Lightning vs Blackhawks: Free Picks, Odds & Predictions

NHL Tampa Bay Lightning vs Chicago Blackhawks
Tampa Bay vs Chicago, Amalie Arena

These are two of the best teams in the NHL over the last decade heading in opposite directions as franchises. The Tampa Bay Lightning are the defending champions and looked poised to start a little run of their own contending for championships. The Chicago Blackhawks dynasty is over and there is a new era coming up for the Blackhawks this season in the temporary Central Division.

Free Picks

We’ll start off our NHL predictions with a real long shot from the hockey betting sites in New Jersey. It will be interesting to see how these two teams perform without much training camp or practice for the season opens up. I expect both teams will take it slow in the first period as they try to get their game legs under them and deal with the emotions of opening night. It will especially be difficult with the pregame festivities to honor Tampa Bay’s Stanley Cup victory last summer, so that could take the energy out of the game early.

NO GOAL IN FIRST PERIOD

Goaltenders tend to have an advantage in these early games as shooters are still rounding into form with the puck on their stick in a live game. More importantly, Chicago is missing its top playmaker in Jonathan Toews, and I’m not sure there’s anyone else ready to help set up the Blackhawks offense. Tampa Bay likely won’t score five or six times themselves, either, as it adjusts to life without Nikita Kucherov on the top line.

UNDER 6.5 GOALS

You take away the Lightning’s leading goal-scorer last season, Kucherov, from the equation, but Tampa Bay also returns a healthy Steven Stamkos. Tampa Bay still has plenty of offensive weapons to take advantage of an aging Chicago defensive corps that looked a half-step slow against Vegas in the playoffs last year. The retirement of Corey Crawford throws an open question as to who will start in goal for the Blackhawks, which doesn’t bode well against a strong offensive team like the Lightning.

TAMPA BAY -1.5 GOALS

Best Odds

Tampa Bay Chicago
888Sport
-230 +185
Sugar House
-230 +185
FanDuel
-230 +190
Borgata
-225 +190
BetMGM
-225 +190
Caesars
-250 +220

Statistics

Head to Head

This will be the first of eight meetings this season between the two teams under the new divisional alignment for this shortened season.

Stats

  • These two teams split their two meetings last year with both road teams winning. Tampa Bay won 4-2 in Chicago and the Blackhawks returned the favor with a 5-2 win in Tampa. Chicago leads the overall series between the two teams with an 18-16-7 record and they also tied five times.
  • The last five Stanley Cup champions have alternated wins and losses with three of those season openers going to overtime. Chicago lost after winning the Cup in 2015, Pittsburgh won in a shootout in 2016, the Penguins lost in overtime in 2017, Washington won in 2018 and St. Louis lost last year’s opener after winning the Cup.
  • This is the seventh time in the last 11 years that the Blackhawks have opened the season on the road. They are 3-2-1 in their previous six matchups.
  • This is the seventh straight year Tampa Bay will open the season at home. The Lightning have won nine of its last 10 season-openers and have won the last eight times they have opened the season at home.

Our Prediction for Tampa Bay vs Chicago

Tampa Bay Lightning to win

The Blackhawks were already on the decline from their dynasty last decade, and the loss of Jonathan Toews is too much. It’s a new era for Chicago, but Tampa Bay is in the prime of what could be a dynastic run for the Lightning with their young core. Tampa Bay should be able to get it done.

NJ Legal Betting Sites

Betting Site
Bonus
Brand Features
Review
Bet Now
888Sport
$500 Free Bet
$500 Free Bet
Read Review
Sugar House Sportsbook
100% Up to $250
100% Up to $250
Read Review
FanDuel
Get A $1000 Risk Free Bet
Get A $1000 Risk Free Bet
Read Review
William Hill Sportsbook
Get up to $500 Free Bet
Get up to $500 Free Bet
Read Review
Borgata Sports
Get $100 When You Bet $20
Get $100 When You Bet $20
Read Review
BetMGM Sports
Deposit Match Up To $500
Deposit Match Up To $500
Read Review
Caesars Sportsbook
First Deposit Bonus up to $300
First Deposit Bonus up to $300
Read Review

Josh Walfish is an award-winning journalist who has been covering college and professional sports in the United States. He holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University and his work has appeared in the Miami Herald, Chicago Sun-Times and Providence Journal. He most recently chronicled the UMass hockey teams rise to prominence over the last two years for the local newspaper

All Reviews by Josh Walfish

BACK TO TOP