The Tampa Bay Lightning will host the Washington Capitals in Game 7 of the NHL's Eastern Conference Final Wednesday as home favorites with a spot in the Stanley Cup Final on the line.
The Capitals recorded their first home win of the series on Monday with a 3-0 victory, and the Lightning hope to follow suit with their second after winning three of the past four overall.
NHL betting line: The Lightning opened as -167 favorites (wager $167 to win $100); the total is at 5.5 goals, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. Line updates and matchup report.
NHL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 3.7-1.7, Capitals. NHL picks on every game.
Why the Capitals Can Pay on the NHL Lines
Washington has been outstanding on the road this postseason, taking the first two games in Tampa Bay and seven of nine away from home in the playoffs overall, according to the OddsShark NHL Database, including six as an underdog.
The Capitals also played the Lightning tough in the last meeting at Amalie Arena, falling 3-2 despite Alex Ovechkin's 11th goal of the postseason in the final two minutes.
The 32-year-old Ovechkin is widely considered the best current player who has yet to play for the Stanley Cup, and his performance in Game 7 could well be the difference.
Why the Lightning Can Pay on the NHL Lines
The Lightning earned home-ice advantage in the playoffs for moments like this, the opportunity to advance to the Stanley Cup Final in front of their home fans.
Even though they were blanked on the road in Game 6, they have the confidence they have been the better team in the second half of the series after losing the first two at home.
While Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has not earned a shutout in these playoffs, Washington counterpart Braden Holtby had not either until Game 6, when his team needed him the most.
Vasilevskiy will be primed for his best game here.
Smart Betting Pick
The pressure is usually on the home team in a Game 7 because they are expected to win, but the Lightning have been here before while the Capitals have not.
It will be difficult for Washington to duplicate its strong effort from Game 6 on the road in such a hostile environment. Tampa Bay won two Game 7s en route to making its most recent appearance in the Stanley Cup Final, in 2015, and the Lightning have many of the same players from that squad.
Take Tampa Bay to win another low-scoring game.
NHL Betting Trends
Washington is 11-5 in its past 16 games.
Washington is 12-2 in its past 14 games on the road.
Tampa Bay is 8-16 in its past 24 games against Washington.
All NHL odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.