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Maple Leafs vs. Panthers NHL Expert Picks – May 10, 2023

Maple Leafs vs. Panthers NHL Expert Picks – May 10, 2023 

MAPLE LEAFS VS. PANTHERS NHL EXPERT PICKS – May 10, 2023 — Florida was supposed to be the team playing with house money while Toronto set itself up to reach the Eastern Conference Finals, but the Panthers have turned that on its head. Far from being satisfied with upsetting Boston, Florida has put a 3-0 chokehold on this series with Toronto and can send the Maple Leafs home with a win in Game 4 on Wednesday. 

While the Panthers have risen to the occasion, the Maple Leafs’ best players have all shrunk from the spotlight. In this series, none of Auston Matthews, John Tavares and William Nylander have scored so much as a goal against the Panthers. Toronto spent most of the year creating chances and getting its offense rolling, but the Leafs have scored exactly two goals in five straight games dating back to the final two games of the series win over Tampa Bay. After winning with offense all season, Toronto might not have the personnel and mindset needed to handle Florida. 

If the Leafs are to overcome this deficit, they’ll do it with a new goaltender on the ice. Rookie Joseph Woll becomes the No. 1 goalie for Toronto after an injury to Ilya Samsonov, but goaltending stats show that defense hasn’t been the problem for the Maple Leafs in this series. If things don’t improve on the other end of the ice, it’s going to be over soon for the Leafs. 

The Odds 






Toronto Maple Leafs 

(54-25-12 SU,
39-52 PL) 





Florida Panthers 

(49-35-8 SU, 41-51 PL) 





Puck Drop 

When: Wednesday, May 10th at 7 p.m. EDT 

Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise, Fla. 

Public Bets: 69% on Florida 

Public Money: 67% on Florida 

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of May 10th, 2023 

Toronto vs. Florida In-Season Trends 

The books don’t know how to pick this game. The favorite has lost six consecutive games in this series, with the road team winning five of six. The latter streak ended last time out, as Florida finally managed to get a win at home but still did so as the underdog. That’s the reality of betting in the playoffs with a glamour team like Toronto: the name will almost always push them to a higher price than they should really get. 

This series has mostly been dominated by Florida, as the Panthers have won nine of the past 12 meetings in Sunrise and have won four of five meetings. The Panthers are a great home team in general, having gone 73-33 in their past 106 games at home. They’ve also tended to play UNDER in this series, as the past five meetings have gone under the total. Thanks to the Leafs’ offensive showings against Tampa Bay, the books continue to set the line high. That works to UNDER bettors’ favor; the under has cashed in five straight Toronto games. 


Players to Watch 

John Tavares looks like he’s carrying the full weight of Toronto’s expectations on his shoulders. The Maple Leafs captain grew up a fan of the Leafs, and his decision to spurn the New York Islanders in favor of coming home to Toronto in 2018 was supposed to be the move that changed Toronto’s fortunes.  

It hasn’t worked out that way. Not only had Toronto not won a playoff series in 19 years until beating Tampa Bay, but Tavares has been AWOL against Florida. While Matthews and Nylander have at least set up teammates, Tavares hasn’t even done that, failing to score a point at all in the series. Whether it’s the weight of expectations or simply a bad stretch, he does not look like himself. 

On the other side of Toronto-area natives, Carter Verhaeghe’s goal was the shot that lifted Florida past Boston into round 2, and the third-year center has picked up where he left off. Verhaeghe has scored in two of three games in this series and has nine points over the Panthers’ past seven contests. If he continues to produce like this, it’s going to make it very difficult for him to go home to Toronto in the offseason, but it’s also likely to get Florida into the Eastern Conference Finals. 

The Pick 

If Toronto doesn’t get more than two goals, it’s over. But there’s little inclination to suggest that the Leafs are capable of that. Their stars are not living up to the hype, while Florida is playing freely and has taken full control of this series. 

It’s going to take a big performance from Matthews, Tavares and/or Nylander to keep Toronto’s season alive. I’m not seeing it from this group. I think getting past Tampa Bay left the Leafs spent, and that means Florida finishes them off here. 

Dan’s Picks 

Panthers ML +105 

Carter Verhaeghe O0.5 Points 

John Tavares U0.5 Points 

Read more of our NHL Stanley Cup Playoff coverage here

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