Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:30 PM EST odds are subject to change.
Minnesota -½ +145 over Tampa Bay
7:37 PM EST. Regulation only. The Lightning come into this game on a roll, winning nine of their last 11 games including four straight. When a team like the Bolts get rolling, their stock price soars. While it all looks good on paper, a closer look shows that Tampa has been feasting on the weaker teams of late with wins over Nashville, Florida, Seattle, Chicago, Arizona, Montreal (twice) and Columbus. Maybe one of those teams will make the playoffs. The only notable win by the Bolts in recent games was a 2-1 shootout decision over the Rangers on December 29 in a game they did not deserve to win. The Rangers fired away 46 shots that night.
Furthermore, Tampa recently lost to the Red Wings (7-4) and Toronto. In that 4-1 loss to the Maple Leafs, the Bolts were outshot 40-19. The two legit contenders that Tampa has played over their last 11 games, Toronto and the Rags, the Bolts were dominated in both. Minnesota is also a contender.
This will be the second of back-to-back games of this chilly Mid-Western road trip that saw Tampa play in Chicago last night and then it’s onto Winnipeg on Friday night.
This might just be another game in a slog of a season for the Stanley Cup Champions of 2020 and 2021 and the runners up last season, but for the Wild, this is a big game. Not only do the Bolts only come to town once a year, but this game is also going to be televised nationally on TNT. That’s like playing on Monday Night Football or like being on Hockey Night in Canada. It’s a big deal, and it’s a showcase for the organization and the players. It’s not like the Wild get much national exposure, ya know?
As for their current form, the Wild have gone just 2-2 in their last four games, but prior to that, they ripped off six wins in a row, with their last victory being a 5-2 decision over the Blues. Across their last eight wins, the Wild have allowed no more than two goals per game. This team is playing some damn good hockey and is worthy of a closer look tonight. Trust that motivation will not be an issue for the home side, which is more than we can say about the visitors. Minnesota is an underpriced favorite here.
Minnesota -½ +145 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.90)