Below, you can look at the Stanley Cup Finals matchup on tonight’s NHL slate and some of our best bets on the FanDuel Sportsbook.
Tampa Bay Lightning (+126) vs. Colorado Avalanche (-152) Total: 6 (O-115, U-105)
This is a dream matchup for the NHL in so many ways with the amount of star power in this series. The main storylines to follow will be whether or not Nathan MacKinnon can lead the Avalanche to their first Stanley Cup since 2001 or if the Lightning can win their third consecutive and create one of the great modern-day dynasties in the salary cap era.
It’s no secret that Brayden Point returning for the Lightning in this Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals would give the team a massive jolt. He was highly influential in the team’s first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs before getting injured in the first period of Game 7. Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said there’s a chance he plays tonight, and judging by how he looked at practice ahead of this contest on Tuesday, it would be hard to see him not dressing for this opening contest.
One significant factor in this game should be the altitude in Colorado. It’s a considerable advantage for the home team, who’s used to playing in this type of atmosphere, but it’s not that easy to adjust to for the visitors. The Avalanche have come out on top in all three Game 1’s they’ve played in this playoff run, while the Lightning have started slowly in their series, 1-2 in their first games. You can argue that should turn you away from Tampa Bay tonight, but their experience and the solid plus-money value present an opportunity with the moneyline at +126.
The total in this series will be interesting to follow. There’s no doubt that both of these clubs boast plenty of high-end talent, which should create many goals. So far, you’ve seen both ends of the spectrum from these clubs, illustrating how unpredictable this series could be, which means you might see high and low-scoring affairs. Both clubs have shown that they can play any style, and that’s likely why they’ve ended up playing for a Stanley Cup.
Darcy Kuemper is listed as 100 percent healthy ahead of Game 1 and should be the expected starter for Colorado, while it’s clear that Andrei Vasilevskiy will be between the pipes for the Lightning. The Lightning will have the edge in the net, but during Game 1’s for both of these teams, the under has hit in three-of-six games. With that being said, both of these teams have had some rest ahead of Game 1, and that could make for a slow start to the series, meaning you should lean towards the value the under six is presenting at -105.
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