Thursday NHL Odds, Prediction: Panthers vs. Senators Betting Preview (April 28)

Thursday NHL Odds, Prediction: Panthers vs. Senators Betting Preview (April 28) article feature image

Photo by Brad Penner/Getty Images. Pictured: Brady Tkachuk (Senators)

  • The Florida Panthers and Ottawa Senators are set to go head-to-head in NHL action.
  • The Panthers are the better team (-225 moneyline odds), but may be resting several of their best players.
  • Tony Sartori shares his game analysis and best bet below.

Panthers vs. Senators Odds

Panthers Odds-225
Senators Odds+180
Over/Under7 (-105/-115)
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

We have an Atlantic Division tilt as the first-place Florida Panthers travel to Ottawa to take on the seventh-place Senators. This is the fourth meeting between these two teams this season and the Senators have covered the puck line in two of the first three matchups.

Will the Senators be able to cover one last time against Florida this season, or can the Panthers cruise by Ottawa as a heavy road favorite?

Florida Panthers

The Florida Panthers enter this contest in a two-game losing streak with no motivation to play competitively to close out the regular season. Florida has already clinched the Eastern Conference's first seed in the playoffs and I would not be surprised if all of their stars sit in this game to avoid an unnecessary injury.

We saw this exact same thing happen Wednesday as the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings both sat all of their best players. Florida has already given us a hint that they may do this by confirming that backup goaltender Spencer Knight will get the start.

Knight got shelled in his last outing as he allowed five goals on just 17 shots against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday. In his one start against Ottawa this season, Knight allowed eight goals on 38 shots for a horrendous 0.789 save percentage.

Florida is just 1-4 against the puck line over its past five games, a trend I expect to continue in this game. While we are getting good value in the Senators, this play will have exceedingly great closing line value if Florida rules out all of its stars prior to puck drop.

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Ottawa Senators

The Ottawa Senators enter this matchup in great form as they have won four straight games following Tuesday's 5-4 overtime win against the New Jersey Devils. While Ottawa has been eliminated from the playoff picture for quite some time now, I expect a spirited effort from this group in its last home game of the season.

Ottawa is now 9-3 against the puck line over their past 12 games when priced as the underdog. Anton Forsberg is the projected starting goaltender for the Senators and has had a good year, boasting a 0.916 save percentage.

Since the All-Star break, Forsberg has been very good and possesses a 0.921 save percentage and an average of 2.74 goals allowed. In his three starts against Florida this season, Forsberg has stopped 124 of 132 shots for an outstanding 0.939 save percentage.

Forsberg should get some good scoring help in front of him as Ottawa's offense has been hot recently. Over their past 10 contests, the Senators are averaging 3.4 goals per game.

Panthers vs. Senators Pick

If I am correct in my prediction that Florida will rule out all of its best players prior to game time, this line will move quickly in favor of the Senators. Even if Florida does not sit its guys, I still like this play as the Panthers will limit minutes for its stars.

In its last home game of the season, I think Ottawa will win this game. However, I am playing it safe and taking the puck line.

Pick: Ottawa Senators +1.5 (+100) | Play up to (-110)

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