If the Tampa Bay Lightning come all the way back in the Eastern Conference semifinals and advance, the New York Rangers will think about Game 3 all offseason.
The Rangers were up 2-0 in the series and suddenly up 2-0 in Game 3 after two power-play goals in the second period. Then the Lightning scored once in the second, again in the third to tie it and got a huge goal from Ondrej Palat with 41.6 seconds to win it. The Rangers were close to being up 3-0 and on the cusp of the Stanley Cup Final. Being up 2-1 doesn't have nearly the same comfort level.
There's another chance for the Rangers in Game 4. A 3-1 series lead wouldn't be too bad, and the Rangers can get that with a win on Tuesday night. They're +145 underdogs at BetMGM for Game 4.
The problem is the Lightning. As they showed in Game 3, they aren't fading easily.
Tampa Bay has won the Stanley Cup each of the past two seasons and it shows. The Lightning didn't have a great regular season but their playoff form was immediately recognizable this postseason. They started rolling again. The Rangers taking both games in New York to start the series was a little surprising, not because of the Rangers but due to how good Tampa Bay had been playing. It was really shocking to see the Rangers up in Game 3, on the verge of practically putting away the series.
The Rangers are good but it's hard to bet against the Lightning in a spot like this. They're built for big playoff games. That's why it was so potentially hurtful for the Rangers to let them back in the series.
Here's the first look at the sports betting slate for Tuesday:
No NBA again
The NBA Finals don't start up again until Wednesday, which makes another light schedule for Tuesday. There are two WNBA games, however. The New York Liberty are 2.5-point favorites over the Minnesota Lynx and the Seattle Storm are 7.5-point favorites against the Atlanta Dream.
MLB has a full schedule
There's one afternoon game, as the Cleveland Guardians are -115 against the Texas Rangers in the first game of a doubleheader. The rest of MLB plays at night.
Perhaps the most intriguing game on the schedule is the Los Angeles Dodgers as a fairly short -125 road favorite against the Chicago White Sox. The reason is the White Sox have Michael Kopech and his 2.20 ERA on the mound. It's rare to get the Dodgers at such a short price. The White Sox are a surprising two games under .500 but Kopech has been a bright spot.
What's the best bet?
The New York Mets are hot right now. They have the best record in the NL. They're +105 underdogs at the San Diego Padres, who have the talented but inconsistent Yu Darvish on the mound. The Mets have been good enough that getting them at a plus number is a nearly automatic play.