New Jersey Devils vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Betting Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

The New Jersey Devils look to fend off elimination at Amalie Arena in Game 5 of the NHL postseason’s first round. NBC will broadcast the game, and the opening face-off takes place at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 21.

New Jersey Devils at Tampa Bay Lightning Odds

Tampa Bay (-245) is currently favored over New Jersey (+205). The Over/Under (O/U) is set at an even 6 goals and initially opened at -115 for the under and -105 for the over. That line has since moved however, and it now sits at -110 for the over, -110 for the under.

Earning moneyline bettors 9.6 units, Tampa Bay is 57-29 straight up (SU) overall this year. That winning percentage, ranked first in the league in this young season, is an improvement over the 42-40 record from the 2016-17 season campaign. Through 86 regular season matches, 52 of the teams games have gone over the total, while 32 have gone under and just two have pushed. The team is 31-12 SU at home this year.

After sporting the third-best power-play unit in the regular season (converting 24.6 percent of all chances), the Lightning have been able to score on 35.7 percent of their extra-man advantages in the early stages of these playoffs.

The Lightning offensive skaters attempted 32.7 shots per game in the regular season, leading to 3.6 goals per outing (ranked first overall in the NHL). In the postseason, the teams attempting an average of 32.5 shots on goal 3.8 goals per game.

Boasting a .921 save percentage and 29.6 saves per game, Andrei Vasilevskiy (47-22-3) has been the top goalkeeper for the Bolts this year. If head coach Jon Cooper decides to give him the day off, however, the team could turn to Louis Domingue (7-12-12 record, .894 save percentage, 3.41 goals against average).

Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos will both lead the offensive attack for the Lightning. Kucherov (109 points) has tallied 43 goals and 66 assists and has recorded two or more points in 33 different games this year. Stamkos has 28 goals and 63 assists to his credit and has recorded at least one point in 55 games.

On the other side of the ice, New Jersey is 45-41 straight up (SU) and has netted moneyline bettors 11.1 units this year. A total of 45 of its contests have gone over the total, while 39 have gone under and just two have pushed. As the road team, the Devils are 21-22 SU.

The Devils have converted on 21.1 percent of their power play opportunities this season, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked eighth overall and it’s successfully killed off 80.9 percent of all opponent power plays.

New Jersey’s players have been whistled for penalties 3.8 times per game in total this season, and 5.6 per game over their last five games. The teams been forced to defend opponent power plays an unhealthy 19.2 minutes per game over their last five outings.

Cory Schneider (.910 save percentage and 2.86 goals against average) has been the main option in goal for New Jersey. Schneider is averaging 27.7 saves per game and has 19 wins, 24 losses, and six OT losses to his credit.

Taylor Hall (41 goals, 58 assists) will pace the offensive attack for the visiting Devils.

New Jersey Devils vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Betting Picks

Free Pick: SU Winner – Lightning, O/U – Under

Betting Notes

  • A majority (59.6 percent) of Tampa Bay’s wins have come by two or more goals, and the team is 34-18 overall in such games. 20 of New Jersey’s 45 wins (44.4 percent) have been decided by two or more goals.
  • Extra-man opportunities may play a critical role in this matchup. The Devils are 14-23 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 25-30 in games where they’re in the penalty box for fewer than 10 total minutes. The Lightning are 26-15 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 31-18 when total penalty minutes are in the single digits.
  • New Jersey is 5-4 in games decided by a shootout this season while Tampa Bay is 6-2 in shootouts.
  • The over has hit in three of Tampa Bay’s last five outings.
  • Tampa Bay skaters have averaged 7.4 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 8.3 giveaways per game (the 9th-fewest in the NHL).
  • New Jersey skaters have averaged 6.8 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 8.0 giveaways per game (ranked seventh).