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Desperate Lightning Open as Home Dogs Against Central-Leading 'Hawks

If the Blackhawks have been one of the best teams in the league since the all-star break, they certainly didn’t look it on Saturday in a 7-0 loss to the Panthers. They’ve had a couple of days to figure out what went wrong in that disaster of a game but they’ll have to face a desperate Lightning team tonight that can climb within one point of a playoff spot with a win.

SHARK BITES
  • The Blackhawks are 2-6 SU in their last 8 games on the road against the Lightning.
  • The Lightning are 5-2 SU in their last 7 games at home against teams with winning records.
  • The total has gone OVER in 11 of the Blackhawks' last 13 games on the road.

Luckily for Chicago, the Wild have been terrible down the stretch, losing eight of their last nine games, and it looks like the Central Division is now the Blackhawks’ to lose with the 2015 Stanley Cup winners now in the lead by seven points. That gap in the standings means the Blackhawks have the luxury of resting their players a little down the stretch, making the rest of the regular season extremely tough to handicap.

The last 10 games of the NHL season are some of the hardest to make money on. Young guys are competing for jobs next year and bubble teams are playing desperate hockey. A strategy I like to use in this situation is to go with whatever line offers the most value and in tonight’s case, that will be on the Lightning.

Tampa opened as a +113 home underdog and although they’ve lost three straight games at Amalie Arena, this is a good spot to back the Bolts.  

Opening Odds & Computer Pick

Sportsbooks such as Bovada had the Tampa Bay Lightning as 113 moneyline underdogs in this particular NHL betting matchup earlier. The over under total, meanwhile, was set early at 5.5 before betting started to move the line at Bet365.

Odds Shark computer prediction handicapping models run on this game pick a 3-2.6 victory for the Blackhawks. View the computer score prediction and who will win the pick on the moneyline for all upcoming NHL matchups here.

Chicago Blackhawks vs Tampa Bay Lightning Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

This season the Tampa Bay Lightning are 36-29-9 overall while the Chicago Blackhawks are 48-21-6. As for the totals, Tampa Bay is 33-34-7 on the OU, and Chicago is 35-29-11. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and Tampa Bay vs Chicago injuries news.

The NHL Power Rankings show a disparity between these teams, with the Tampa Bay Lightning rated this week at No. 5 and the Chicago Blackhawks sitting at No. 6.

Statistical Matchup

Offensively, the game matches up the Tampa Bay Lightning No. 14-ranked offense (2.77 goals per game) against a Chicago Blackhawks defense that ranks No. 8 at 2.56 goals per game allowed. The Lightning powerplay has clicked at a 21.79% rate while the Blackhawks have a 78.01% rate on the penalty kill.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

Chicago lost its last outing, a 7-0 result against the Panthers on March 25. Bettors who backed the Panthers at -102 on the moneyline won on the day, and the total score (7) sent OVER bettors to the payout window.

The Lightning were a 2-1 winner in their most recent outing on the road against the Red Wings. That made winners of bettors who got Tampa Bay at -111 on the moneyline, while the total score (3) was good news for OVER bettors.

Betting Trends
  • Chicago is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
  • Chicago is 18-5 SU in its last 23 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 16 of Chicago's last 23 games
  • Chicago is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 games on the road
  • Tampa Bay is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games
  • Tampa Bay is 6-3 SU in its last 9 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Tampa Bay's last 11 games
  • Tampa Bay is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games at home

Next Betting Matchups

Chicago at Pittsburgh, Wednesday, March 29th
Tampa Bay home to Detroit, Thursday, March 30th

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