Boston Bruins vs. Florida Panthers Expert Pick and Prediction – April 21, 2023
BOSTON BRUINS VS. FLORIDA PANTHERS EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION – April 21, 2023 — The Bruins did the one thing they couldn’t do in the first two games, and now they’ve got a series against a Florida squad that’s better than its record suggests. The Panthers were left for dead at the trade deadline, but they picked up 26 points over their final 19 games to claim the last playoff spot and honestly believe that they can play with Boston.
So far, they’ve been absolutely right.
Florida dominated the third period to take Game 2 and had a reasonable shot to take the opener if not for a strong game from Boston goaltender Linus Ullmark. And now things get even more worrisome for the Bruins, because now the series shifts to South Florida, where the Bruins haven’t had any success. The Panthers won both meetings this season at FLA Live Arena, and the last time Boston left Sunrise with a victory, the COVID pandemic still fell under the category of “trouble ahead”.
With Patrice Bergeron still banged up and Boston suddenly facing real pressure for the first time in months, this could be the time to back a Panthers squad that’s playing with nothing to lose.
(43-33-8 SU, 35-49 PL)
When: Friday, April 21st at 7:30 pm EST
Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise, Fla.
Public Bets: 92% on Boston
Public Money: 86% on Boston
Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of April 20th, 2023
Boston vs. Florida In-Season Trends
In this series, betting against the home team has been a great way to lose money. Florida’s win in Game 2 was the first time in nine meetings where either side had managed to lose to the other on home ice. The home team has also tended to put up goals, hitting at least four goals in six of the past nine meetings. Because of that, the OVER has cashed in five of the past six meetings, with Game 1 the lone exception.
On the other side of the coin, the Panthers have to keep the Bruins’ special teams under wraps. Calling Florida’s penalty kill a problem in the regular season was an understatement, and the Panthers’ issues when down a man have shown up again here. Boston is 2-for-6 on the power play in the series, and to make matters worse, the Bruins even scored on one of Florida’s power plays in the second game. The Panthers have been the better team so far when playing 5-on-5, and they must make sure they’re not taking penalties unless absolutely necessary.
Players to Watch
Matthew Tkachuk’s move to South Florida was supposed to be the move that made the Panthers a power in the Atlantic, and he’s playing like a difference maker. So far, he’s had three points in two games after notching 109 points for the season. For the year, he’s faced Boston six times and come up with eight points against the Bruins, making him a solid prop play in this game.
On the Boston side, Tyler Bertuzzi is off to a similar start in this series and has been deadly on the power play. Boston’s scored two power play goals in the first two games, and Bertuzzi’s either scored or had an assist on both of them.
Florida’s playing without pressure here, and Boston’s got to figure out how to play in South Florida after having a meltdown in the third period. The Bruins committed 27 turnovers in the first two games, and in Game 2, the Panthers started cashing those in to even the series.
Florida comes home confident, and the value is still with the Panthers given that everyone expects the Bruins to bounce back. Until Boston finds a way to win in Sunrise, the price on the Bruins doesn’t make sense.
|Dan’s Picks||Panthers ML +135
Matthew Tkachuk Over 1.5 Points