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Panthers vs. Predators Odds, Picks, Predictions: Back Underdog Nashville to Down Florida (April 9)

Panthers vs. Predators Odds, Picks, Predictions: Back Underdog Nashville to Down Florida (April 9) article feature image
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John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros.

  • The Nasvhille Predators host the Florida Panthers in Saturday's NHL action.
  • The Predators are +110 moneyline underdogs, which has given analyst Nicholas Martin even more reason to back them.
  • Check out below why he's landed on Nashville and another plus-money wager.

Panthers vs. Predators Odds

Panthers Odds -135
Predators Odds +110
Over/Under 6.5
Time 6 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

Nashville hosts lethal Florida in Saturday’s NHL action, looking to continue to push for a surprising playoff berth out of the Western Conference. The Panthers have continued to allow a lot of goals against of late and will meet what has been a surprisingly potent Nashville offense.

So, can the the Predators manage another big output on home ice? Let’s see where we can find betting value for this matchup.

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Florida Panthers

All season long, the Panthers have played in wildly high-scoring, high-event games and we have only seen totals balloon since the addition of Aaron Ekblad to the Injured Reserve list.

In the nine games since Ekblad’s injury, the Panthers have played to a ridiculous average of 8.75 combined goals per game. Analytically, they’re playing in by far the highest event contests over that timeframe, generating a 4.13 xGF per 60 minutes against a 3.19 xGA/60 minutes for a 56.48 xG share.

However the Panthers have played a ton of soft competition in this span, with the only playoff opponent being Toronto. And Maple Leafs claimed three points from those contests, leading the aggregate score by an 11-9 margin.

I do feel defensively the play has looked shaky of late and this could be a better spot for that to show through against a more capable offensive unit.

Spencer Knight will start in goal in the second leg of the back-to-back set. Knight was someone I admittedly thought would dominate as a rookie, but altogether holds a middling marks with a -0.1 goals saved above expected rating with a .904 save % in 28 games.

Nashville Predators

Wins in four of the last five contests have the Predators on the cusp of locking up a somewhat surprising playoff berth out of the Central Division on a very strong 22-11-0 home mark.

Roman Josi has led the way for what has been a surprisingly productive offensive club. The team captain has posted a ridiculous 87 points in 68 games from the back end, and is rightfully right there with Cale Makar in the Norris Trophy race.

The Predators have been hot of late, averaging 4.2 goals for per game over its last five outings. Analytically, Nashville has generated at an effective rate in that time as well, creating an xG/60-minutes mark of 3.43 this season.

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Matt Duchene, Ryan Johansen and Mikael Granlund have enjoyed bounce-back seasons and helped the team outplay expectations in that regard. Rookie Tanner Jeannot has been a big part of the overachievement as well, plus the consistent excellence of Filip Forsberg has also been a massive factor.

At this point, the Predators have simply proved to hold a more effective offensive group than most anticipated and sit with the 10th-highest offensive production (3.30) through 70 games.

To me, this could be a quietly good spot for that strong play to continue, as Florida has allowed a lot of chances of late and has been dealing with shaky goaltending as well.

Goaltender Juuse Saros will get the start for the Predators. He holds an excellent +24.2 GSAx rating with a .921 save % throughout 51 games played.

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Panthers vs. Predators Pick

Florida truly hasn’t defended overly well dating back to Ekblad’s injury and I think with how this spot sets up we could see it again allowing a high offensive output to Nashville.

This is a much more important contest for the Predators, who are desperately looking to lock up a playoff berth. I don’t like to buy into motivation angles too much, but this certainly could be a spot where Nashville is far more prepared to play a full 60 minutes with some fresh legs.

Knight has posted some below average play and it’s easy to imagine the Predators come out with a high level of urgency and make life tough on the Panthers.

That said, we obviously know holding Florida to three or less goals has proven to be a very tough operation and chances are it still manages a reasonable output in this contest. So, there are two angles I like here that revolve around a potentially big Nashville output and a higher scoring game.

I like the Predators to claim two points at +110 odds, plus I’m backing the total clearing seven goals at +100 and feel we’re likely to see movement there.

The Nashville  team total will be another interesting option, so I will be watching for those lines and looking for a relatively high number on the slight underdog to clear 3.5 goals.

Pick: Predators ML (+110) | Total Over 7 Goals (+110 — Play to +100)

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