Toronto Maple Leafs vs Florida Panthers: Odds, series probabilities, predictions and best bets

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The Maple Leafs took care of the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games, while the Florida Panthers overcame a 3-1 series deficit to beat the Boston Bruins. Now, two teams that nobody thought would make it out of the first round are set to face off in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and DraftKings Sportsbook has odds:

Series Winner Odds

  • Florida Panthers +145
  • Toronto Maple Leafs -170

Series Spread Odds

Florida Panthers

 
  • -2.5 Games (+550)
  • +2.5 Games (-350)
  • +1.5 Games (-150)
  • -1.5 Games (+235)

Toronto Maple Leafs

  • -2.5 Games (+270)
  • +2.5 Games (-800)
  • +1.5 Games (-300)
  • -1.5 Games (+120)

Series Correct Score

Florida Panthers

  • 4-0 (+1700)
  • 4-1 (+900)
  • 4-2 (+550)
  • 4-3 (+600)

Toronto Maple Leafs

  • 4-0 (+850)
  • 4-1 (+450)
  • 4-2 (+450)
  • 4-3 (+400)

Series Total Games

  • Four Games (+600)
  • Five Games (+265)
  • Six Games (+205)
  • Seven Games (+205)

To get a sense of each team’s strengths and weaknesses, let’s take a closer look at their respective statistics and compare them head-to-head. Here’s a tale of the tape for the upcoming series:

Toronto won the season series 3-1 but only one game was decided by more than one goal, so it could’ve gone either way. So could this series. The Maple Leafs deserve to be the favorite, but the Panthers seem to be a different team (not as unlucky) than the one we saw in the regular season.

Offense

Florida and Toronto have been two of the best offensive teams in the NHL for a while now and match up quite well on offense. Florida’s power play isn’t as good as Toronto’s, but they generate more shots and expected goals. The Panthers just put up 3.6 goals per 60 minutes against the best defensive team in the NHL, too.

The Maple Leafs have more high-end talent, but the Panthers also have several star players, and they scored more goals per 60 at even strength in the first round than all but one team. Toronto was outscored by Tampa Bay at even strength in round one and if the Panthers can stay out of the penalty box, they might find they’re just as good on offense as the Maple Leafs, if not better.

Defense

Toronto was a solid defensive team in the regular season, but their play without the puck in round one leaves a lot to be desired and if that’s a sign of things to come it isn’t a good one. Meanwhile, the Panthers weren’t a good defensive team, but they took strides in round one versus Boston. So, now it becomes a question of what matters more? The team’s current form in a small sample of playoff games, or their entire body of work. If it’s the former, this series is going to be tightly contested because Toronto’s perceived edge on defense is a big reason why they’re a sizeable favorite.

Goaltending

The Maple Leafs’ poor play without the puck in the first round was masked by goaltender Ilya Samsonov. The 26-year-old posted a .900 save percentage (about what you’d expect from an average goaltender given the shots Samsonov faced) but he came up big in crucial times and was a calming presence for his team. It makes sense that his stats don’t jump off the page considering all the talented shooters that the Lightning had at their disposal, but he’ll have to be even better in round two because Florida’s offense is even more formidable.

On the other side, Sergei Bobrovsky won his starting job back midway through the first round and it was one of the big turning points of the series. Bobrovsky played well under pressure, even if he wasn’t outstanding, but it’s been a while since he’s been regarded as one of the best goaltenders in the league and, right now, Toronto has the edge in the goaltending department heading into the series.

Who will win the series?

A best-of-7 series can result in a range of outcomes, from a clean sweep by one team to a full seven-game series that could go either way, so it’s important to view it that way. Here are my estimated series probabilities:

Series Prediction

Toronto no longer must content with the ghosts of past playoffs, but the Panthers slayed a huge dragon in round one and should not be taken lightly. In some ways, Florida might be better than Tampa Bay, but they don’t have a world class goaltender and their defense, while good in the playoffs so far, has been a weak spot for the team. According to my model, the Maple Leafs will win the series 61 percent of the time.

Best Bet

Florida Panthers (Game 1 Moneyline) +145 at DraftKings

Game 1 goes Tuesday in Toronto, and Florida’s odds of winning that game are longer than their odds of winning the series. That doesn’t match up with my predictions. I estimate that Florida will win Game 1 approximately 42.4 percent of the time, which converts to moneyline odds of +136. It’s a bet that will lose more often than it will win, but I think there’s some value betting on the Panthers at +145 or better. Shop around, though, because there’s at least one shop hanging +150 currently, while many other shops have moved into the +135 range.

All bets tracked via third party app Betstamp.