NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Bruins vs. Panthers Game 4 (Sunday, April 23)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Bruins vs. Panthers Game 4 (Sunday, April 23) article feature image

Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Charlie Coyle and the Boston Bruins.

Bruins vs. Panthers Game 4 Odds

Bruins Odds-160
Panthers Odds+135
Over/Under6 (-120 / +100)
Time3:30 p.m. ET
Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

In a series Boston entered as gigantic -600 favorites, Florida has held strong and kept it close. Down 2-1 in the series, the Panthers enter Sunday's Game 4 as a +130 underdog.

But instead of taking a side, I see betting value on a few player props. Let's dive in a little deeper to see why that's the case.

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Boston Bruins

Not many NHL teams could find ways to win playoff games short their top two center icemen, but that's exactly what the Bruins did in Game 3 without Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci.

Players need to step up when these tough injury situations happen, and the Bruins have shown impressive depth. Taylor Hall has been a force with two key goals and three points in the series. Charlie Coyle has filled Patrice Bergeron's spot on the top line somewhat effectively.

Even still, the Bruins showing more signs of weakness than many might have expected agaimst a wild card team, and star netminder Linus Ullmark has had to hold his own.

In the first three games of this series, the Bruins have played to an expected goals share of just 46% across all strengths. At even strength, the Bruins own just a 43.6% expected goals share.

Those marks completely fit the eye test across the first two games. In Game 3, it was clear Boston had raised its level, although it was still aided by some very soft goals from Alex Lyon.

The Bruins' injury situation could remain quite bad for this matchup, however. Bergeron is in Boston and will remain on the sidelines. Krejci is "50-50," according to head coach Jim Montgomery, and news on his status will likely come during warmups.

The Bruins were always likely to see an edge with their goaltending in this, series and it has played out that way so far. Lyon has made some eye-popping saves for Florida, but overall, his -0.5 GSAx seems fair considering the handful of notably soft goals allowed.

Ullmark has been a rock as expected with +2.1 GSAx and a .913 save percentage throughout the three matchups. The strength of his play is likely not being fully considered fairly due to the fact that Boston is allowing far more quality opportunities than most would have expected entering the matchup.

Florida Panthers

Despite being down 2-1, the Panthers have been very competitive in this series and are giving the Bruins all they can handle.  Save perhaps for captain Aleksander Barkov, Florida's top offensive stars have been in top form and have done fairly well to help hide the other flaws among the roster.

One of the most noticeable areas of weakness with the Panthers has been the play of their depth defenders, whose struggles have often led to lengthy attacking shifts for the Bruins. Marc Staal's play on the second pairing in particular has been very problematic.

Aaron Ekblad has not been as dominant as usual this season. Even still, his potential absence from this matchup would make the situation drastically worse, and I believe it would be very significant considering the replacement value of those minutes. He's listed as a game-time decision for this matchup.

Sam Bennett has been extremely noticeable since returning to the lineup in Game 2 with two points and 10 shots on goal. He's in a great spot to thrive at even strength, skating on a line with Matthew Tkachuk and Carter Verhaeghe. In 19.4 minutes at even strength, they have played to a 4.03 xGoals per 60 rating and are generating a wealth of chances.

My belief is Sergei Bobrovsky will be given his first start of the series today, but coach Paul Maurice will attempt to not show his hand for as long as possible. Bobrovsky played to a +6.5 GSAx and .901 save percentage in 50 regular-season appearances.

Bruins vs. Panthers Pick

Florida has hung around very impressively in this series so far, and I agree with the analytics that suggest it has generated more quality chances. That makes me feel the Bruins are not a great bet as -160 favorites. If Ekblad plays, I believe Florida is a decent look at +140, which would be my lean on a side.

This game is offering some very playable looks on the prop side of things. Brad Marchand has really been stepping up for Boston and continues to play as one of the league's best. I made my case here that betting him to record over 2.5 shots was a great play on Friday, and I think going back to the well today makes sense.

If Krejci remains sidelined, Coyle to record a point at +125 will also be an excellent look. Coyle fit in well with Marchand in Game 3, and that price is not being adjusted enough for his new role.

Lastly, Bennett to record over 2.5 shots on goal at -140 is very playable on the Florida side of things. He and Tkachuk have both been completely dominant at even strength, and I believe they'll continue to pepper the goal today.

Picks: Brad Marchand Over 2.5 Shots on Goal (-127 · Smaller Stake to -140) · Charlie Coyle Over 0.5 Points (+125) · Sam Bennett Over 2.5 Shots on Goal (-140)

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