The Montreal Canadiens will be looking to keep their championship hopes alive when they travel to Tampa Bay on Wednesday to battle the Lightning in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final as lengthy betting underdogs. Facing elimination from their first Stanley Cup Final appearance in 28 years, the Canadiens mustered an impressive performance on home ice in Game 4, knocking off Tampa Bay with a 3-2 overtime win. However, a huge challenge still awaits Montreal, which now trails 3-1 in the series going into Wednesday night’s Game 5 clash at Amalie Arena. The Lightning have been dominant on home ice during their bid to repeat as Stanley Cup champions, and remain perched as heavy favourites on both the Game 5 odds and NHL futures.
CanadianBettingSites takes a look at all the odds and trends as the battle to raise Lord Stanley’s Mug continues. Sports bettors looking to get in on NHL playoff action for the first time can refer to out our NHL betting guide to learn all they need to know to get the best out of their Stanley Cup betting experience.
|Stanley Cup Final - Game 5 Odds|
|Montreal Canadiens - Moneyline||2.85||2.75||2.81|
|Tampa Bay Lightning - Moneyline||1.42||1.45||1.46|
In Price We Trust
With their backs to the wall, the Canadiens responded with a huge effort in Game 4, led by netminder Carey Price. The former Vezina Trophy and Hart Trophy winner stood tall against a Lightning onslaught in the opening minutes of the game. The defending champs peppered Price with eight shots on goal and 13 total shot attempts over the first eight minutes of the contest before allowing a shot on goal by the Canadiens. That set the tone for the contest, with the Canadiens picking up their game as the period progressed, and eventually tallying the all-important first score.
Carey Price is the epitome of calm, cool, and collected.
You wouldn’t know that his team had just scored an OT winner to extend the series. pic.twitter.com/6Jvc17JrqH
— Clay Imoo (@CanuckClay) July 6, 2021
Indeed, the Canadiens once again demonstrated what they can do when they draw first blood, reverting to the infuriating defensive style of play that has been central to their Cinderella march to the Stanley Cup Final. Equally important is the resilience the Habs demonstrated in Game 4, with the club bouncing back after blowing the lead on two occasions. Despite all the positives to be taken from Monday’s contest, the Canadiens face long odds to turn in a repeat performance on Wednesday, with a $20 bet at 10Bet (2.85) producing a potential return of $57.00.
Lightning Dominant on Home Ice
Considering the stellar performance of the Lightning on home ice during the postseason, and the Canadiens’ lengthy track record of futility when playing at Amalie Arena, Montreal’s position as a longshot comes as no surprise. The Habs were outclassed in the first two games of this series in Tampa Bay, getting outscored by a wide 8-2 overall margin in those contests. Overall, they have now lost eight straight road dates with the Lightning since April 2017, while scoring two or fewer goals in six of those contests.
Canadiens when facing elimination in 2021 Playoffs
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) July 6, 2021
In addition to the spectacular play of Price, who remains the single biggest force behind Montreal’s continued presence in the postseason, the upside for Montreal has been the club’s ability to rise to the occasion when facing elimination. The Canadiens are now 4-0 when facing elimination this season, and 7-3 in their past 10 when facing elimination from the playoffs, including a 3-1 record against Tampa Bay.
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Vasilevskiy Conn Smythe Bound?
However, the Lightning possesses a secret weapon of their own between the pipes in the form of Andrei Vasilevskiy. The Tampa Bay goaltender has quickly emerged as a strong favourite to claim Conn Smythe Trophy honours while leading the Lightning to within a single win of another Stanley Cup title, with a $20 wager at Betway (1.85) generating a meagre $37 payout. While Monday’s defeat represents Vasilevskiy’s weakest outing of the postseason, he has been lights out on home ice. The 26-year-old has backstopped the Bolts to five straight home victories, allowing just four total goals during that stretch, and has seen three of his four shutout performances in these playoffs come at Amalie Arena.
Not for nothing, but Canadiens have scored three goals in two straight games on Andrei Vasilevskiy. At the very least, a major confidence boost (if they even needed one after the improbable OT win, starting down a man for three minutes) #GoHabsGo #THW
— Ryan Szporer (@rszporer) July 6, 2021
Vasilevskiy’s heroics contribute massively to the strong odds of Tampa Bay closing out the series in Game 5, with a $20 bet on a Lightning win at Sports Interaction (1.46) returning just $29.20. Further complicating matters for Montreal is the Lightning’s consistency, with the club avoiding back-to-back losses through their first 22 playoff games. So with the odds so heavily tipped in Tampa Bay’s favour, and the Canadiens faced with the daunting challenge of reversing some seriously adverse trends, where is betting value to be found ahead of Game 5?
Looking for Value on Game 5 Odds
Considering how effectively and consistently the Canadiens have silenced the naysayers during this postseason, it is tough to look past their lengthening odds to rebound and claim their 25th Stanley Cup. Listed as an underdog sporting respectable 3.25 odds on the NHL futures ahead of Game 1, the Habs are worth a value wager to bounce back, with a $20 bet at Sports Interaction (17.00) on the Canadiens bring the Cup home paying out a tidy $340.00. In addition, with both these teams emerging as defensive forces during the postseason, sports bettors should take advantage of the generous odds at Betway (2.05) of the Game 5 total going UNDER 5.0.