Where does the betting value lie for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals?
Note: Lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. All ratings are out of five stars. All NHL betting odds and totals come from FanDuel Sportsbook.
Lightning +1.5 (-205) - 1 Star
There isn't a bet less sexy in sports than a one-unit bet at -205 odds, but that's the only place our model is finding any value in this one.
The Avalanche prevailed 4-3 in overtime despite scoring all three regulation tallies on a shellshocked Andrei Vasilevskiy in the first period. Then, in the second, Darcy Kuemper let in two cheap goals in a 48-second span. Overall, though, these two teams played a tight, low-scoring game on merit.
Tampa Bay only earned 1.22 expected goals in the contest, but the Avalanche were held to 2.66. That differential -- in a game that went to overtime -- is likely where numberFire's seeing a tiny bit of value this one stays close.
The model believes this one stays close 68.8% of the time against 67.2% implied odds at -205. Of the 10 most similarly-profiled games in numberFire's database entering this contest, 9 of them were covered by the road underdog representing the Bolts here.
Only five of those were won by the road team, though. That's what makes this such a hard moneyline bet, and I'm with the model -- a straight pick of the Avs but no value on their moneyline.
Under 6.0 (-110) - 1 Star
Those expected goal totals make this the easiest way to bet on Game 2.
The Lightning -- trailing for a majority of the first two periods -- only managed 18 official shots and 8 high-danger chances against the Avs' defense. Colorado only mustered 13 high-danger chances themselves despite an inflated shot total (33).
The urgency in this game will also be different. Tampa had two opportunities to steal home ice, and now one has passed by them. That could swing the flow of action in the opposite direction.
Revisiting those most-similarly profiled contests, six of them fell short of the seven goals that would be required to hit the over here. In addition, our model believes this particular game stays short of seven goals 59.4% of the time. That's nearly a two-star (or two-unit) value against the 52.5% implied probability at these odds.
At -110 odds, this total probably isn't flipping to either 5.5 or 6.5 before the puck drops.
Player Props to Consider
Gabriel Landeskog to Score a Goal (+176)
Our model believes two goal-scoring props have some value.
For the Avs, Gabriel Landeskog was one of their best finishers all season. He had 30 tallies in the regular season on a 20% shooting percentage, and he's stayed efficient in the playoffs with 9 scores on a 14% shooting percentage. He did register the opening tally in Game 1, too.
At a median, our model projects Landeskog with the highest amount of goals scored in this game (0.44). Yet, he's got the fifth-highest odds of players listed on FanDuel Sportsbook.
That directly translates to a 44.0% chance Landeskog scores, per the model, against 36.2% implied odds.
Brayden Point to Score a Goal (+200)
This is the other scoring prop with value.
Brayden Point had an uncharacteristic Game 1 by his lofty standards, recording zero shots. He will bounce back, and our model believes in a big way.
Point trails only Landeskog in projected goals scored (0.40) for the entire game, and his odds are the sixth-longest on the board (+200). Those odds imply a 33.3% chance for something our model gives a 40.0% chance of happening.
Point missed the last two series with an injury, but he returned to 17:59 of ice time. With everything just fine exiting Game 2, expect that to push closer to his 21-minute role we saw much of the Toronto series.
Mikko Rantanen Over 2.5 Shots (-168)
The juice on this line just isn't enough.
These -168 odds do imply a 62.7% chance that Mikko Rantanen posts three or more official shots on goal, but this line moving to 3.5 with plus money attached could even be a blessing in disguise.
Nathan MacKinnon's shot prop is set at 4.5, but our model has MacKinnon pegged (3.61) for fewer shots than Rantanen (3.64).
Rantanen has posted three or more shot attempts in five of his last nine contests. Keep in mind, though, that Rantanen has eclipsed 20 minutes just once in the past five contests due to the Avs' heavy lead.
If the Avs find themselves trailing at all in this one, their top scorer from the regular season will likely shift into overdrive.