Thursday’s Best Computer Pick
- Panthers-Hurricanes Under 5.5 (+105) at BetRivers
The Eastern and Western Conference finals are finalized with four teams remaining in the competition. Only one team from each final will fight for the chance to lift the 2023 Stanley Cup.
The Florida Panthers look to get back into the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in 1996, while their opponents Carolina seek their first finals appearance since 2006.
Thursday, May 18, 2023 – 08:00 PM EDT at PNC Arena
Florida Panthers Have Nothing to Lose
The Florida Panthers can play this Eastern Conference final with some freedom, as not many people expected them to make it this far, so if they lose nobody will be getting on their backs. Having knocked out the Boston Bruins in round one at +450 odds to win the series, the Panthers then proceeded to knock out the Toronto Maple Leafs at odds of +140.
The Panthers have built a lot of momentum this post-season with a strong forecheck that has seen them cause the Bruins and Leafs’ trouble. Will the Hurricanes also struggle with the Panthers’ pressure?
Hurricanes Stanley Cup Favorites
Having made it this far into the competition and with the exit of both the two previous favorites, the Carolina Hurricanes find themselves sitting among the favorites to lift this year’s Stanley Cup at current odds of +240.
Despite the Hurricanes losing both Andrei Svechnikov and Max Pacioretty to injuries prior to the playoffs and then another injury blow in round one with the exit of Teuvo Teravainen, they still managed to dig deep into their depth charts, as they have had 14 different post-season goalscorers.
The Hurricanes have been strong at shutting teams down in the neutral zone. Having had 11 playoff games to date, the Hurricanes have allowed only 28 goals against. Minus the outlier, which saw them concede 8 goals in game three against the NJ Devils, the Hurricanes have allowed only 1.80 goals per game during the playoffs.
- The total has gone under in 5 of Florida’s last 6 games against an opponent in the Eastern Conference.
- The total has gone under in 5 of Florida’s last 5 games.
- The Panthers are 19-24 ATS (-14.5 Units) revenging a loss versus opponent this season.
- The Panthers have been an underdog in 28 games this season, with 15 underdog wins to their name.
- Carolina are 51-22 ATS (+51.0 Units) in home games when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 3 seasons.
- The total has gone under in 6 of Carolina’s last 8 games against an opponent in the Atlantic Division.
- Carolina are 8-1 in their last 9 games at home.
- In 60 games with moneyline odds shorter than -140, the Hurricanes have 40 wins.
Bet On the Total
Interestingly, both these teams have been two of the worst ATS teams in the NHL this season, with the Panthers covering the spread just 46% of the time and the Hurricanes 41% of the time. Therefore, we are staying well clear of the ATS market.
The moneyline market is tempting, with the Hurricanes on home ice and our AI computer predicting a Hurricanes victory, but we don’t believe the -140 odds available are strong enough to bet right now, even though we do believe the Hurricanes could come away as winners.
Instead, we are looking to target the under in this game, one of the Eastern Conference finals. Not only have both teams trended towards the under in recent games, but it also helps that our computer is predicting no more than five goals in this game, and at plus money for under 5.5 goals, we are more than happy to take these betting odds on the under in this matchup.
It’s Game 1 and neither team will want to give an inch, three of the previous five head-to-heads seen under six goals scored.
Predicted Score: Florida Panthers 2 – Carolina Hurricanes 3
NHL Pick: Under 5.5 (+105) at BetRivers