The NHL Stanley Cup Final begin tonight in Game 1 between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning. The game is scheduled for an 8:00 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on NBC. Currently the betting odds for the game have the Lightning favored to pick up the win in tonight's contest.
Tampa Bay was the best team in hockey on their own ice during the regular season, but they struggled a bit during the post season. The Lightning have gone just 5-5 in home games during the playoffs, dropping two games each to the Detroit Red Wings in the opening round and the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Finals. New York actually won each of the last two games played in Florida against the Lightning, giving Tampa Bay a slim losing streak on their own ice.
Chicago knocked out Anaheim in seven games in the Western Conference Finals, keeping the hockey fans of the world from having a Final with two teams from warm cities. The Blackhawks have been a staple of success in the NHL for some time and most recently won the Stanley Cup back in 2010 and 2013. Tampa Bay most recently won their Stanley Cup in the 2004 season.
There is a ton of talent on the ice for this series, both the Blackhawks and Lightning are full of stars. If Chicago is able to win four of the next seven games they will cement themselves as a dynasty and the one group in hockey to represent this era.
Both teams play a wide-open style of hockey, utilizing their skill to score goals and keep the competition at bay. That should make for a great finals showdown between these two squads. Tampa goalie Ben Bishop and Chicago goalie Corey Crawford will both have a lot of work to do in the series, but both teams also have solid defenses in front of their netminders.
Talent might not be the ultimate determining factor to winning this series, grinding and doing the right things on the special teams will be very important.
Tonight the Blackhawks will push to pick up the win on the road, but Tampa Bay gets it done on their own ice in a close game.
Free Pick: Tampa Bay
Free MLB Betting Pick: Oakland As at Detroit Tigers
Yes, the Oakland A's started out the 2015 MLB season terribly, but pro bettor Teddy Covers thinks the As are starting to turn things around, especially when Sonny Gray is on the mound. Meanwhile, the Detroit Tigers batting line-up is struggling to hit the ball, rarely scoring more than three runs. With that in mind, Teddy likes the As in this match up.
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