We’re exactly one week away from the start of the 2023-24 National Hockey League campaign.
After a long and grueling summer, Game 1 of the regular season sees the Nashville Predators take on the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on Tuesday, Oct. 10.
Let’s dive in and examine the latest Predators vs Lightning odds and make some best bets for what promises to be a terrific opening-night matchup.
Predators vs Lightning Odds
NHL odds for these Opening Night predictions are current as of Monday, Oct. 2, and courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
- Moneyline: Predators (+142) @ Lightning (-170)
- Puck Line: Predators +1.5 (-166) @ Lightning -1.5 (+140)
- Over/Under: Over 6 (-120) / Under 6 (+100)
Predators vs Lightning Prediction
Predators 5, Lightning 3
The Bolts received some bad news last week with the injury to star goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, who is set to miss up to 10 weeks of action after undergoing back surgery. With respect to Jonas Johansson, who is set to take the reins in goal for the Bolts, it’s hard to replace a netminder as dominant and talented as Vasilevskiy.
On the other side of the spectrum, the Predators had an impressive offseason with the acquisitions of Ryan O’Reilly, Luke Schenn, and Denis Gurianov. They will complement a vastly improving roster that narrowly missed out on a postseason berth a season ago.
In addition to the on-ice changes, the Predators reconfigured their coaching staff by replacing head coach John Hynes with Andrew Brunette behind the bench. Barry Trotz is also set to embark on his first season as Predators general manager, which should be a breath of fresh air on and off the ice in Nashville.
This will be a new-look Preds team compared to the one hockey fans have been accustomed to in previous seasons. Look for Nashville to score early and often en route to a reasonably comfortable road victory.
Predators vs Lightning Best Bets
Predators: Win in 60 Mins (+225)
For our first best bet, we’ll target the underdog Predators on an alternative three-way moneyline wager.
Although Nashville missed the dance a season ago, there were signs of optimism surrounding the team. For starters, the Predators ranked in the top 10 in the NHL in various advanced metrics and statistics, including goals-against above expected (second), save percentage on unblocked shots (fourth), and faceoff win percentage (fifth) via MoneyPuck.
- See where these teams stand in our Stanley Cup odds.
Nashville will ice a more balanced, experienced, and speedy team to combat a Lightning side reeling from the loss of their No. 1 netminder.
The underlying value you’re getting on a three-way moneyline is simply too much to pass up in this one. Take the Predators to pull off the upset in regulation at a whopping (+225) price point.
Over 6 (-120)
Our second Predators vs Lightning best bet focuses on the game total, for which I’m taking Over six goals.
The 2022-23 campaign saw both the Preds and Bolts struggle to keep the puck out of their nets, ranking 30th and 22nd across the NHL in expected goals against per 60 minutes. Nashville also posted an abysmal 190 high-danger shots against (ranked 28th), with Tampa Bay giving up 176 (ranked 23rd), per MoneyPuck.
If recent history and advanced stats are any indication, we could be in for an offensive goal fest in Tampa.