NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Canadiens vs. Panthers (March 29)

NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Canadiens vs. Panthers (March 29) article feature image

Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Anton Lundell of the Florida Panthers

  • The Canadiens face the Panthers as heavy road underdogs on Tuesday night.
  • The Panthers offense has been on fire all season long, but are they overvalued in this spot?
  • Grant White breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.

Canadiens vs. Panthers Odds

Canadiens Odds+310
Panthers Odds-400
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

Fans of low-scoring hockey should probably steer clear of Tuesday's matchup between the Montreal Canadiens and Florida Panthers. The Habs' defense has been in shambles, and they can't perform the way they have without getting burnt by the Panthers. Florida has many advantages, indicating that this one may get out of hand.

Canadiens Trending Down

The honeymoon with new head coach Martin St. Louis is wearing off, and real life is setting in for the Canadiens. After an 11-game span in which they collected eight wins, the Canadiens have gone on to lose five of their past seven. Sadly, the two wins they have over that stretch exceed their expected win total, suggesting the Habs could be at the start of a tailspin.

Defense continues to let the Canadiens down. Opponents have attempted 11 or more High-Danger Chances in six straight games and 31 or more scoring chances in five of six. These aren't one-off performances either, with the team allowing an average of 32.5 Scoring Opportunities and 15.7 High-Danger Opportunities over that stretch.

The most dumbfounding aspect is that these metrics only consider their five-on-five play. Their metrics across all strengths look so much worse, jumping to 42.0 and 19.7, respectively.

Montreal has avoided major catastrophe so far,  giving up more than three goals just twice. In doing so, the Canadiens have elevated their save percentage beyond their normal range, setting themselves up for a big letdown.

Over that six-game sample, Habs goalies have combined for an impressive 93.6% Save Percentage, which is substantially higher than their season-long percentage of 89.2%. The Canadiens have weathered the storm thus far, but the Panthers could facilitate the inevitable collapse.

Panthers' Historic Offense

Nobody has a better offense than the Panthers. They lead the league in scoring, totaling 261 goals through 65 games for 4.0 goals per game. If they maintain this pace, they could become just the fourth team in the salary cap era to eclipse 300 goals, setting the highest mark since the 1995-96 Pittsburgh Penguins recorded 362. A matchup against the Habs should certainly help them get closer.

The Panthers' offense has the supporting metrics propping up sustained production. Across all strengths, the Panthers rank first in Shots, second in scoring and second in High-Danger Chances, culminating in the best Expected Goals-For total in the NHL.

Florida is showing no signs of slowing down over its recent sample, posting above-average metrics over the past 15 games. The Panthers are attempting 15.5 High-Danger Chances and 37.0 Scoring Chances over that span, above their season averages of 14.0 and 34.7. With home-ice advantage, this team could be flying on Tuesday night.

Canadiens vs. Panthers Pick

The betting market is high on the Panthers, and rightfully so. We're expecting that this one gets out of control, with the Panthers taking advantage of the Canadiens' ineffective defensive zone coverage. The puckline is steep, but the Panthers should cruise to victory in a high-scoring affair.

Pick: Panthers -2.5 +115 | Over 6.5 -115

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