Maple Leafs vs Panthers Pick, Odds: Game 3 Betting Prediction
Claus Andersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs
Maple Leafs vs Panthers Odds
|Maple Leafs Odds||-140|
|Over/Under||6.5 (-140 / +114)|
|Time||6:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Maple Leafs vs Panthers odds have Florida as a home underdog, despite holding a surprising 2-0 lead over the visitors from Toronto.
For our Maple Leafs vs Panthers pick, we’re focused on the total. The under has cashed in each of the first two games, but will it hit again in Game 3? Or can the goal scoring pick up as the series shifts to Florida?
Here’s a look at the odds, as well as my Maple Leafs vs. Panthers Game 3 betting pick.
Toronto Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs success hinges on its electrifying offense, something they will need to lean on if they are to mount a comeback in this series. Led by Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander, the Leafs finished the regular season ranked seventh in expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60) at 5-on-5.
This explosive offense transitioned smoothly into the postseason. However, defensively, things have not gone as smoothly.
While the defense is deep, it features six guys who are solid, but not spectacular. Toronto attempted to bolster its blue line with the acquisitions of Luke Schenn and Jake McCabe at the trade deadline, but the results haven’t been there.
Since the Christmas break, the Leafs rank in the bottom half of the league in expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60) at 5-on-5.
This matchup features two of the most dynamite offenses in the league. Once again, the Florida Panthers were one of the best over teams in the league this year, going 47-32 in the regular season.
This trend should not be surprising in the slightest given the Panthers’ hyper-aggressive offensive play and desire to go south-to-north as quickly as possible. Mix an elite offense with a below-average blue line, and this club has developed into an over bettor’s dream.
At 5-on-5 in the regular season, Florida finished first in the league in xGF/60, but was just 21st in xGA/60. These results have transitioned similarly into the postseason.
Among the eight remaining playoff teams, at 5-on-5, the Panthers rank second in xGF/60 and seventh in xGA/60. The offense certainly needs no explanation — it is loaded with three 30+ goal scorers and receives scoring help from the entire lineup.
However, the best players on defense — Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour — are both offensively minded. Outside of Radko Gudas, this team doesn’t have an efficient shut-down defenseman.
Maple Leafs vs. Panthers Pick
Florida has carried its weight in terms of scoring in this series, potting seven goals over the first two games. So what is going wrong for the Maple Leafs?
Nothing at all. Their offense has dominated each of the first two games, and quite frankly, they should be up 2-0.
So, how has a team that has registered 9.92 xGF through the first two games only scored four times? The answer is simple: Sergei Bobrovsky.
The Panthers’ netminder boasts a .944 save percentage (SV%) and a 2.01 goals against average (GAA) in this round. But, those results aren’t sustainable.
Over the regular season, the former Vezina Trophy winner posted a 24-20-3 record with a .901 SV% and a 3.07 GAA. Once Bobrovsky starts to regress to the mean, the goal scoring will come in bunches for Toronto, which will help the over finally cash.
Pick: Over 6.5 | Play to -135
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