Handicapping Game 4 of Eastern Conference Finals with new info

September 12, 2020 11:56 PM

Tampa Bay Lightning superstar Brayden Point did not play in Game 3 and his absence—along with the suspension of forward Alex Killorn—were the driving forces behind a 25-cent line move towards their opponent, the New York Islanders. The underdog Islanders were available at plus-135 throughout the early part of the day on Friday, however, the buzz surrounding Point’s injury (and the eventual confirmation that he would not be in the lineup) drove the Islanders price to plus-110 by game time.

Killorn will be back in the lineup on Sunday, though, and the market reflects that. The Lightning are carrying a -145 price tag as opposed to the -130 price that they carried into Game 3. Head coach Jon Cooper did not have an update on Point when he spoke to the media on Saturday, however, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet did provide some information. 

Point skated with the Lightning on Saturday and there was even some footage of him participating in on-ice drills. By my eye, he looked fine. Clearly, the Lightning could use his services as their share of the expected goals at even strength has dropped by about ten percent with each passing game according to Evolving Hockey.

According to my simulations, the Lightning have about a 78 percent chance of advancing to the Stanley Cup final which translates to an adjusted series price of around -355 and that’s pretty much where the betting market has it. The consensus series price seems to be around -400 in favor of the Lightning, with the Isles carrying a series price of about 320.

Their chances of winning Game 4 are approximately 61 percent. In other words, a fair line for Game 4 (assuming Point is in the lineup) is -157 in favor of the Lightning. If a bettor agreed with the -155 price tag that hung prior to the market adjusting to Point’s injury, they should look to back the Lightning at -145 or better if he makes his return.

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