NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Vegas Golden Knights

The Tampa Bay Lightning picked up a 5-4 victory over the Dallas Stars in Game 4 of the 2020 Stanley Cup Final. With that win, the Lightning are now firmly in control of the series, leading 3-1, and Dallas is now in a must-win scenario to avoid elimination. Game 5 arrives less than 24 hours after Game 4 ended, with the teams taking the ice in Edmonton at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday evening. 

The Lightning will again be without captain Steven Stamkos, who has only been able to play in one game this series as he works his way back from a core injury. Tampa Bay is the -170 favorite in the latest Lightning vs. Stars odds from William Hill, while the over-under for total goals scored 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: Tampa Bay -170, Dallas +150
  • Lightning vs. Stars puck line: Tampa Bay -1.5
  • Lightning vs. Stars over-under: 5 goals
  • TB: The Lighting are 14-4 in their last 18 contests.
  • DAL: The Stars are 6-4 in their last 10 games.

Why you should back the Lightning

The Lightning are in an overwhelmingly positive position with a 3-1 lead. Teams leading 3-1 in the Stanley Cup Final have won the title on 33 of 34 occasions. Offensively, the Lightning are special, and that is on display with three or more goals in all three victories during the series. Tampa Bay is also excelling in specialized situations, killing 13 of its last 14 penalties defensively and converting on six of its last 12 power-play situations offensively. 

The star of the night in Game 4 was Brayden Point, who contributed two goals, and the 24-year-old now leads the Stanley Cup Playoffs in goals, lighting the lamp 13 times. Point is not the only standout for Tampa Bay, with Nikita Kucherov leading the postseason with 32 points and Victor Hedman contributing 10 goals and 11 assists during the team's playoff run.

Why you should back the Stars

There is uncertainty with the goalie situation for Dallas but, in the broader picture, the Stars have been a positive defensive team in the recent past. Goalie Anton Khudobin is struggling right now with only a .863 save percentage in the Stars' three consecutive losses. Prior to that, though, he was lights-out for the first 19 games of the playoffs, holding opponents to only 2.54 goals per game, and Khudobin is not the only option for Dallas. 

Given the back-to-back and Khudobin's relative struggles, the Stars could turn to 33-year-old goalie Ben Bishop, who ranked in the top 10 during the regular season in allowing only 2.50 goals per game in 44 appearances. In addition, Dallas can take potential solace in the continued absence of Stamkos, with Tampa Bay's captain unable to play in Game 4 after a very short stint on the ice in Game 3. Offensively, the Stars are exceptionally balanced and Dallas has generated multiple goals in every game during the Stanley Cup Final. 

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.