NHL Tuesday best bets: Panthers out for revenge vs. Lightning
Though some of the value on tonight's 11-game slate was squeezed out overnight, plenty still remains. Let's dive into it with our best bets.
The Buffalo Sabres are off to a 2-0-0 start and have controlled more than 67% of the expected goals thus far, which leads the league. But it's important to put their success into context.
Both games came on home soil against subpar teams. The Montreal Canadiens - still winless - played in Buffalo in the latter half of a back-to-back with their third-string goaltender between the pipes.
In the Sabres' other game, they needed a shootout to beat a Coyotes side that has conceded 15 goals in two contests against teams outside of Buffalo. Again, hardly a remarkable win.
Vancouver should be able to generate plenty of offense in this game. Its top nine is very strong and will be aided by the return of sniper Brock Boeser.
Top to bottom, the Canucks are much more talented than the Sabres. With Boeser's return and Demko back between the pipes, I think the Canucks take care of business with relative ease in this one.
Bets: Canucks ML (-155), Canucks in regulation (-105)
It's not often I'd consider, let alone bet an even-money team playing on the road against the back-to-back Stanley Cup champions. But that's the way to approach this game.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have problems right now. Big problems. They lost the entirety of the Yanni Gourde line during the offseason, which has tested their depth. Now they're without superstar Nikita Kucherov, as well. His absence wasn't problematic a year ago, but the circumstances were much different; the Lightning were extremely deep.
The Florida Panthers' top nine, on paper, is more potent than Tampa Bay's. Their defense is in good shape with a healthy Aaron Ekblad back in the mix, and they're giving Spencer Knight his first start of the season in this one. I see him as a clear upgrade over Sergei Bobrovsky.
Even on the road, I'm happy to take what I consider the more talented side at plus money.
Bet: Panthers ML (+100)
Rapid fire: Nathan MacKinnon tested negative for COVID-19 on Monday and flew to meet the Colorado Avalanche in Washington. He tested negative again this morning, clearing him to play. I see real value on Colorado (-105).
Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.