The Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars are tied after the first two games of the 2020 Stanley Cup Final, so Wednesday night’s Game 3 brings plenty of excitement and some very intriguing picks and markets to choose from.
We have prepared the best betting pick for the Lightning versus Stars showdown along with the latest odds update and all the tips and trends the sports bettors need to know, so let’s take a closer look, as the NHL Playoffs betting action continues Wednesday, September 23, 2020.
The Lightning can count on all their players besides Steven Stamkos, but Tampa’s captain is close to returning and was listed as doubtful for Game 2. The Stars miss Ben Bishop, Stephen Johns, and Radek Faksa, while Blake Comeau is questionable to play.
Tampa opened as a -152 moneyline fave on DraftKings, while Dallas is listed as a +137 out-of-towner to win straight up. The totals are set at 5.0 goals on BetMGM with the over at -130 odds and the under at +118.
What’s at Stake?
I would be surprised if someone wins the championship in less than six games, so taking a 2-1 lead shouldn’t mean a thing, although it’s never a nice feeling to trail in the playoff series.
The Stars upset the Lightning in the opener, grabbing a 4-1 win as +135 dogs. Tampa bounced back immediately and won 3-2 last Monday as a -160 fave. By now, both teams should have learned a few lessons, and Game 3 will show who’s better prepared.
The Lightning struggled to find the net in the opener, scoring once on 36 shots, while the Stars netted four goals on just 20 shots. Anton Khudobin had a huge game for the Stars, but the 34-year-old goalie was helpless in Game 2.
Tampa scored three 1st-period goals on Monday and still finished the game with two shots more than Dallas (31-29). Brayden Point netted his 10th goal of the postseason, while Nikita Kucherov had a couple of dishes.
This duo was key for the Lightning in the 2020 Stanley Cup, combining for 16 goals and 38 assists. Andrei Vasilevskiy posted 27 saves last Monday to make amends for a poor performance in the opening game of the finals, and he’s now 15-6 with a 1.88 GAA on the postseason.
The Stars need more from their forwards, as defensemen Miro Heiskanen and John Klingberg are leading the way with 42 points combined. Center Joe Pavelski netted once in Game 2, tallying his 10th goal of the postseason, while winger Alexander Radulov made two assists.
However, winger Jamie Benn is scoreless through the first two games against Tampa after scoring a goal in each of the last three contests of the Western Conference Finals. Anton Khudobin will get another starting call Wednesday, and he’s 13-7 with a 2.57 GAA.
The Lightning look like a better team than the Dallas Stars, especially on the offensive end. However, the Stars are aggressive and love to protect their cage while waiting for some chances through counter-attacks. Their approach is very dangerous, and the Stars certainly stand a chance against Tampa.
However, I have to take the Lightning once more after winning the Game 2 wager. Andrei Vasilevskiy is a top-notch goalie, and he’s been tremendous all season long. On the other side, Anton Khudobin is enjoying a wonderful Stanley Cup, no doubt, but he’ll have to deal with Tampa’s lethal frontline.
The Lightning allowed too many easy scoring opportunities in Game 1, but they improved a lot in Game 2, and I expect to see more from them on Wednesday night. Tampa is 6-3 in its last nine meetings with Dallas, while the over is 14-3-3 in the previous 20 encounters between these two foes.