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Bolts Heavily Favored to Raise Stanley Cup on Wednesday Night in Tampa

Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning are big favorites in NHL betting odds to beat the Montreal Canadiens and win the Stanley Cup on Wednesday night.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor got her wish – and oddsmakers expect her to be one very happy politician by this time Thursday. Her Lightning dropped Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final in Montreal, setting the stage for a title celebration on home ice as heavily favored Tampa Bay (51-20-7 SU, 35-37-6 O/U) entertains the Canadiens (37-28-12 SU, 30-39-8 O/U) in Wednesday’s Game 5.

Montreal Canadiens vs Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Date/Time: July 7, 8 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Amalie Arena
  • TV Coverage: NBC
  • Opening Odds: Lightning -181 | O/U 5 (Line History)
  • Canadiens vs Lightning Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

This matchup opened at Tampa Bay -181 but didn’t take long to skyrocket into the -220 to -240 range at the majority of sportsbooks. The total is set at 5, with the OVER at -125 and the UNDER at +105 in most spots.

Montreal News & Notes

The Canadiens made significant changes going into Game 4 – and having pulled out a series-extending 3-2 overtime win, you can expect those lineup alterations to remain in effect Wednesday night. That means bettors should expect to see Alexander Romanov, Jake Evans and Brett Kulak in the lineup at the expense of Jon Merrill, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Erik Gustafsson.

Yet, no matter what happens at the offensive end, the Canadiens likely won’t send this series back to Montreal if they don’t get another superb goaltending effort from Carey Price. He struggled mightily over the first three games of the Stanley Cup Final but returned to form Monday night, turning aside 32 shots while helping Montreal kill off all five Tampa Bay power-play chances.

Tampa Bay News & Notes

No sweep? No problem for the Lightning, who briefly lamented missing out on being the first team in 23 years to win the Stanley Cup in four games. Instead, Tampa Bay has a shot at clinching its second consecutive championship on home ice – and the trends are squarely in the Lightning’s favor, as they’ve won 14 straight postseason games following a loss.

That said, look for head coach Jon Cooper to emphasize getting off to a good start; the Lightning outshot the Canadiens 12-5 in the opening period of Game 4 but trailed 1-0 on Josh Anderson’s late goal. Tampa Bay is a sizzling 15-2 SU when scoring first so far in the Stanley Cup playoffs, but has lost all five games in which it has allowed the opening goal.

Betting Pick: Lightning (-240)

Tampa Bay’s Game 4 loss will go down as a minor blip in an otherwise dominant Stanley Cup Final performance punctuated by a win on home ice Wednesday night.

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Shark Bites
  • Montreal has lost 8 straight games at Tampa Bay.
  • The Lightning are 5-0 SU in their past 5 home games.
  • The OVER is 2-1-1 so far in the series.