The Colorado Avalanche are sitting pretty in the NHL Stanley Cup Finals already after a clean sweep of Edmonton. In the East, though? It's a dogfight between the two-time reigning champs, Tampa Bay, and upstart New York. With the series tied two a piece, Game 5 on Thursday night is set to be high-stakes — for players and bettors alike. For the latter group, we've organized this betting guide to Game 5 of the NHL Eastern Conference Finals that includes the latest odds and picks!
NHL Eastern Conference Finals Game 5: Over/Under Pick
Three of the first four games in the Eastern Conference Finals have gone under. Aside from Game 1, which combined for eight goals, the other matchups have had five or fewer goals netted between both sides. Therefore, it's no surprise why the under 5.5 goals is the current betting favorite across the top-used online sportsbooks:
|Over 5.5 goals||+120||+190|
|Under 5.5 goals||-140||-235|
We'll be upfront and say Game 5 is going under too. Any game that features Igor Shesterkin is automatically a frontrunner to be low-scoring — especially when it's at home in Madison Square Garden. It's not controversial to say Shesterkin has been the league's best goalkeeper this entire season. During the regular season, he led the NHL in GAA (2.07) and save percentage (.935) and there's a reason he's a Hart Trophy finalist (a rather rare honor for a goaltender).
While momentum is fully on Tampa's side after back-to-back wins, we still sense they'll struggle to get inside the net now that the series has shifted back to New York. The Rangers' offense remains a question mark, which seals the deal for an under in our eyes.
NHL Eastern Conference Finals Game 5: Puck Line Pick
So far in this series, two games have been close (Game 2 and Game 3 were both decided by one goal) and two have not been (Game 1 and Game 4 had goal differentials of at least three). That makes betting the puck line rather tricky going into Game 5. Here's how oddsmakers have pegged this wager:
|Tampa Bay Lightning (-1.5)||+190||+190|
|New York Rangers (+1.5)||-235||-235|
Our gut feeling is this game goes down to the wire. Sure, the Rangers should get a boost being back at home, but this Lightning team remains a problem. As they've shown for three years running now, they're always in it — even when it doesn't seem like it.
We need to call out Andrei Vasilevskiy's performance in Game 4 too. The Tampa goalie made a whopping 34 saves. It was a game that reminded us that Vasilevskiy is every bit as good as Shesterkin is. And typically speaking, games with elite goaltenders such as this one are more likely to trend toward being close matchups, not blowouts. So while this puck line doesn't offer the best betting value, we're taking the Rangers to cover the +1.5 spread at its steep -235 odds.
NHL Eastern Conference Finals Game 5: Moneyline Pick
We said it earlier and we'll say it again: momentum is fully on the Lightning's side. Game 4 wasn't competitive whatsoever as they won 4-1. Momentum is very much a reason why Tampa are Game 5 favorites on the moneyline, despite being on the road. Here's where the odds currently stand on the most-used NHL betting sites:
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-130||-130|
|New York Rangers||+110||+110|
When evaluating who wins this game (and series for that matter), we just don't trust this Rangers' offense one bit. Head coach Gerard Gallant tweaked lineups in Tuesday's Game 4 to zero avail. Ryan Strome remains injured and is said to be a game-time decision for Game 5. The same goes for Filip Chytil, though we'd expect him to be back more likely than not.
Therefore, we picking the Lightning to win Game 5 straight-up. It sounds cliche to say, but the "heart of a champion" is a real thing. This team is as gritty as they come and we have a tough time betting against them.
How To Bet & Watch 2022 NHL Eastern Conference Finals
NHL playoff hockey is different, do we really need to remind you of that? We sure hope not. To watch the thrilling Game 5 ahead, you'll need to turn into ESPN. The network is exclusively airing the Eastern Conference tilt for those inside the United States. The game starts at 8 pm EST sharp on Thursday, June 9.
What about cord-cutters, is there a streaming option? You betcha! There are a number of streaming packages that carry ESPN in their bundle. Options include fuboTV, Sling, and YouTube TV, among others. Many offer free trials too so you could watch this game for free before canceling the subscription.
And one more thing before we let you go: to lock in your NHL playoff bets — whether that's with our advice or against it — then you can easily do so at one of the reputable sports betting sites listed underneath. These bookmakers will have any and all NHL odds, including props that we didn't even cover in this article. Check 'em out to see the full list of betting options.