NHL Best Bets: Flames vs. Lightning Game Picks

The Calgary Flames and Tampa Bay Lightning entered the year with high expectations, but neither has particularly gotten off to hot starts.

All Odds Courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook

Calgary Flames (+102) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (-122) Total: 6.5 (O+102, U-124)

Even without fast starts for the Flames or Lightning, there’s still plenty to like about both rosters and where you can project them at the end of the regular season. The Flames are still trying to get out of their slump fully, but they’ve won two straight games and are 3-5-2 over their last ten. On the other hand, the Lightning are playing some strong hockey at the moment and are 6-3-1 over that same stretch of games while also winning two straight. 

What’s interesting about these two teams early on is how much they’ve lacked defensively, which wasn’t something many would have thought would transpire entering the campaign. In saying that, the Flames and Lightning have been able to score more than enough goals to stay in games, which should make for a compelling matchup tonight. 

Looking toward the projected goalie matchup tonight, the visiting Flames should continue turning to Jacob Markstrom between the pipes, while the Lightning should do the same with Andrei Vasilevskiy. The Flames netminder has posted a 6-3-2 record, paired with a .889 save percentage, which isn’t exactly numbers you’d be expecting from one of the top goalies in the NHL. The same thing can be said for Vasilevskiy, who’s posted a 5-5-1 record and a .898 save percentage. Usually, you’d expect a goalie duel between these two, but that might not be the case with the trends they’ve shown us up to this point. 

Both teams are entering looking to make it three straight victories, and they’re very closely priced on the moneyline, with the Flames sitting as slight road underdogs at +102 while the Lightning sit at -122. With the Lightning controlling the matchup game tonight and looking strong of late, it’s hard to fade their excellent price tag on the moneyline. 

Best Bet: Lightning moneyline (-122) 

You wouldn’t expect this to be a matchup with many goals scored, but it’s certainly a possibility tonight with how the goalies and defenses have performed. The total for this game is currently set at 6.5, with the over sitting in plus-money territory at +102, while the under is juiced at -124. Of late, you’re starting to see things somewhat normalize for these teams, with the Flames seeing two of their last five games end with less than seven goals scored, while the Lightning have seen three of their previous five eclipse that number. You can somewhat see these two teams turning a corner here, meaning don’t be surprised if there’s a defensive affair tonight with not a lot of goals scored. 

Best Bet: Under 6.5 (-124) 

With the Lightning having a solid stretch of hockey lately, one of the big reasons for that has been their captain. Steven Stamkos has continued to have a solid campaign and has posted eight goals and nine assists, which has him second on the team in scoring. Even if we’re not expecting a lot of scoring tonight, Stamkos is slowly getting back into a rhythm, and there’s definite value in his current prop to score, which is listed at +156. That number should be hard to pass up, even with a big slate of games present this Thursday night. 

Best Prop: Steven Stamkos to Record Over 0.5 Goals (+156)