a 1-0 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, which was the second straight game in which the team failed to score a goal. The Lightning took 26 shots against the Blue Jackets and had two power-play opportunities, but they were still unable to hit the back of the net. The loss of Steven Stamkos to a broken leg has left the team searching for consistent offensive production from the rest of the team.
Senators at Lightning NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
Tampa Bay opened as a -147 moneyline favorite over the +134 underdog Senators, according to BetOnline. The total was set at 5.5 goals, with the “under” being slightly favored at -110. The Lightning are 7-1 during their last eight home games and have a 4-1 record over their last five versus the Atlantic Division. The team is 2-6 during its last eight overall games and 8-20 during its last 28 Thursday games.
Ottawa is 6-1 during its last seven matchups against the Atlantic Division, but the team has trouble winning consecutive games and carries a 0-4 record over its last four games following a win. Head-to-head, the home team is 7-2 over the last nine, while the “over” is 20-9-2 in the last 32 games in Tampa Bay.
Free NHL Picks: Senators at Lightning Betting Predictions
Tampa Bay has not scored a goal in two games and has been shut out three times over its last five matchups. The team would like to think that playing at home will be the cure to all of its problems, but unfortunately things are not that simple. There is definite value in wagering on the Senators at +134. Ottawa played well during its last outing and may be looking to make up for two missed opportunities during its last homestand. I like the Senators on the moneyline, but I also think the under is probably the best play to make on this game. Both goaltenders have picked up the slack during their team’s recent struggles and should be able to continue that trend on Thursday night. Take the Senators and the under.
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