Lightning vs. Panthers NHL Best Bets Today

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Brayden Point #21 of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Mike Carlson/Getty Images/AFP

Although these teams have gone many years without becoming heated rivals, the past few encounters have been spicy and there have been, on average, 27 penalty minutes per game across the past five meetings. Although the Lighting are ahead of the Panthers in the Atlantic division, they remain road dogs at +135 at the NHL odds board in the battle of Florida. 

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Florida Panthers 

Thursday, December 30, 2021 – 07:00 PM EST at FLA Live Arena 

No Kucherov, No Problem 

It’s scary to think that the back-to-back Stanley Cup champions are already top of the Eastern conference, although they have had to go through some shaky patches and are still without their main man: Nikita Kucherov.  

Even with a bunch of players, including their coach, missing from their last game due to COVID-19 protocols, they still managed to come from behind and beat the Montreal Canadiens, making it their 4th win in the previous five games. It’s unclear if either of their number 1 or 2 goaltenders will be available tonight, along with another few players, this is the main reason we are getting +135 on the moneyline at the top-rated sportsbooks.

Panthers Can Catch Lightning  

This is a great opportunity for the Panthers to go level on points with the Lighting as they are currently four points behind their Florida rivals but have played one game less, a win here and in that extra game and they will be level on points with the Lighting.  

Although it is not a big deal, they would like to finish ahead of the Lighting to hopefully get a better playoff draw. The Panthers had success during the break as they managed to get some players back into the line-up, including captain Aleksander Barkov

Spencer Knight is said to be the projected goaltender here tonight for the Panthers, let’s hope he has a better game than his last outing where he shipped 8 goals to the Ottawa Senators. Although he did have a weakened line-up in front of him.  

Team Trends 

*Trends should never be your main source of information when it comes to making your betting picks, they are merely guidelines and mostly irrelevant information but nonetheless can be interesting to read. 

Tampa Bay Lighting  

  • The total has gone over in 5 of Tampa Bay's last 7 games played on a Thursday. 
  • Tampa Bay are 9-2 in their last 11 games this season. 
  • The total has gone under in 5 of Tampa Bay's last 7 games against an opponent in the Atlantic Division. 

Florida Panthers  

  • The total has gone under in 5 of Tampa Bay's last 7 games against an opponent in the Atlantic Division. 
  • Florida are 16-3 in their last 19 games at home. 
  • The total has gone under in 4 of Florida's last 5 games against Tampa Bay. 

What Are the Betting Odds and Current Lines? 

Moneyline: Although playing on the road, the Lightning are as high as +135 on the moneyline whilst the Panthers are juiced to as low as -135 with some bookmakers. 

Total: The total line for this Florida matchup is 6.0 with the juice towards the over at -120, the under is currently +100. 

Puck Line: Tampa Bay to cover the +1.5 puck line is coming in best priced at -220, which represents zero value. Florida to cover the -1.5 pk line is best priced at +190.  

The Prediction 

For your NHL pick consider that this play is an absolute no-brainer, we must take the experienced Lighting at the +135, this is way too big for a team as strong and determined as the back-to-back Stanley Cup champions, even without their top two goaltenders this is still a good number for the Lightning.  

Florida might have a fitter roster right now, but they're also on a back-to-back and haven’t played since December 17th before last night’s game, they could be a little rusty. Either way, win or lose, we are more than happy to take the Lightning at these odds and we would back them all the way down to +105.  

Brayden Point also returned for the Lighting in their previous game and managed to net himself two goals, don’t be surprised to see him contribute again tonight. The point is currently -140 to score a point, +140 for an assist, and +150 for a goal.  

NHL Pick: Tampa Bay Lighting ML (+135) with BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Tampa Bay Lighting ML (+135)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.