Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:45 PM EST odds are subject to change.
Carolina +100 over Tampa Bay
OT Included. Tampa is no longer elite. They’re good and they’re never going to be an easy out but they’re not elite anymore. They keep losing key pieces from their glory days. In Ondrej Palát and Ryan McDonagh, the Lightning lost two more key pieces from their championship roster and did little to replace them. The year p[rior, the Bolts lost their entire third line. They still have star power and lots of talent but they’re just not elite anymore. Furthermore, the Bolts goaltender may be experiencing a bit of burnout after playing more hockey than any goaltender on the planet (that we know of) over the past five years. Andrei Vasilevskiy ranks 32nd in the league in Goals Saved Above Average.
Carolina is elite. They rank 1st in the league in puck possession time in the offensive end during five-on-five play while the Bolts rank 15th out of 32 teams. Despite dominating every game they play, the ‘Canes are just 3-3 over their last six games because this sport is so luck driven. Freddy Andersen runs hot and cold. There isn’t a crystal ball in the world that can predict which version of Freddy we’ll get here but we cannot concern ourselves with that. What we know for sure is that Carolina will create more chances than Tampa Bay, they’ll have a significant edge in puck possession time and they have a better chance of winning than they do of losing especially against inferior competition that they get fired up to play against. ‘Canes a bargain anytime they’re not in a difficult spot and taking back a tag.
Carolina +103 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.06)