Panthers vs Rangers Odds, Preview | Game 1 Prediction

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Panthers vs. Rangers Odds, Preview

Wednesday, May 22
8 p.m. ET
Panthers Odds-110
Rangers Odds-110
Over / Under
-106 / -114
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about the Panthers vs. Rangers odds for Game 1 on Wednesday, May 22 – our expert NHL prediction and pick.

The Florida Panthers vs. New York Rangers odds for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final show a pick'em on the moneyline while the over/under is set at 5.5. Florida actually opened as a small favorite.

The betting favorite fared well in this series during the regular season, winning all three meetings between these two teams.

Find out why I think we will see a similar result in Game 1 as I make a Panthers vs. Rangers pick and prediction for Wednesday.

Pick: Panthers -1.5 (+235; Bet to +210)

Florida Panthers

Florida has relatively cruised on its way up to this point, winning 13 of its past 16 games dating back to the regular season. Eight of those 13 wins came by at least a two-goal margin. That's a trend I believe will continue in Game 1 of this Eastern Conference Final.

A huge part of these trends has been the play of goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who took his game to yet another level in the last round against the Boston Bruins.

Bobrovsky allowed two or fewer goals in each of the final five games of that series, going 4-1 over that stretch with a commanding .921 SV% and 1.62 GAA.

This success is likely to continue against New York, a team he is 10-3-1 against over the past 14 meetings with a .911 SV% and 2.84 GAA. Six of those 10 wins came by at least a two-goal differential.

It certainly has helped Bobrovsky's cause that he plays behind one of the better two-way teams in these playoffs. Among the 16 teams this postseason at 5-on-5, the Panthers rank seventh in expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60), 11th in expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60) and eighth in expected goal differential per 60 minutes.

New York Rangers

By comparison, New York ranks lower in all three of those key analytical categories. Among the 16 playoff teams this postseason at 5-on-5, the Rangers rank 12th in xGF/60, 13th in xGA/60 and 14th in expected goal differential per 60 minutes.

This team has gotten through thus far for two reasons.

First, they are power-play merchants. That is not a sustainable model for winning playoff hockey as we get deeper into the postseason and the refs start to swallow the whistles more.

The second reason for the reason this team is still alive is goaltender Igor Shesterkin.

Shesterkin is good enough to steal a Cup for this team, but I would argue he hasn't been playing better than Bobrovsky, and if Shesterkin isn't the better goaltender in this series, then New York is in a lot of trouble. The Rangers' netminder has now allowed three or more goals in three consecutive starts, going 1-2 with a .894 SV% and 3.38 GAA over that stretch.

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Panthers vs. Rangers

Betting Pick & Prediction

Florida is the better team offensively, defensively and arguably in net.

Even if we call the goaltending battle a wash, which it very well could be, I still don't think that outweighs the difference in which these two teams have looked both offensively and defensively. And, as we progress further into the playoffs, the refs are going to swallow the whistles more.

If we like the Panthers in this game, I think it is worth taking a shot on their puck line at +225 rather than laying -115 on the moneyline.

I mentioned all of Florida's two-goal winning trends in its section above, but seven of New York's past eight losses have also come by at least a two-goal margin.

Pick: Panthers -1.5 (+235; Bet to +210)
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