NHL on Wednesday: Tampa Bay Lightning @ Ottawa Senators

In the Eastern Conference lopsided matchup the Senators host Lightning in Ottawa. The Sens are at the bottom of the conference right above dead last Buffalo, while Tampa Bay is going strong at the top of the East.

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Last season’s conference finalists are in deep crisis. The owner has stated they’re likely to cut salaries by more than 10M$, which means everyone is for sale. Things are not that much better on the ice. Only 51 points in 58 games means the Senators are effectively out of the playoffs already, adding to the pressure of cutting costs. They’ve only won two games in regulation from the past 15. However, at home they’ve been remarkably better, winning five straight – albeit three in overtime or shootout. When the season is practically over for the Senators, it remains to be seen how much fight they still have in them in this dire situation.

Accuscore’s record in picking Tampa Bay games on the road is 20-13 with a profit of +406 for the season and picking Tampa Bay games against teams under .500 is 18-8 with a profit of +343.

Conference leading Tampa Bay have had their problems after almost invincible beginning to the season, but they’ve managed to put up a decent sequence in the past 10 games, with six wins and four losses. Their bad stretch included five losses in seven games. While Lightning still doesn’t look as good as they did to start the season, they’ve managed to score aplenty and lead the conference in goals scored.

Lightning has scored a hefty 3.58 goals per game overall and 3.45 on the road. Senators have allowed 3.52 overall and 3.5 at home. Tampa Bay’s defense has been decent on the road, allowing 2.66 while Ottawa’s offense has been abysmal at home, only scoring 2.25 goals on average. The visitors have a huge edge in quality of roster and Ottawa is also playing the second game of back-to-backs after featuring in Chicago tonight. Returning home after road trip is never easy and Tampa Bay are huge favorites in this one.

Accuscore’s simulations

In Accuscore simulations Tampa Bay wins 60.5% of the games. The hosts remain at 39.5%. There’s good value in picking Tampa Bay while the odds are still somewhat under the 60%. The best value is found in 3-way though, with Tampa Bay 52% favorites to win it in regulation and the odds offer in the region of 48%.

The game is rather high-scoring in simulations, with an average of 6.5 goals scored. The hosts manage to put 3.0 past Andrey Vasilevskiy, led by Erik Karlsson, Mark Stone and Mike Hoffman. The visitors however do one better and score on average 3.5 goals past Craig Anderson. Lightning’s most likely scorers feature Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos and this season’s breakthrough player Yanni Gourde.

Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov scores a goal with 41.7% likelihood and at least one point with 68.7% probability. Ottawa’s Mark Stone is the most likely goal scorer for his team with 31% and Erik Karlsson is the most likely to pick up at least one point with 53% probability.

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Analyst Picks

Can’t look past the Lightning here as Ottawa is in all kinds of trouble on and off the ice. The offense of the visitors is overwhelming compared to the hosting defense, so it’s likely to be a goals galore as well.

  • There’s excellent value in Tampa Bay ML win, which should be taken with odds of -153 | 1.65
  • 3-way bet for Tampa Bay works even better with odds better than -104 | 1.96
  • The total goes over 5.5 in 60.3 % of the simulations, so take the over with odds of -151 | 1.66
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