Panthers vs Lightning NHL Odds, Picks and Predictions April 15

Updated: April 15, 2021

Vezina candidate Andrei Vasilevskiy has gone 25-6-1 with a 2.00 GAA and .932 save percentage for a Lightning team that has the second-best odds to repeat as Stanley Cup champs.

Photo By – USA TODAY Sports

The Sunshine State might be more known for “Florida Man” headlines than hockey fans but it’s home to two of the best teams in the NHL in the Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning, who face off on Thursday night. 

The Bolts are the defending Stanley Cup champions and have the second-best NHL betting odds to win the Cup this season, but the Panthers have the same amount of points with one game in hand. 

Here are our best free NHL picks and predictions for Panthers vs. Lightning on Thursday, April 15, with the puck dropping at 7 p.m. ET.

Panthers vs Lightning odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

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The line opened at Tampa Bay -160, with the total at 6. Early action came in on the Under, moving the Over/Under to 5.5. Check back later for a full report from Patrick!

Check out the full line movement for this game

Panthers at Lightning betting preview


Panthers: Brandon Montour D (Probable), Carter Verhaeghe C (Out), Aaron Ekblad D (Out).

Lightning: Steven Stamkos C (Questionable), Jan Rutta D (Out), Nikita Kucherov RW (Out).

Find our latest NHL injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Panthers are 7-19 in their last 26 games against teams with a winning record. Find more NHL betting trends for Panthers vs. Lightning.

Moneyline pick

The Lightning are the defending Cup champions for good reason and are excellent in every facet of the game. Although they are coming off a 7-2 loss to the Predators and have lost three of their last five games, they gave star goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy the night off in two of those contests, which resulted in a whopping 11 goals allowed on just 39 shots. 

Vasilevskiy should be back in net tonight and the Vezina candidate has gone 25-6-1 with a 2.00 GAA and a save percentage of .932.

As good as the Panthers have looked this season they trail the Lightning in virtually every category, including goals scored and goals allowed, along with power play and penalty kill percentage.

While the Panthers are coming off an overtime win, they lost three in a row prior to that and have struggled against quality opponents, going 7-19 in their last 26 games versus teams with a winning record. 

Florida also has a pair of key injuries that could hurt. Sure the Bolts aren’t exactly 100 percent healthy themselves with Nikita Kucherov missing the entire season and Steven Stamkos listed as questionable tonight, but they have proven they can play at an elite level without those superstars. 

On the other hand, we have yet to see the long-term impact of how the Panthers will perform without their third-leading scorer in Carter Verhaeghe and top blueliner in Aaron Ekblad. Back the Lightning to win in regulation.

PREDICTION: Three-way Moneyline Tampa Bay (+100)

Covers NHL betting analysis

Over/Under pick

The Over/Under for this contest opened at 6 before ticking down to 5.5, but plenty of betting trends are pointing to the Over. The Over has cashed in four of Tampa Bay’s last five contests, while Florida is 11-2-2 O/U in its previous 15 games as an underdog. 

The Over has also gone a commanding 10-1 in the last 11 meetings between these in-state rivals, including all four games in the head-to-head this season. 

Another factor to consider is Florida’s likely starting goalie for this contest. The Panthers have been alternating between Chris Driedger and Sergei Bobrovsky in their last 14 games since March 20.

With Driedger getting the start against the Stars on Tuesday, it should be Bob’s turn tonight. While Bobrovsky hasn’t been the unmitigated disaster he was last season, he still has an unimpressive 2.85 GAA and .907 save percentage in 24 games.

He’s also coming off an ugly performance against the Stars, allowing four goals on just 20 shots. It won’t be easy for him to shut the door against a Lightning attack that is fourth in the league with 3.38 goals per game. Especially when you consider Bobrovsky’s brutal 3.91 GAA in seven games against Tampa Bay going back to last season. Take the Over. 

PREDICTION: Over 5.5 (-115)

Panthers vs Lightning betting card

  • Three-way Moneyline Tampa Bay (+100)
  • Over 5.5 (-115)

NHL parlays

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