Friday NHL Odds, Picks, Prediction: Florida Panthers vs. Minnesota Wild Betting Preview
Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Kirill Kaprizov #97 celebrates his goal with his teammate Mats Zuccarello #36 of the Minnesota Wild
- Looking for the latest odds ahead of the NHL matchup featuring the Minnesota Wild hosting the Florida Panthers in Friday's action? We’ve got you covered.
- These teams have both been firing on all cylinders lately, but one team has the edge in this showdown.
- The Panthers haven’t been the same team on the road, which is why Jacob McKenna is targeting the underdog below in his game analysis.
Panthers vs. Wild Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|TV||ESPN+ / Hulu|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.|
Two of the best teams in the NHL will be center stage on Friday night when the Florida Panthers hit the road to take on the Minnesota Wild.
The Panthers have had a fantastic season up to this point, and as a result find themselves at the top of a loaded Atlantic Division. Their dominance has translated to a record of 33-10-5 and a total of 71 points, making them one of the best rosters in the NHL.
Similarly, the Minnesota Wild cause problems for any opponent, which is why they sit in second in the Central Division with a record of 30-12-3.
Both of these squads have been nothing short of spectacular, but the Panthers have proven to struggle while away from their home ice and have only played one game since the All-Star break. Will we see Florida improve its play on the road, or will the Wild take control of their home ice and get another win?
The Florida offense has been a sight to behold this season, dominating on a nightly basis and often times taking firm control of a game with ease.
Entering this matchup, Florida has posted 3.07 Expected Goals For per 60 minutes (xGF/60) in 5-on-5, the best mark in the NHL. This team can score from just about anywhere on the ice, as evidenced by the Panthers’ 135 goals in 5-on-5 situations.
Those 135 goals are 19 more than any other team in the NHL this season, which is rather impressive considering Florida has played an equal amount of games to the teams surrounding them in that category.
That level of offensive dominance hasn’t always accompanied the Panthers while playing on the road though, which is why they have won just 10 of their 22 road games this season. However, Florida is still within the top seven of the NHL in xGF/60 and High Danger Scoring Chances per 60 minutes (HDCF/60) in 5-on-5 situations, according to Natural Stat Trick, showing that there has still been plenty of scoring opportunities available.
Defensively speaking, Florida has been rather average through 48 games, but luckily Sergei Bobrovsky has provided this team with a great last line of defense. Bobrovsky is expected to get the start in this one, and in 5-on-5 he has posted a SV % of .926 and 12.3 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx).
Similar to the Panthers, this Wild scoring attack has been quite the force this season.
Through 45 games, the Wild have put up 3.24 goals per 60 minutes in 5-on-5 situations, which is second in the NHL behind only the Panthers. That number has actually increased to 3.46 over the course of their last 10 games, which shows that this Wild team is only getting stronger as the season goes on.
That offense just so happens to be led by Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello, both of whom are in the top 25 in total points this season. Having those two guys leading the charge has done wonders for Minnesota this season, and their contributions should continue on Friday night.
One of the most special things about the Wild has been their ability to match their offensive production on the defensive end if the ice, which will once again need to happen in order to stop a a talented Panthers team.
In their last 10 games, the Wild lead the league in Expected Goals Against per 60 minutes (xGA/60) with 2.04, locking all windows and doors on a consistent basis. They did surrender six goals to the Jets in their most recent game, but even with that outlier in the mix Minnesota has given up an average of just 2.8 goals per game in its last five. This is one of the more talented defenses in the league, and I expect the Wild to once again to perform on a large stage.
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There is not much that separates these two squads, but given the Panthers’ struggles on the road and their middle-of-the-road defense, I believe the Wild will be able to take control of this game.
Entering this matchup, the Panthers have an xGA/60 of 2.51 in 5-on-5 situations and surrender 11.83 High Danger Chances per 60 minutes, both of which rank in the bottom 14 of the NHL this season.
That level of vulnerability hasn’t affected them much in the grand scheme of things, but the Minnesota scoring attack is arguably just as good as Florida and can certainly take advantage of their deficiencies.
As a result, I expect the Wild offense to cash in and the defense to stand tall in this one and hold the Panthers in check, leading to their 31st win of the season.
Pick: Wild ML (+100)