While it might not be the Eastern Conference final matchup that many of us predicted, the series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning promises to be an exciting one featuring a pair of teams that deserve to be here. One thing is certain, however: There is a betting trend that has dominated the narrative when these two teams meet and it’s been so hot that it should not be taken lightly.
- The Penguins are 8-1 SU in their last nine games at home.
- The Lightning are 1-6 SU in their last seven games as underdogs.
- The total has gone OVER in seven of the Pens’ last eight games as home faves.
Online shop Bovada is presently offering the Penguins at -180 in moneyline markets for Game 1 while the Lightning are sitting there at +160. As far as the total is concerned, OVER 5 goals is -130 while UNDER 5 goals is currently priced at +110.
The favorite has dominated this matchup to the tune of a 14-1 straight up record in the past 15 meetings. The dog did triumph in the last meeting, however, as the Bolts skated to a 4-2 victory as moneyline pups priced at -103 back on February 20.
Also of note here is the fact that the OVER has cashed at a furious rate, going 7-0 in the past seven meetings.
The two clubs met three times during the regular season with the Lightning winning all three contests by scores of 5-4, 6-3 and 4-2.
The Pens and Lightning have met in the playoffs once before. Back in 2011, the Lightning needed seven games to eliminate Pittsburgh in the conference quarterfinals.
Steven Stamkos, the injured Bolts sniper who remains out indefinitely, tallied five points in the three regular season games against the Pens. It was his second-highest scoring output against any team this season behind the six points he recorded in three games against the Columbus Blue Jackets. While he'll be sorely missed, players like Tyler Johnson (13 points) and Nikita Kucherov (11 poitns) have really filled the scoring void that the injured Stamkos leaves.
Keep an eye on Patrick Hornqvist of the Pens in this series. In three games versus the Lightning during the regular season, the Swede scored two goals and added three assists and was the most effective skater in the head-to-head meetings.