NHL

Stanley Cup Final 2020: Lightning vs. Stars odds, NHL picks, Game 5 predictions from advanced model

The Dallas Stars and the Tampa Bay Lightning square off in Game 5 of the 2020 Stanley Cup Final at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday in Edmonton. After dropping Game 1, the Lightning have won three straight games, including a 5-4 overtime victory in Game 4 on Friday. Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos has seen just 2:47 of ice time this entire series as the center works his way back from a core injury sustained earlier this season. He was deemed unfit to play on Friday and his status for Saturday and the rest of the series is uncertain.

William Hill lists Tampa Bay as the -170 favorite on the money line in the latest Lightning vs. Stars odds. The over-under, or total number of goals expected, is set at five. Before making any Stars vs. Lightning picks, check out the NHL predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.

This model simulates every NHL game 10,000 times, taking into account factors like current form, individual matchups, injuries and short- and long-term trends when making NHL picks. The model seeks the best values on the money line, puck line and total.

Now, the model has set its sights on Lightning vs. Stars. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the NHL odds from William Hill and trends for Stars vs. Lightning: 

  • Lightning vs. Stars money line: Tampa Bay -170, Dallas +150
  • Lightning vs. Stars puck line: Tampa Bay -1.5
  • Lightning vs. Stars over-under: 5 goals
  • TB: The Lighting are 14-4 in their last 18 contests.
  • DAL: The Stars are 6-4 in their last 10 games.

Why you should back the Lightning

The Lightning were the best offensive team in the NHL during the 2019-20 season, averaging 3.47 goals per game. That success has carried over to the postseason and, especially, to this series, with Tampa Bay scoring at least three goals in all three victories and averaging more than four per game in that trio of contests. Even with limited contributions from Stamkos, who did manage to score a goal in his only appearance, the Lightning are loaded with creative talent, headlined by Brayden Point, Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman

Point leads both the team and the NHL with 13 playoff goals, with Kucherov leading the playoffs in points and Hedman keeping things balanced with 11 assists and 10 goals in the postseason. Overall, Tampa Bay’s onslaught has seemingly permeated the previously stingy Stars defense, with Dallas goalie Anton Khudobin struggling to an .863 save percentage during Tampa Bay’s three-game winning streak. 

Why you should back the Stars

There is uncertainty with the goalie situation for Dallas but, in the broader picture, the Stars have been a strong defensive team in the recent past. Khudobin is struggling right now with only a .863 save percentage in the Stars’ three consecutive losses. Prior to that, though, he was lights-out for the first 19 games of the playoffs, holding opponents to only 2.54 goals per game, and Khudobin is not the only option for Dallas. 

Given the back-to-back and Khudobin’s relative struggles, the Stars could turn to 33-year-old goalie Ben Bishop, who ranked in the top 10 during the regular season in allowing only 2.50 goals per game in 44 appearances. Offensively, the Stars are exceptionally balanced and Dallas has generated multiple goals in every game during the 2020 Stanley Cup Final. Defenseman Miro Heiskanen leads Dallas with 25 points, including 19 assists, during the playoffs, and the Stars have plenty of goal-scoring punch. Joe Pavelski leads the team with 12 goals in the playoffs, and he is joined by Denis Gurianov (nine), Jamie Benn (eight) and Alexander Radulov (eight) in ranking among the top 11 players in goals during the postseason. 

How to make Lightning vs. Stars picks

SportsLine’s model is leaning over on the total with the simulations giving Kucherov and Gurianov the best chance to score a goal for their respective sides. It also says one side of the money line has all the value. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Stars vs. Lightning? And which side of the money line has all the value? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Lightning vs. Stars money line to jump on, all from the advanced model that has simulated this matchup 10,000 times, and find out. 


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