Did you really think the two-time champion Lightning would go down so easily? Tampa Bay pounced Colorado 6-2 in Game 3 to make the 2022 Stanley Cup Finals a series again. Here’s a breakdown of Wednesday’s Game 4, plus free picks on the moneyline, puck line, and over/under.
Stanley Cup Finals Game 4: Over/Under Pick
Three Stanley Cup Finals, three straight overs hit. And per the best-rated online sportsbooks, odds are that over trend continues because Game 4 is favoring the over six goals ever slightly. Here’s where the lines stand:
Both goaltenders have looked vulnerable as of late. There’s Bolts’ goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, who is days removed from allowing the most goals of his career in Game 2. Though, to his credit, Vasilevskiy rebounded big time last time out. He made a whopping 37 saves in Game 3, including robbing sure-fire goals from J.T. Compher on multiple occasions.
Vasilevskiy was able to redeem himself, but we’re less sure Avs goaltender Darcy Kuemper can do the same in Game 4 — that is, if he even starts. Kuemper was yanked in Game 3 after allowing five goals on just 21 shots. His abysmal performance has created a controversy on who starts Wednesday — him or backup Pavel Francouz. Either way, Colorado coach Jared Bednar has middling options to choose from.
The middle of the Stanley Cup really isn’t the time or place for a goaltending controversy but that’s where we are, which bodes well for the over. We expect a re-energized Lightning to keep the pressure on whoever Colorado starts at the net. And the Avs, to their credit, will have their offensive chances as has been the case all series long. All things considered, bet the over here!
Stanley Cup Finals Game 4: Puck Line Pick
Just like we shouldn’t have counted out the Lightning despite being blanked 7-0 in Game 2, we also shouldn’t count out the Avalanche despite a five-goal loss last time out. This is why we’re jumping on Colorado to cover the spread come Game 4. This matchup is going to be close, not another blowout.
As mentioned, we have our doubts about the Avalanche’s goaltending situation, but we also can’t imagine it being as bad as Game 3 was. Even if they allow three or four goals, Colorado is high-powered enough on offense to strike back and keep the contest close — if not win it outright. Tampa Bay was able to slow them down a tad in Game 3, but the speed advantage that the Avalanche possess isn’t suddenly gone.
But there’s another factor that could help Colorado level the playing field: injuries. In the third period of Game 3, Bolts’ star winger Nikita Kucherov was checked awkwardly to the ice by Devon Toews. His status for Game 4 remains in doubt and even if plays, he might be at lower capacity — a tall task given Kucherov leads Tampa Bay in points scored this postseason (seven more than the next-best player). If Kucherov can’t suit up (or even miss a few minutes here and there), the Lightning will be low on options. Backup Alex Barre-Boulet has yet to debut in the postseason and Cole Koepke has never played in the NHL ever.
Brayden Point is also expected to be out for a second straight game after missing Game 3. Obviously, that didn’t have an immediate negative effect on Tampa Bay in Game 3, but an offense missing both Kucherov and Point can’t possibly be better than with both on the ice.
Stanley Cup Finals Game 4: Moneyline Pick
We said it last time but we’ll say it again: Tampa Bay is a completely different team inside Amalie Arena than away from it. They’ve now pulled off eight straight playoff wins at home — which is a new franchise record. That’s why it surprised us that top NHL betting sites are NOT favoring a Lightning win in the moneyline. Akin to Game 3, the next Cup matchup is at pick ‘em:
As we’ve pointed out, both teams are not without problems going into this clash. Tampa Bay has injuries to its top two offensive playmakers, while Colorado is licking its wounds and doesn’t even know who’s starting in the net. It’s a tough choice, but our gut and money is telling us the Lightning evens the Stanley Cup 2-2.
We’re betting that Kucherov is the ultimate difference-maker in Game 4. How many times have we seen him shake off early playoff series struggles only to tighten up and remind us he’s the best player at his position? In a close, hard-fought game, our prediction is that Kucherov wills the defending champions to a gutsy victory.
How To Bet On The 2022 Stanley Cup Finals?
Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals goes down Wednesday, June 22 at 8 pm EST sharp. As usual, it’ll be broadcast live on ABC. That means you only have a few short hours to lock in the 2022 Stanley Cup Finals bets we mentioned above. Don’t miss out and place your wagers — whether it’s with us or against us — at one of the bookies listed underneath.
The table below features the “cream of the crop” bookmakers in our opinion. Any one of them would be ideal for Stanley Cup wagering, but the table includes reviews and promo offer details if you need help picking the best online sportsbook for you!