NHL Outlook: Bet on the Tampa Bay Lightning to Win the Championship at 6/1, 14.3%...Projected to Finish Ahead of Penguins

SEASON FORECASTS AND FUTURES PICKS

Oddsmakers and our simulation say Lightning have the best chance to win the Stanley Cup (6/1, 14.3%). They win the championship in 27.5% of simulations which makes them a good betting value. They are also a good bet to win the East at 3/1, 25%. Their sim chance is 38.1%. They are projected to finish with 109 points and live up to their pre-season futures line of 108.5. They are basically a lock to make the playoffs. Their chances of winning their division stand at 57.2%. Based on wins per simulation they are projected to have the best record in the East.

For winning picks against the spread, total and money line for all NHL games by our proven computer model and leading handicappers visit SportsLine.com where you can also get fantasy basketball and daily fantasy optimal lineups from CBSSports' Top Experts.

REGULAR SEASON RECAP AND UPCOMING GAMES

Based on money line odds their expected record at this point of the season is 2.9-2.1. They are coming up well short of expectations with their 2-2-1 record. Money line backers would be down 149 units. They are 2-3 on puck line bets for a -115 loss. Their over-under record is 4-1. Their 62-16-4 record last season was way ahead of what was expected of them. Their game-by-game odds gave them a projected record of 49.4-32.6. They were very good against the money line (+1714). They had a strong puck line record going 41-41 for (+1057 profit). They went over 44 times and came in under 35 times. They are favored in their upcoming game vs the Montreal Canadiens. The table below shows their upcoming games, their simulation based win percentage and their recent head to head record (WL, ATS, OU).

OPPONENTSIM%H2H WLH2H ATSH2H OU
10/15 MON59%3-1, +561-3
10/17 BOS57%3-1, +1222-2
10/19 COL61%2-0, +1491-1
10/23 PIT57%2-1, +562-1
10/26 NSH66%0-2, -2000-2

TEAM STATISTICAL STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES

Since 10/2/2018 their average goal differential is +0.99 (includes playoff games) which ranks #1 in the league, which is the same as how they rank in points. They are the #2 ranked team in goal differential (based on all teams' road stats) and the #1 ranked team among home teams. Their average goal differential in their past 5 games is 0 which ranks them #0 over this stretch, slightly better than the season overall.

OFFENSIVE STATS PER GAME (League Rank):

SituationGoalsGoal%Shots on Goal
All 91 Games3.81 (#1)12.1% (#1)31.5 (#16)
Road3.68 (#1)11.7% (#1)31.4 (#13)
Home3.95 (#1)12.5% (#1)31.6 (#18)
Last 5 Games0 (#0)0% (#0)0 (#0)

DEFENSIVE STATS PER GAME (Lower # is Better):

SituationGoals AllowedSave%Shots Against
All2.82 (#10)91.2% (#7)32 (#21)
Road3.06 (#15)90.5% (#1432.2 (#14)
Home2.57 (#8)91.9% (#4)31.8 (#20)
Last 5 Games0 (#0)0% (#0)0 (#0)

TEAM FANTASY LEADERS

The table below show the most valuable fantasy players on the team led by Andrei Vasilevskiy who is projected to be the #1 Goalie the rest of the season. The Better Option column shows the player directly above him and the Better Than column shows the player directly below him in the projected position rankings.

PLAYEROWN%RANKBETTER OPTIONBETTER THAN
Andrei Vasilevskiy891--Jordan Binnington
Nikita Kucherov1001--Patrick Kane
Steven Stamkos1003Brad MarchandAlex Ovechkin
Brayden Point995Sidney CrosbyAuston Matthews
Victor Hedman1008Roman JosiErik Gustafsson
Kevin Shattenkirk9316Alexander EdlerDougie Hamilton
Yanni Gourde4947Zach HymanBrandon Saad
Carter Verhaeghe2151Joe ThorntonTyler Johnson
Tyler Johnson3652Carter VerhaegheJ.T. Compher
Curtis McElhinney2135Jaroslav HalakPavel Francouz