It’s no surprise the defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning lead the league in points/game at 1.72. The real eye-opener is that the Florida Panthers aren’t far behind at 1.6 points per game. On Thursday, these two Sunshine-state squads will meet for the first time this season.
Tampa will be looking to push its winning streak to seven games as the Lightning have outscored their opponents 27-9 over that stretch and have held opponents to a single goal in four straight.
Here are our free picks and predictions for Tampa Bay Lightning vs Florida Panthers for Thursday, February 11 (7:00 p.m. EST).
Tampa Bay Lightning at Florida Panthers Betting Preview
Lightning: Nikita Kucherov F (out).
Panthers: Gustav Forsling D (out).
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Betting Trend to Know
The Over is 5-1 in the last six meetings in Florida. Find more NHL betting trends for Lightning vs. Panthers.
NHL sharp money and line movement reportBy Patrick Everson
The moneyline bounced around a fair amount at FanDuel, with Tampa Bay opening -174, peaking at -178, bottoming out at -164 and sitting at -166 as of 4:15 p.m. ET. Despite all that, the Lightning are still grabbing a huge majority of tickets and money, at 89 percent of each. The total opened 6.5 (Under -125) and is down to 5.5 (Over -120), though the Over is still attracting 70 percent of bets/81 percent of money.Check out the full line movement for this game
Picking between a pair of Russian goalies in Tampa’s Andrei Vasilevskiy and Florida’s Sergei Bobrovsky is a tough call when looking at their combined record, which stands at 12-3 SU. But looking at their respective peripherals reveals two very different goaltenders.
Vasilevskiy is well on his way to another Vezina award, with a 1.80 GAA and a .936 SV%. He’s allowed just a single goal in each of his last three starts.
Bobrovsky is coming off his worst season in 2019-20, and despite his zero losses in regulation this year, he is sporting a 3.07 GAA, a .899 SV% and has allowed 13 goals in his three games against non-Red Wings teams. He has not lost in regulation yet, but four of his five starts have gone to overtime.
Tampa Bay lit up the Florida goalie a year ago, scoring 15 goals in four games against Bobrovsky, who lost three of those matches.
The Bolts are still in another tier above the Panthers in terms of talent, and despite losing star forward Nikita Kucherov, Tampa is still scoring the second-most goals per game in the league at 3.82. A lot of the offense has centered around forwards Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos. Point is in the middle of a six-game point streak (2G and 7A) while Stamkos has eight points in his last six (5G and 3A).
Both these clubs played the lowly Red Wings of late, with Florida going 3-1 SU but failing to outscore the last-placed team 9-9. Tampa, on the other hand, took care of business and outscored the Wings 8-2 with a pair of wins.
The Lightning have dominated this matchup, going 27-11 SU in the last 38 battles, while the favorite has turned a profit with a 13-3 SU record in the last 16 matchups.
The Bolts are the hottest team in the league right now and are riding a six-game winning streak, while the Panthers come into the series having trailed the Red Wings in both their previous two games and only managed three goals against a very generous Detroit team.
Tampa has nine wins on the season, with eight of them coming in regulation. They have also covered the -1.5 puckline in seven of those victories.
The Lightning to win in regulation pays a very decent -110, but we are going big on Thursday night and taking the Bolts to cover -1.5.
PREDICTION: Tampa Bay -1.5 (+145)
The Lightning propose a conundrum in terms of total betting: they have one of the league’s best offenses, but they also shut things down defensively.
Tampa has hit the Over in three of its last five games but needed to score at least five goals in each to do so. For most teams, that’s a tough feat, but the Bolts have sniped five or more goals in nearly half of their games this year.
Bobrovsky has played five of Florida’s 10 games for a reason. The $10 million goalie ranks outside the Top 35 in most important goalie statistics like save percentage and high-danger save percentage.
The average total of Bobrovsky’s starts is an Over-inducing 7.0 with a 3-2 O/U record. The Panthers are 1-4 O/U in games that the Russian goalie doesn’t start.
Florida was a public-loving 20-12-4 O/U at home a season ago. The Panthers allowed the fourth-most goals per game at home last year at 3.29, but the offense also bailed them out by scoring 3.43 times per home match which finished as a Top-6 rate.
Three of the four matchups hit the Over in 2019-20 and we’re expecting another lamp-lighting performance from the visiting team with Bobrovsky in net. The recent drought by the Florida offense has us slightly hesitant, but the Panthers know they have to score with Bob between the pipes.
PREDICTION: Over 6 (-116)
Lightning vs Panthers Betting Card
- Tampa Bay -1.5 (+145)
- Over 6 (-116)
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