Pittsburgh vs Tampa Bay NHL Odds Analysis

Posted by Aaron . on May 23, 2016 in

The penultimate round of the NHL Playoffs is peaking and the Tampa Bay Lighting, who own a 3-2 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals, are one win away from booking a spot in the 2016 Stanley Cup Final. Can the Lightning get the job done when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins for Game 6 this Tuesday? Read on as we take you through a succinct NHL betting odds preview of this crucial matchup.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Tampa Bay Lightning NHL Odds Analysis

Current Series Standing: Tampa Bay leads 3-2
When: Tuesday, May 24 at 8:00 p.m. ET
Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
Live Stream: Watch NHL
NHL Odds: Pittsburgh -130, Tampa Bay +118, OVER/UNDER 5.5



Why Bet on Pittsburgh

Bouncing back from the devastating Game 5 loss to the Lightning will be a tall order, particularly on the road against a charged-up Tampa Bay team that is known to feed off its strong home performance. The Pens can, however, take inspiration from last year’s Tampa Bay team that found itself in a similar predicament, only to overcome the odds and make it to the Stanley Cup Final. The goaltending issues Pittsburgh are still up in the air and we are yet to know which of the three main goalies will start for the visitors, but Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said he is confident that whoever gets the job will give a strong performance for the team. As a team, there is also a strong reverbing message that Pens can force a Game 7, with team stars like Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang saying the Penguins will “for sure” win this Tuesday for a chance to play Game 7 back in Pittsburgh. With that type of spirit, and the fact that Pittsburgh is loaded with arguably a more balanced squad, it won’t be a surprise if the Pens do indeed claim the much-needed win this Tuesday.

Why Bet on Tampa Bay

The Lightning didn’t have it the easy way on Sunday, trailing Pittsburgh for nearly the entire game, but they showed character to tie the game in regulation time, followed by a goal in OT to secure a hard-earned 4-3 win. Coming from behind to win the game was commendable, but the Lightning will need to have a better start if they are to beat the Penguins, who are sure to come into this game fired up with the aim of saving their season. To achieve that, Tampa Bay will need a strong performance in the defense as well as rejuvenated offensive showcase from the offense, led by the likes of Nikita Kucherov—the leading goal-scorer this postseason with 11 goals.

Expert NHL Predictions and Picks

Being in a do-or-die situation will certainly motivate the Penguins for a strong performance, but as has been the case too often in this postseason, their ceiling will be determined by their goaltending. And in that regard, their shaky goaltending is likely to cost them this game. Not to forget, Tampa Bay owns an NHL-best 11-4 mark in the postseason this year, including a very stellar record at home, meaning switching off the Lightning at home doesn’t look that likely. So, in short, take Tampa Bay to wrap up the series with a close win this Tuesday.

My NHL Picks: Tampa Bay (+118) for the win, OVER in Game Totals.