NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Panthers vs Bruins Pick (Monday, October 30)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Panthers vs Bruins Pick (Monday, October 30) article feature image

Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Ryan Lomberg #94 of the Florida Panthers

Panthers vs. Bruins Odds

Monday, Oct. 30
7 p.m. ET
Panthers Odds+150
Bruins Odds-170
Over / Under
-125 / +106
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

It's safe to say there will be some emotion in this matchup.

For the first time since the Florida Panthers' stunning Game 7 upset of the Boston Bruins in the first round of the 2023 playoffs, the two Atlantic Division sides will meet at TD Garden on Monday night.

The 7-0-1 Bruins are playing the third game of a four-game homestand and are off to another outstanding start. The Panthers are getting healthier and starting to round into form with wins in four of their last five as they kick off a three-game road trip.

Look for history to repeat in what should be a hard-fought, entertaining game.

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Florida Panthers

With the knowledge that the Bruins will be seeking revenge from last spring's playoff elimination, the Panthers will go into Monday's game with some positive vibes around their team.

Sam Bennett, who hasn't played yet this season due to a lower-body injury, took a full practice on Sunday and will be a game-time decision in Boston.

And even Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour took part in Sunday's practice in regular jerseys following their off-season surgeries. It will still take some time before they're game-ready, but after talk of a December return for both defensemen, having them back on the ice in October has to be seen as a positive.

Impressively, the Panthers have been pretty stingy even without their two top blueliners. They're averaging 2.86 goals against per game, tied for 10th-lowest in the league heading into Sunday's games, and they're controlling a decent 50.83% of expected goals at 5-on-5.

The penalty kill has been a weakness — last in the league with a success rate of 66.7%. Saturday's 3-2 win over Seattle was the first game all year where the Panthers didn't allow a goal while shorthanded.

That defensive work is important because on the offensive side of the puck, the Panthers are also at 2.86 goals per game, which ranks them 21st. Their power play is also clicking at a modest 16%, but it's connected in the last two games.

Goaltending, so far, has been fine. Sergei Bobrovsky has carried the bulk of the load — and the games on this road trip are spaced out well enough that he'll likely get the start in Boston.

He's at 0.2 goals saved above expected, and now up to a .906 save percentage after making 30 saves in Florida's 3-2 win over Seattle on Saturday.

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Boston Bruins

Much like last year, the Bruins have been smothering their opponents in the early going.

They lead the league with a 1.50 goals-against average and a 97.1% penalty kill rate. Jeremy Swayman is already up to 7.5 goals saved above expected, and Linus Ullmark is at 3.2.

The Bruins have been consistently alternating their goaltenders all season so far, so it looks like it'll be Ullmark's turn on Monday. The Vezina Trophy winner is right back where he was last season with a .937 save percentage and an even-better 1.74 goals-against average.

Boston is also solid with a 53.29% expected goals share. But their 1.04 PDO suggests that they've been a little lucky so far, while facing a relatively weak quality of competition that has included only one team that made the playoffs last year (Los Angeles).

That being said, the Bruins are relatively healthy — just missing Milan Lucic due to an ankle injury and rookie Jakub Lauko after he took a skate blade to the face.

And you can be sure that the home side has had this game circled on the calendar since the day the schedule came out.

Panthers vs. Bruins

Betting Pick & Prediction

The Panthers caught the Bruins off guard last April, especially by winning three of their four first-round games at TD Garden.

They'll surprise the oddsmakers if they can repeat the feat on Monday: Boston opened at -170 on the moneyline, which translates to implied winning odds of nearly 63%.

With a little more offensive pop and better special teams, it's easy to understand the reasoning that the home side will prevail. But the Panthers have faced tougher opponents so far this season, and they handled them reasonably well.

Their come-from-behind win over Seattle on Saturday and improved special teams are also indications that they're trending in a positive direction.

If you're looking for betting value in this matchup, back the Panthers to rub more salt in the still-open wounds of Bruins fans with a narrow win in an intense, playoff-style game.

Pick: Panthers moneyline (+150 at bet365) | Play to: +125

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