The TNT national broadcast game will be Edmonton-Tampa Bay on this Wednesday evening, and while they surely want a high-scoring game on their broadcast, I’m not so sure that’s what we get.
This is a star-studded game with Connor McDavid, Leon Draisatl, Brayden Point, Steven Stamkos and plenty more. Still, I have a strong lean that this game goes under the total goals, which is currently set at 6.5 on DraftKings.
Data Suggests a Tight Game
When planning out my NHL bets, the first place I go is recent shots allowed numbers. It gives us a good floor of expected volume for player props and goals.
In their respective locations from the past ten games, both the Oilers and Lightning have been stingy allowing opponent shots.
Edmonton is allowing just 27.4 shots per game on the road and Tampa Bay is allowing only 26.4 at home. If neither team gets the opportunity to put pucks on net at a high rate, it certainly gets tougher to score.
Now, a lot has been made about goalie Mike Smith’s struggles for the Oilers, which is a very real concern. The 39-year old has allowed 3.61 goals per game this season in his 12 starts.
His last start was an abysmal four-goal game against Minnesota in which he was pulled after the first period. In the three games prior, Smith let up just six total goals with an average save percentage of 0.937.
He clearly has the ability in him to shut down teams, and Edmonton as a team has been tight against scoring on the road lately. In their past five away tilts, the Oilers are allowing just 2.0 goals per game.
Tampa has been a tough opponent to score on all season, and their last five home numbers confirm that, allowing just 1.8 goals per game.
Trends Point to the Under
There are a handful of strong betting trends, courtesy of Covers.com, that suggest we may be in for a game under 6.5 total goals tonight on TNT.
The under is 6-0 in the last six games in which Edmonton has two days of rest. The under is 4-1-1 in the last six games the Oilers have been a road underdog, and Edmonton’s under is 7-2 in the first game after letting up five goals.
In Tampa Bay’s last four games as a home favorite, the game has gone under each time.
Tampa Bay scored 5 goals last game. In the past 23 games in which they finished with that total (or more), the under is 15-6-2 in the subsequent game.
These trends aren’t necessarily predictive of what is going to occur, but it’s a strong intersection that indicates we may not see the offensive fireworks some expect.
As a lean, I’m willing to place .5 units on the under here. I believe these numbers are showing enough to feel confident about a game with fewer than 7 goals.
.5unit bet: Under 6.5 goals (-105 on DraftKings)