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NHL Odds, Preview, Expert Pick & Prediction: Panthers vs. Maple Leafs (March 29)

NHL Odds, Preview, Expert Pick & Prediction: Panthers vs. Maple Leafs (March 29) article feature image

Brett Carlsen/Getty Images. Pictured: David Kampf

  • The Toronto Maple Leafs play host to the Florida Panthers in a Wednesday night NHL tilt.
  • Toronto is in the postseason, while Florida is scuffling of late and looking for revenge after a recent blowout loss at home against the Leafs.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including how to bet it.

Panthers vs. Maple Leafs Odds

Panthers Odds+128
Maple Leafs Odds-154
Over/Under6.5 (-164/+134)
Time7:30 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

On the heels of a four-game losing streak, the Florida Panthers look to recover on Wednesday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Last week, the Panthers hosted the Leafs and got walopped 6-2, and will seek revenge on their division rivals.

The Leafs clinched a playoff spot recently as they aim to get out of the first round for the first time since 2004. Toronto has gone 6-3-1 in its last 10 games, including a win in Nashville on Sunday.

Here’s a look at the odds, as well as my prediction for the Florida Panthers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs.

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Florida Panthers

The addition of Matthew Tkachuk was a big one as he closes in on his second consecutive 100-point season. However, it hasn’t amounted to many wins. Captain Aleksander Barkov is still producing at a high level, as is Carter Verhaeghe and Brandon Montour, but the team has suffered this season.

Though March hasn’t been kind to the standings, Florida has done a superb job at creating even strength offense with a 54.74 xGF (expected goals). Not only that, but the Panthers have one of the better power plays, scoring at a 22.1% clip.

Defensively, they’re leaving their goaltending out to dry. Florida has a 16th best xGA/60 at 2.62 and a fifth worst penalty kill at 74%.

Sergei Bobrovsky has played all but one game in the month of March, doing the best he can. The two-time Vezina winner is posting a .917 SV% in March, along with an overall +6.2 goals saved above expected (GSAx).

Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto is still missing Ryan O’Reilly and now Erik Gustafsson. However, the big-time players are consistently showing up. Mitch Marner has points in 10 straight games and Auston Matthews in six straight. The Maple Leafs will need more out of William Nylander, though, as he only has two points in his last seven.

Even though the record doesn’t show it, Toronto has created ample opportunities over the past week. The Leafs are third in expected goals over the past four games with a 63.59 xGF%, and their third-ranked power play is always a threat.

While the offense has clicked, the defense has not. They’re 30th in xGA/60 at 3.58 and the penalty kill is starting to slip, allowing a power play goal in three straight.

Ilya Samsonov has been a welcoming addition to the Leafs. Though he allowed seven goals against the Islanders, Samsonov has shown up when needed. This season, he’s playing to a .914 SV% and a +12.2 GSAx.

Panthers vs. Maple Leafs Pick

The Panthers have been as frustrating of a team to watch as you can find all season. After winning the President’s Trophy last year, they can’t sustain any success this season. There’s a ton of talent on this roster, but both their defense and special teams are dragging this team. A four-game losing streak where they desperately need wins doesn’t give me a lot of hope for them this season.

While the Leafs have had a couple of clunkers during this past week, they’re still more reliable than their opposition. Marner and Matthews are hot, and captain John Tavares has had a couple of recent games with three points each.

Factor in the fact that the Panthers commit the third most penalties out of all teams, that’s the perfect recipe for a second ranked Toronto power play to take advantage.

Pick: Toronto Maple Leafs 3-Way ML (-105)

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