NHL Odds, Preview, Expert Pick & Prediction: Senators vs. Panthers (Thursday, April 6)

NHL Odds, Preview, Expert Pick & Prediction: Senators vs. Panthers (Thursday, April 6) article feature image

Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Eetu Luostarinen

  • The Senators travel to Florida to face the Panthers on Thursday night.
  • Florida has won four in a row, while Ottawa has lost three straight. Will both of those trends continue tonight?
  • Continue reading for Grant White's best Senators vs Panthers bet.

Senators vs. Panthers Odds

Senators Odds+200
Panthers Odds-240
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

It's been a hell of a ride for the Ottawa Senators, but they are running out of runway to get their playoff hopes off the ground. The Senators are six points behind the Florida Panthers for one of the final wild card spots and only have four games left on their schedule. Ottawa needs to win out and hope the Panthers or Islanders drop their remaining games. Coincidentally, Ottawa and Florida face off Thursday night, so let's make some betting predictions.

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Ottawa Senators

Ottawa has excelled thanks to its stellar home metrics and in spite of its questionable road play. At home, the Senators have compiled the 11th-best expected goals-for percentage (54.4%). As the visitors, their expected goals-for rating falls to 47.5%, the 13th-worst in the NHL. As expected, that's negatively impacted their ability to capture wins, with Ottawa accumulating the eighth-worst points percentage.

Unfortunately for the Senators, they are on the road for Thursday night's encounter against the Panthers. A condensed schedule could compound those issues. Ottawa will be playing its fourth game in six nights, each in a different venue. The Senators kicked off that stretch with a home loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs before embarking on a three-game road trip, dropping the first two decisions.

Part of the issue is Ottawa's offense has run cold over the past couple of weeks. Ottawa has attempted eight or fewer high-danger chances in four of its past six games. Predictably, output has fallen with the limited production. The Senators put up a below-average shooting percentage at five-on-five in all but two of those six outings. Combined with deteriorating goaltending metrics, the Senators have been on the wrong side of four of those outcomes.

Florida Panthers

Florida can't relate to the Senators' current issues. The Panthers offense is running rampant and has attempted 10 or more high-danger chances in six straight games. More impressively, the Panthers are averaging 14.8 quality opportunities and 27.8 scoring chances across that stretch. We haven't seen a correlation in the Panthers' output, but we should see the pendulum start swinging the other way.

Over their incredibly productive six-game sample, the Panthers have only eclipsed three goals twice. Their five-on-five shooting percentage has dipped to 8.0% across that span, below their already sub-optimal benchmark of 8.4%. Considering their uptick in analytics, an offensive surge could be on the horizon for the Panthers.

Additionally, the unrelenting Panthers' attack has resulted in some very lopsided game scores. Florida has posted an expected goals-for percentage above 60.0% in three of its past five, with a cumulative 60.9% rating. That level of play should be sustained on home ice, where the Panthers have the ninth-best expected goals-for rating this season.

Senators vs. Panthers Pick

Ottawa doesn't possess the offensive skill to hang with the Panthers in Florida. Moreover, the Senators have seen a downturn in their metrics recently, putting them at a pronounced disadvantage Thursday night. Florida's offense is thriving and could continue its onslaught against a Senators squad that can't get anything going on the road.

This line should continue to shift toward the home team, and rightfully so. I'm backing the Panthers in this Atlantic Division showdown.

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