Bruins vs Panthers Odds, Preview: Game 1 Prediction

Bruins vs Panthers Odds, Preview: Game 1 Prediction article feature image

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Bruins vs. Panthers Odds, Preview

Sunday, May 5
8 p.m. ET
Bruins Odds+150
Panthers Odds-180
Over / Under
+105o / -125u
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about the Bruins vs. Panthers odds for Game 1 on Monday, May 6 – our expert NHL prediction and pick.

A playoff rematch commences between the Florida Panthers and Boston Bruins. Last season, the Bruins posted the best regular-season record of all time only to blow a 3-1 lead to the bottom-seeded Panthers in the first round.

Florida then went on to lose in the Stanley Cup Final, but the seeds were planted. The Panthers became a powerhouse in the Eastern Conference and eventually won the Atlantic Division.

It’s a new story this season, as each team had different paths. Florida won in five games, and Boston won in seven.

So, where does the betting value lie for Game 1 in the Eastern Conference semifinals? Let’s dive in and offer a Bruins vs. Panthers pick and prediction.

Boston Bruins

Boston’s offense struggled in the past few games, but don’t mistake that for impotence. Game 7 hero David Pastrnak has a laser for a shot, and captain Brad Marchand has built a reputation for becoming a playoff performer.

Aside from them, the Bruins have also relied on Jake DeBrusk, along with defensemen Hampus Lindholm and Charlie McAvoy, who are exceptional playmakers.

The Bruins were as average as it got when playing 5-on-5, and it hasn’t differed much in the postseason. They were eighth in expected goals with a 50.97 xGF% and ninth defensively with a 3.11 xGA/60.

Special teams thrived for the Bruins in the playoffs, scoring at a 40% clip on the power play. They also allowed only one goal while on the penalty kill, which was impressive considering the Maple Leafs had one of the best power plays in hockey.

Goaltending in these playoffs started out as a mystery for Boston, but it seems as if coach Jim Montgomery found his guy. Jeremy Swayman has been deadly when he’s taken the crease. In six starts, he’s played to a .950 SV% and 10.9 goals saved above expected (GSAx).

It’s extra impressive given who Swayman had to face last series in Auston Matthews and William Nylander.

Florida Panthers

In the five games of this series, Matthew Tkachuk and Carter Verhaeghe stole the show, each notching nine points. To go with that, captain Aleksander Barkov averaged a point per game, and Gustav Forsling excelled as a playmaker.

I would look out for Sam Reinhart, though. The 57-goal scorer registered three goals last series, and he’s a threat especially on the power play.

Florida’s 5-on-5 game typically teetered to the top of the league. In the five games played, the team has done decently, with a sixth-best 55.67 xGF% and an eighth-best 3.07 xGA/60.

The Panthers’ special teams were deadly all season, and they thrived in round one of the playoffs. They scored on the power play 23% of the time, and they were successful 80% of the time on the penalty kill.

They’ll have their work cut out for them, though, as Boston has fired on all cylinders in the playoffs.

Vezina Trophy nominee Sergei Bobrovsky will take the crease, and in the series against Tampa, he was as average as it gets. He posted an .896 SV% and a 1.4 GSAx, which is far from his season totals.

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Bruins vs. Panthers

Betting Pick & Prediction

In my time watching hockey, I’ve noticed that the team that had the most rest in the playoffs ends up being at a disadvantage.

I really like the Panthers this year, and I think they’ll come out on top this series, but it may take them a while to get their feet under them. The Bruins just came off a heated series against Toronto while the Panthers are coming off a week of rest.

You’d have to imagine that the Panthers will have their sea legs while the Bruins are riding some momentum going into tonight.

Boston is an underdog, and I really like the value here at +146.

Pick: Boston Bruins (+146 at bet365)

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