Panthers vs Maple Leafs Odds & Prediction: Game 5 Betting Value on Over/Under

Panthers vs Maple Leafs Odds & Prediction: Game 5 Betting Value on Over/Under article feature image

Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Sergei Bobrovsky (No. 72).

Panthers vs Maple Leafs Odds

Panthers Odds+158
Maple Leafs Odds-190
Over/Under6.5 (-120 / +100)
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Toronto Maple Leafs avoided being swept in the second round with a 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Wednesday, but winning Game 4 after falling behind 3-0 in a series is nothing remarkable. The Maple Leafs have a far greater task ahead of them, and it will continue with another must-win contest Friday.

Florida Panthers

Few would have cited Sergei Bobrovsky as the backbone of the Panthers going into the playoffs, even if his salary suggests he should be. Bobrovsky has rarely lived up to his seven-year, $70 million contract during his tenure with Florida, but has done his part in the second round, posting a 1.99 GAA and a .934 save percentage through four contests.

Florida ultimately didn't do enough to take Game 4, but more often than not, the Panthers will win when Bobrovsky holds the competition to just a pair of goals. After all, Florida had the sixth-ranked offense during the regular season with 3.51 goals per game.

Matthew Tkachuk has led the charge with five goals and 16 points in 11 playoff contests.

Tkachuk hasn't had to do it alone though. Forwards Carter Verhaeghe, Aleksander Barkov, Sam Reinhart, Sam Bennett and Anton Lundell have each recorded at least seven points in the postseason. Defenseman Brandon Montour has also been a standout performer with six goals and nine points in the playoffs, though he's been held scoreless over the past three contests.

Barkov has also been held off the scoresheet for two straight games and while that's a minor slump in the grand scheme of things, he's could help seal the deal for Florida by stepping up.

With so many capable forwards, Leafs goaltender Joseph Woll has a tall task ahead of him.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Fortunately, Woll looked more than qualified to be Toronto's hero Wednesday. Although he had just 11 career NHL starts on his resume — none in the playoffs — heading into Game 4, the Maple Leafs put him in net because Ilya Samsonov (upper body) was unavailable. Woll handled the pressure well as he stopped 24 of 25 shots.

While the number of shots Woll faced was nothing special, he did make some key saves. In terms of expected goals, Florida finished with 3.02 to Toronto's 2.66, per Moneypuck, so a solid argument can be made that Woll saved the Leafs' season. With Samsonov still out, Toronto will be looking for Woll to do so again.

He might be up to the task. Although his NHL sample size is small, Woll had a fantastic 2.16 GAA and a .932 save percentage in the 2022-23 regular season and he was similarly impressive over 21 AHL outings (2.37 GAA, .927 save percentage). Still, it would be in the Maple Leafs' best interest if their forwards stepped up to aide Woll.

The common complaint whenever Toronto struggles in the playoffs is that its core four forwards haven't done enough, but that's not the full story. Auston Matthews has been held off the scoresheet over the past two outings and John Tavares being stuck in a four-game point slump is a problem. Still, William Nylander and Mitch Marner scored in Game 4, so it isn't as simple as just suggesting the big names have gone silent.

The Leafs, as a collective, haven't lived up to their offensive potential in this series. They averaged 3.39 goals per game in the regular season and 3.83 during the first round. Toronto should be able to score more than two goals in a game against Bobrovsky. The Panthers goaltender does deserve some credit, but the Leafs haven't challenged him as much as they could.

If the forwards are unable to find that extra level, then their only recourse is to hope Woll can steal four consecutive games. That's a risky bet.

Panthers vs Maple Leafs Pick

With the series returning to Toronto, the Leafs are being treated as heavy moneyline favorites. I can see the logic in that based on Toronto's roster, but given how the Leafs have performed lately, I'm reluctant to back them.

Instead, I'm going to recommend the Under of 6.5. Given Toronto's recent form and Bobrovsky's solid play, as well as Woll's strong performance (albeit in a small sample size), I think it's reasonable to believe we're in for another low-scoring contest.

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