Lightning favored over Capitals on NHL odds for Wednesday’s Game 7

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The Tampa Bay Lightning have been set as home betting favorites on the NHL odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com for Wednesday night as they play host to the Washington Capitals in the deciding Game 7 of the NHL’s Eastern Conference Final.

Tampa Bay is pegged at -145 with Washington coming back at +125 on the betting lines, with the total listed at 5.5 goals for the contest at Amalie Arena.

The Capitals staved off elimination on Monday night with a 3-0 shutout victory as -130 betting favorites in Game 6. Washington goalie Braden Holtby stopped all 24 Tampa Bay shots in the win, while T.J. Oshie scored twice – including once into an empty net. Devante Smith-Pelly also scored for Washington on the night.

Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy gave up two goals on 33 shots in the losing cause.

The win for Washington on Monday put an end to a three-game losing streak for the team in the series. The Capitals won Games 1 and 2 of the best-of-seven set by scores of 4-2 and 6-2 on the road in Tampa Bay. The Lightning then rebounded with a pair of 4-2 wins in Washington in Games 3 and 4 to even up the set at two victories apiece.

Game 5 in Tampa Bay then saw the Lightning jump out to a 3-2 series advantage with a 3-2 win as -150 home betting favorites. Cedric Paquette, Ondrej Palat, and Ryan Callahan staked Tampa Bay to a 3-0 win in that game, before Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin cut the deficit to one goal. Vasilevskiy stopped 28 of 30 Washington shots on the night.

Totals bettors have seen the OVER pay off just once so far in the first six games of the Eastern Conference Final, in Washington’s 6-2 Game 2 victory. Three of the first four games of the series were a PUSH on the posted total, according to the OddsShark NHL Database, while the last two games were UNDER results.

Puck drop for Wednesday night is set for 8:00pm ET in Tampa Bay. The winner advances to the Stanley Cup Final against the Vegas Golden Knights, which is set to get underway on Monday night.

Vegas advanced to the Stanley Cup Final with a five-game series victory over the Winnipeg Jets in the NHL’s Western Conference final, and now sits as the -105 favorite on the updated Stanley Cup odds. Tampa Bay is at +210 on those futures, with Washington set at +280.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Ewan wins Stage 11; Conti keeps pink jersey in Giro

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NOVI LIGURE, Italy (AP) Caleb Ewan of Australia sprinted to victory on the 11th stage of the Giro d’Italia on Wednesday, while Italian cyclist Valerio Conti remained the overall leader.

Ewan, who rides for Lotto-Soudal, edged out Arnaud Demare and Pascal Ackermann in a bunch sprint at the end of the entirely flat 221-kilometer (137-mile) route from Carpi to Novi Ligure.

Conti remained 1 minute, 50 seconds ahead of Slovenian cyclist Primoz Roglic, who is one of the favorites, and 2:21 ahead of Nans Peters of France.

It was the second victory at this year’s Giro for the 24-year-old Ewan, who also won the sprint at the end of the eighth and longest stage on Saturday.

The Giro finishes in Verona on June 2.

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Lightning heavy favorites on Stanley Cup odds at all-star break

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The NHL has a team far out in front in the overall standings as it heads into its all-star break – and that might serve to goose the value of other Stanley Cup contenders.

The Tampa Bay Lightning, who have been first overall for most of the season, are the +260 favorite on the latest Stanley Cup odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Lightning, with a deep offense led by Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos and a premiere defenseman in Victor Hedman leading their back end, lead the NHL in points, wins, goals scored and goal differential.

The top of the futures board also includes the Western Conference-leading Calgary Flames (+550), San Jose Sharks (+750), Toronto Maple Leafs (+800) and Winnipeg Jets (+800).

As loaded as the Lightning are, the top team in the regular season rarely lifts the Stanley Cup in the spring. The 2008 Detroit Red Wings are the most recent team to finish first overall and go on to win the whole thing in a full 82-game season. Only eight of 33 Presidents’ Trophy winners have also won the Stanley Cup.

Calgary is a solid second favorite, with left wing Johnny Gaudreau and defenseman Mark Giordano being among the NHL’s best at their positions. As a western Canada-based team, the Flames are also likely to fly under the radar of public bettors. Their question mark revolves around goalies David Rittich and Mike Smith having almost no Stanley Cup playoff experience.

Sticking in the Pacific Division, San Jose is a springtime-seasoned team, having made the final in 2016, and their current standing has come with dynamic defenseman Erik Karlsson working his way back to peak form after adapting to a new team.

At this stage of the game, bettors looking for value in a league that prides itself on parity should consider teams with greater than 10/1 odds to win the Stanley Cup. The cluster of teams that includes the Nashville Predators (+1400), Vegas Golden Knights (+1500), New York Islanders (+1600), Pittsburgh Penguins (+1600) and defending champion Washington Capitals (+2000) includes plenty of playoff experience.

The Penguins are always a threat with Sidney Crosby and have weathered injuries, including one to No. 1 goalie Matt Murray, during the first four months of the regular season. The Predators and Golden Knights are the two most recent Western Conference finalists and are both strong puck-possession teams, while the Islanders are under the command of head coach Barry Trotz, who steered Washington to its first Stanley Cup in 2018.

It might be best to fade the Capitals, though, until such time that No. 1 goalie Braden Holtby shows he can recover his past form.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.