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Opening Lightning vs Islanders Series Odds List Tampa Bay as -225 Favorites to Advance to Stanley Cup Final

Chris Wassel

by Chris Wassel in NHL Hockey

Jun 10, 2021 · 5:38 AM PDT

Opening Tampa Bay Lightning vs New York Islanders Series Odds 2021 Stanley Cup Finals
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) watches the puck during the second period in Game 5 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series against the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, June 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
  • The Lightning and Islanders play Game 1 of their Stanley Cup semifinal series on Saturday, June 12th (7:30 PM EST)
  • Tampa Bay opens up as a significant -225 favorite to take the series and advance to the Stanley Cup Final
  • Read below for the odds and betting pick

The New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning begin their best-of-seven series. Game 1 will be played on Saturday, June 12th (7:30 PM EST) at Amalie Arena and will be broadcasted on NBC.

Tampa is currently listed as a robust -185 home favorite to go up one game to none and a significant favorite to win the series.

Can the Tampa Bay Lightning repeat what they pulled off in 2020 once again?

Lightning vs Islanders Series Odds

Team Odds at DraftKings
Tampa Bay Lightning ->-225<-
New York Islanders +180

Odds as of June 10th

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Tampa Bay Is the Favorite Once More

There were times when some doubted Tampa Bay could get back to this point. Facing the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes was no easy task and yet the Lightning disposed of Florida in six games and Carolina in five hard-fought games. This title defense has tested their mettle, and so far Tampa Bay has exceeded expectations.

The Islanders have to be given credit as well, but again, there is that one big reason why Tampa Bay plays off as a significant series favorite.

The way Tampa Bay played New York’s game last year in a six-game series triumph does speak volumes. History seems to be on Tampa Bay’s side as well since 2004.

Tampa Bay has several big advantages going into this series. History is one. Another is they have the better and younger Russian goaltender. Andrei Vasilevskiy is well on his way to winning another Vezina Trophy for best goaltender. The netminder has faced 377 shots in just 11 games (34.1 per game). That is even more than last year.

The Lightning hold some significant advantages. One of them is their special teams — particularly the power play. Tampa Bay was 9th in the regular season (22.22%) without Nikita Kucherov and even missed Steven Stamkos for significant chunks. With both healthy in the playoffs, they are a top unit. Tampa’s penalty kill is no slouch either (4th — 84.15%). In their two series so far, along with goaltending, special teams for Tampa have been a huge difference-maker.

Does New York Have Underdog Value Again?

When the New York Islanders asserted their will against the Boston Bruins in Game 6, Boston had few answers left. After Game 3 of their second-round series, New York had +380 odds of winning the series (some places were around +400 or +420 even). Their system and how New York adheres to it were big reasons why the Islanders were able to win three straight games. The Islanders won the series by being more persistent and ultimately getting more balanced scoring than Boston.

For one, the six goals that punctuated New York’s Game 6 win, the second, third, and fourth lines poetically contributed to every single tally.

Maybe the most encouraging thing about the Islanders is that balance. That balance helps New York hang around in their series. Even if one looks at last year’s series against Tampa Bay, New York was able to hang around because they were not just one-dimensional (defense structure, goaltending, etc.). It is why New York always has underdog value and will be a tougher matchup than even Carolina and Florida were.

Lightning vs Islanders Game 1 Odds

Team Moneyline at DraftKings Puckline Total
Tampa Bay Lightning -185 -1.5 (+150) O 5.5 (+120)
New York Islanders +150 +1.5 (-182) U 5.5 (-143)

Lightning vs Islanders Series Bet

The Lightning will face yet another tough opponent in the New York Islanders. It is the Islanders’ ability to adhere to that structure going up against Tampa Bay. Tampa has that balance with just a little more firepower. It is that firepower that gives Tampa Bay the slight edge.

Aside from Game 1 in last year’s series, every game was close for the most part. Expect that to be the case again.

That is indeed the reality. Tampa has value as well. This will be an entertaining series, but the Tampa Bay Lightning winning in six games is our pick.

Pick: Tampa Bay (-225), Tampa Bay in 6 Games (+425)

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