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Bruins vs Lightning Game 1 Odds & Picks – Aug. 23

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in NHL Hockey

Updated Aug 22, 2020 · 12:02 PM PDT

The East's top two teams in the regular season meet in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with the Tampa Bay Lightning looking to extend their recent dominance over the Bruins. We provide odds, analysis and a betting prediction for Game 1.
  • The Tampa Bay Lightning are slight -112 favorites to defeat the Boston Bruins in Sunday’s opener of their best-of-seven Stanley Cup Eastern Conference semi-final series
  • The Bruins are established as -104 underdogs
  • Tampa Bay is 11-2 in its last 13 games against Boston – read below to see our betting prediction

The Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins are clashing in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs for the second time in three years. That’s bad news for the Bruins.

To suggest that the Lightning have the number of the Bruins would not be at all an attempt at understatement.

In their past 13 meetings, the Lightning are 11-2 against the Bruins. This includes the second round of the 2018 postseason, when Tampa Bay sent Boston packing in five games.

Despite that overwhelming edge in recent head-to-head showdowns, the sportsbooks aren’t showing all-encompassing love that the Lightning will strike down the Bruins in Game 1 of this set on Sunday (8 pm EDT).

The Bolts are opening as the -112 favorites to beat Boston in the Bruins vs Lightning odds. However, it’s a close call. Bet the Bruins to win and you’ll get a betting line of -104.

Bruins vs Lightning Game 1 Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Total at DraftKings
Boston Bruins -104 +1.5 (-295) O 5.5 (+114)
Tampa Bay Lightning -112 -1.5 (+140) U 5.5 (-139)

Odds as of Aug. 22nd

Tampa Bay is the only team among the eight still in the hunt for the Stanley Cup that saw its odds to win the NHL championship grow longer following the first round of the playoffs.

The Lightning are +625 to win the Cup. They were +500 entering the first round of postseason play.

Underwhelming Outcomes

The total of 5.5 seems a bit high where these two teams are concerned. Neither team shows much of a penchant for going over.

Boston’s over/under record through the past nine games is 2-7. Tampa Bay, meanwhile has gone over just once in the past 10 games (1-6-2).

Issues With Lightning

Boston (.714) and Tampa Bay (.657) were the top two teams in the Eastern Conference during regular-season play. The Lightning edged the Bruins 3-2 during the round-robin portion of the Stanley Cup play-in competition.

Tampa Bay also downed the Bruins 5-3 in their most recent regular-season on March 7. Four days prior to that game, the Bruins were 2-1 winners over the Lightning.

Against the Blue Jackets, Tampa Bay worked overtime for a pair of victories and fashioned all four series wins via one-goal decisions. The Lightning overcame the absence of captain Steven Stamkos (leg injury).

Brayden Point, Tampa Bay’s leading playoff scorer with 10 points, was also the top scorer against Boston this season (2-2-4).

Depth Charge

Secondary scoring, so often an issue in Boston, wasn’t as they dropped the Hurricanes. David Krejci leads the team in postseason scoring with 3-6-9 totals. Jake DeBrusk has three goals, while Chris Wagner and Charlie Coyle each scored twice.

Boston’s top unit of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak are still 2-3-4 in team scoring, even though Pastrnak missed three games.

The Lightning might want to tone done the trips to the penalty box against Boston. The Bolts killed 17-of-20 penalties against Columbus but when it comes to power plays, the Blue Jackets (8.8%) aren’t in Boston’s league (17.9%).

One Unlucky Number

One and won aren’t often a double down struck by the Lightning. Although Tampa Bay did beat Columbus in the first round, overall they Bolts are 1-3 in their last four Game 1 appearances. Bruins goalie Jaroslav is 4-5 vs Tampa Bay. He hasn’t faced the Lightning this season.

The Bruins embrace the concept of getting started. Boston’s Game 1 first-round win over Carolina was the fourth straight Game 1 that’s gone the way of the Bruins. They are 7-1 in their last eight Game 1 decisions.

Pick: Boston Bruins (-104), under 5.5 (-139).

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