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Flyers vs. Lightning prediction: Bet on Lightning to strike down Flyers

Tampa Bay should continue its dominance of Philadelphia with a convincing win Tuesday.

Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier (left) and Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (right) battle for a loose puck during a 2021-22 game in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier (left) and Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (right) battle for a loose puck during a 2021-22 game in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)Read moreMike Carlson / Getty Images

Two games do not an NHL season make. But so far, so good for the supposedly hapless Philadelphia Flyers.

Projected to be among the four worst teams heading into the 2022-23 NHL season, the Flyers got through the opening week unscathed, scoring a pair of home upsets over the New Jersey Devils and Vancouver Canucks.

Now comes the real test: Philadelphia hits the highway for the first time Tuesday night when it faces the Tampa Bay Lightning, who have reached three straight Stanley Cup finals (winning twice).

Can the Flyers notch a third straight upset, this one against a Lightning squad that has stumbled out of the gates? Here’s how we’re betting Flyers vs. Lightning, with face-off in Tampa set for 7:05 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Flyers vs. Lightning Prediction

  1. Lightning -1.5 goals (at BetMGM)

Flyers vs. Lightning Prediction: Analysis

Few teams in recent years have been able to solve the puzzle that has been the Tampa Bay Lightning, who have won more than 66% of their games over the past five seasons (overall regular season record: 246-100-26). Right at the top of that list: the Flyers.

Since the 2017-18 campaign, Philadelphia has just one victory in 11 meetings against the Lightning. The team’s last win in Tampa? A 5-3 upset on Dec. 29, 2017.

That’s not to say the Flyers haven’t been competitive against the Lightning. In fact, four of Tampa Bay’s 10 recent wins over Philadelphia have come in overtime or a shootout. Another was a 1-0 home loss in January 2020.

That’s the good news. Here’s the bad: Last year, when the Flyers downshifted into full rebuilding mode and finished next-to-last in the Eastern Conference, they weren’t the least bit competitive against Tampa Bay. In two meetings just 12 days apart, the Lightning rolled 4-0 at home and 7-1 at Wells Fargo Center.

» READ MORE: Full sports betting coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer

As noted above, Tampa Bay hasn’t gotten off to a hot start, dropping two of its first three contests. However, all three games were on the road. That includes Saturday’s 6-2 defeat at Pittsburgh on the second night of a back-to-back.

Of more relevance is the fact the Lightning notched 27 home victories last year, tied for sixth-most in the league. And nine of their last 11 regular-season home wins were by multiple goals.

Conversely, Philadelphia’s 11 road victories in 2021-22 were tied with Montreal, New Jersey and expansion Seattle for fewest in the NHL. And when the Flyers did lose as a visitor, they tended to lose ugly (21 of 25 regulation defeats by multiple goals).

Also, not only was Philadelphia the NHL’s least profitable team from a betting standpoint last season, but it ranked second only to Seattle in terms of money lost as a road team.

Translation: The 2-0 start has been a pleasant surprise for the Flyers and their fans. But facing the Canucks and Devils at home is just a tad different than facing an angry and rested Lightning squad in their barn.

Play Tampa Bay on the puck line at -105 odds at BetMGM.

Flyers vs. Lightning Odds (via BetMGM):

  1. Moneyline: Flyers (+220) @ Lightning (-275)

  2. Puck line: Flyers +1.5 goals (-115) @ Lightning -1.5 goals (-105)

  3. Total: 6 (Over -115/Under -105)

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