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Odds and Ends

Stanley Cup Final Game 4 Best Bets

by Matt Bernier
Updated On: July 5, 2021, 2:34 pm ET

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This evening in Montreal, the Tampa Bay Lightning will look to complete a four-game sweep of the Canadiens in this year’s Stanley Cup Final, as the puck is set to drop for Game 4 at 8 PM ET on NBC. Throughout the first three games, the Lightning have not been perfect – but they have been darn close, winning all three games by at least two goals. Below is a wager to consider from tonight’s Game 4 at Bell Centre.

 

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING at MONTREAL CANADIENS (Lightning -1.5, -159 ML, o/u 5)

 

Apart from Game 2, nothing has gone the way Montreal would have hoped it would – and they were not able to capitalize when things did indeed go as planned. Goaltender Carey Price has not been nearly as sharp in the Final as he was throughout the first three rounds of the postseason, and that fact alone puts the Canadiens behind the eight-ball, as they are reliant upon exceptional goaltending and strong defense to win games. The Lightning, on the other hand, have played their game for all intents and purposes, outscoring Montreal 14-5 over the first three games. Perhaps the scariest thing about the way Tampa has performed in this series is the all-around team effort they have delivered. This has not been a case of Nikita Kucherov or Brayden Point doing all the scoring to propel the Lightning to victory. Tampa has seen 10 different players score a goal in this year’s Stanley Cup Final, highlighting how impressive this performance has been to this point.

 

 

 

 

It is possible that Montreal digs deep tonight and finds a way to repel defeat, but based on the way Game 3 played out, that seems highly unlikely. Andrei Vasilevskiy was far from brilliant on Friday night for the Lightning, yet they still won by three goals. If Vasilevskiy delivers a performance more on par with what we have become accustomed to seeing from him (especially in close-out games), Montreal is likely in trouble. Game 4 represents another instance in which the moneyline odds available on PointsBet for the Lightning (-160; implied probability of 61.5%) feels a bit on the light side. The UNDER 5 goals price at +110 (implied probability of 47.6%) is not terrible, however two of the first three games have seen six or more goals scored, making that proposition a bit less appealing.

 

 

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The most appealing wager on the board based on the prices available is Tampa’s -1.5-puck line odds, which currently sit at +165 (implied probability of 37.7%) at PointsBet. One must figure the Lightning will be able to score at least three goals based on the way this series has played out, and Montreal’s inability to score goals has been well documented. Consider this: it took a subpar effort from Vasilevskiy in Game 3 for the Canadiens to put three goals on the board. Assuming we get the sharp version of Tampa’s netminder tonight, the Stanley Cup should be awarded to the Tampa Bay Lightning this evening.

 

Prediction: Lightning 3 – Canadiens 1

 

THE PLAYS

 

-    Tampa Bay Lightning -1.5 (+165 on PointsBet)

 

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Matt Bernier

Matt Bernier is a betting analyst for NBC Sports and host of "The Matt Bernier Show" podcast. His work has been showcased in the Daily Racing Form, on ESPN, as well as on TVG. Matt can be followed on Twitter @bernier_matt.