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Opening Panthers vs Lightning Odds, Series Preview & Prediction

Brady Trettenero

by Brady Trettenero in NHL Hockey

Updated Apr 16, 2024 · 10:15 PM PDT

Panthers vs Lightning Odds
Feb 28, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) controls the puck from Florida Panthers center Eetu Luostarinen (27) in the third period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
  • The Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers meet again in the NHL Playoffs
  • The NHL Playoff odds favor the Cats to prevail in the Battle of Florida
  • Read below for Panthers vs Lightning series odds, preview and prediction 2024

The  Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning renew their “Battle of Florida” rivalry once again in the NHL Playoffs. Opening Panthers vs. Lightning series odds were released Tuesday night after the Battle of Florida was confirmed for Round 1 of the 2024 NHL postseason.

The odds favor the Cats to emerge victorious over their in-state rivals in the NHL Playoff Bracket.

Who has the edge in this rivalry series? Let’s break down the odds and offer our Florida vs Tampa Bay prediction.

Panthers vs Lightning Series Odds

Team Moneyline
Florida Panthers -170
Tampa Bay Lightning +145

In the Battle of Florida odds, Florida is a -170 moneyline favorite, giving them 63% implied win probability.

 

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Odds as of Apr. 16 at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Panthers Betting Analysis

The Florida Panthers are poised for another strong season in 2023-24 after their thrilling run to the Stanley Cup Final last year. Led by their high-powered offense, the Panthers finished second in the Atlantic Division with a 51-24-6 record and 108 points.

Defensively, the Panthers were anchored by the steady play of Gustav Forsling and Aaron Ekblad. Forsling led the team with a plus-52 rating and chipped in 7 goals and 25 assists, while Ekblad scored 13 goals and 22 assists in 77 games.

In net, Sergei Bobrovsky bounced back from a subpar 2022-23 season to post a 34-17-4 record with a 2.43 goals-against average and .913 save percentage. The veteran goaltender was named to the All-Star Game for the third time in his career.

As a team, the Panthers ranked third in the NHL in goals scored with 292 and 16th in goals against with 250. Their power play clicked at a 24.0% rate (8th) while their penalty kill was solid at 82.5%.

Lightning Betting Analysis

The Tampa Bay Lightning have had a solid 2023-24 regular season, currently sitting in fourth place in the Atlantic Division with a record of 44-27-7. While they haven’t quite reached the heights of their back-to-back Stanley Cup championship seasons, the Lightning remain a decent threat heading into the playoffs.

Leading the charge for Tampa Bay is the dynamic duo of Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point. Kucherov, the team’s top scorer, has amassed an impressive 136 points (43 goals, 93 assists) in 76 games, while Point has contributed 85 points (44 goals, 41 assists) in 76 games

Captain Steven Stamkos continues to be a reliable presence, notching 75 points in 74 games.

On the defensive side, Victor Hedman anchors the blue line with his usual poise and skill, tallying 73 points in 74 games while maintaining a solid +3 rating. Mikhail Sergachev has also stepped up, providing offensive support from the back end with 19 points in 34 games

In net, Andrei Vasilevskiy has been a rock for the Lightning, posting a 27-16-0 record with a 2.90 goals-against average and a .898 save percentage. While his numbers may not be as stellar as in previous seasons, Vasilevskiy’s playoff pedigree and ability to elevate his game when it matters most cannot be understated.

Panthers vs Lightning Prediction

You have to lay some juice with these odds, but we really like Florida’s chances of punching their ticket to Round 2. They’ve been one of the league’s best possession teams this season (55.72 CF%), while the Bolts fall below the league average in that regard (50.52 CF%).

Tampa Bay’s chance of pulling the upset hinges on a spectacular series from former Vezina winner Andrei Vasilevskiy. We’d be more bullish on Vasi leading Tampa to victory if the goalie on the other end isn’t capable of doing the same. Bobrovsky has a .915 save percentage and put the team on his back last spring.

Panthers vs Lightning Series Pick:

  • Panthers to Win Series (-170)

 

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