Stanley Cup Final 2020: Lightning vs. Stars odds, NHL picks, Game 1 predictions from advanced model

The Tampa Bay Lightning and the Dallas Stars will face off in Game 1 of the 2020 Stanley Cup Final at 7:30 pm ET on Saturday evening. The Lightning toppled the New York Islanders in a six-game battle to advance to this point, with the Stars upsetting the Vegas Golden Knights in a five-game thriller.

William Hill lists Tampa Bay as the -150 favorite on the money line, with Dallas going off at +130 in the latest Lightning vs. Stars odds. The over-under for total goals expected is 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: Lightning -150, Stars +130
  • Lightning vs. Stars puck line: Lightning -1.5
  • Lightning vs. Stars over-under: 5 goals
  • TB: The Lightning are 8-2 in their last 10 games
  • DAL: The Stars have won 5 of the last 6 games

Why you should back the Lightning

The Lightning are favored for a reason. Tampa Bay has the top four players in the NHL Playoffs in plus-minus, and the Lightning also boast the top two in total points. Nikita Kucherov leads the playoffs in both assists (20) and points (26), with Brayden Point returning from injury late against the Islanders and accumulating 25 points in 17 games.

Beyond that, Tampa Bay is on a mission after an embarrassing loss in the 2019 postseason. The Lightning boasted the second-best goal differential in the NHL this season and, with Point back in the mix, Tampa Bay can put pressure on Dallas with the league’s best offense (245 goals) during the regular season. 

Why you should back the Stars

The Stars are playing lights-out hockey, fresh off a substantial upset over a heavily-favored Las Vegas team. Dallas has an impressive offensive attack, including four of the top 14 goal-scorers in the playoffs. Denis Gurianov and Joe Pavelski have scored nine goals each, with Jamie Benn and Alexander Radulov adding eight goals apiece through 21 games.

In opposition, the Lightning are projected to continue operating without Steven Stamkos (lower-body injury) and, while Point did return in the last round, he is still reportedly functioning at less than 100 percent due to his injury. It will be key for Dallas to hold Tampa Bay’s offense down in the way it did against Las Vegas, but the Stars have shown the ability to do so at the highest level. 

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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