Oilers vs Panthers Game 1 Odds and Movement

Florida Favored to Win Series Opener Against Edmonton in High-Scoring Fashion

The 2024 Stanley Cup Final will get off and running with Game 1 between the Edmonton Oilers and Florida Panthers on Saturday at Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise, Florida.

Hockey fans who have been clamoring to see Oilers superstar Connor McDavid on the Cup Final stage will get their wish.

This is Edmonton’s first Cup Final appearance since 2006, which was nine years before it took McDavid with the top pick of the 2015 draft.

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Still, the Panthers have been favored to win the Cup since they defeated the New York Rangers in six games in the NHL Eastern Conference Final.

The bulk of the betting handle has been on Florida to win its first championship in its 31-year NHL existence.

Here’s a look at the Oilers vs Panthers Game 1 odds and line movement ahead of Saturday’s series opener.

Oilers logo Edmonton Oilers vs Florida Panthers Panthers logo

📅Day/Time:
📍Location: Amarent Bank Arena
📺Streaming: ESPN, ESPN+

Odds Shift Toward Florida

Florida opened at about a -135 favorite in both Game 1 and the best-of-7 series, depending on which sportsbook you looked at. But it is becoming an even bigger favorite to take a 1-0 series edge as the first game approaches.

The Panthers are carrying a whopping 69% of the Game 1 betting handle despite the Oilers’ star-laden lineup that features the three-time Hart Trophy winner McDavid, 2020 Hart Trophy winner Leon Draisaitl and the playoff leader in goals Zach Hyman.

  • Florida thus has a 57-59% implied probability to win Game 1 based on its moneyline odds. The most favorable odds for a Game 1 moneyline wager on the Panthers is at bet365, which is keeping them at -135 to win.

Home teams that win Game 1 have won 75% of all best-of-7 series in NHL history, and that percentage balloons to 83.6% of all Stanley Cup Final series when the home team claims the series opener.

  • But if you’re a contrarian, or truly believe in the Oilers, their most favorable Game 1 odds are at Caesars Sportsbook at +122.

Multi-Goal Win Unlikely

If you’re looking for better value, the puck line is always an option since teams win by multiple goals all the time. In fact, Cup Final Game 1 has been decided by more than one goal in six of the past seven years.

  • Still, the puck line odds are long for a reason. Florida has won seven of its 12 playoff games by exactly one goal — though its two Game 1 victories in the postseason were each by one-plus. The puck line opened at about +190 for Florida to win by at least two goals, and those odds have only shrunk slightly to +185.
  • For context, the +185 odds carry an implied probability of about 35% odds of hitting. That gives the Oilers about a 65% chance of keeping Game 1 within a goal.

Given the $0.44 profit-per-dollar-wagered amount of the Oilers staying within a goal, betting on Edmonton to beat the 1.5-goal spread isn’t a great option either unless you’re using it as a same-game parlay leg.

  • But if you don’t trust the puck line, and still want more lucrative odds to bet on a Florida win, try wagering the Panthers on the 60-minute line. Florida would have to win in regulation, which means any overtime would result in a loss, take it to do so at BetMGM at +115.

Over or Under?

  • The Over has been deemed more likely to hit since it opened as a slight -115 favorite. Some books went as high as -120 for over 5.5 goals, especially since the Over is carrying 63% of the betting handle ahead of Game 1.

Still, the Under seems like both the better value and the more likely outcome. If you’ve been tracking playoff NHL scores, you know Florida and Edmonton have each been stingy, even though each team is averaging three-plus goals per game, and there has been at least six goals in two of the past three Cup Final Game 1s.

The Panthers are allowing just 2.20 goals per game in the postseason, and there has been fewer than six goals in eight of their past nine games. The Oilers are giving up 2.61 goals per game, and the Under hit in seven of their past 10 games.

Plus, there should be a feeling-out period with both teams trying to channel the nerves of the series-opening game in the championship round.

Don’t forget about the potential for sloppy ice since the NHL founders surely couldn’t have predicted hockey in South Florida in June when they were creating a sport meant to be played on frozen water.

Prediction

Oddsmakers are right more often than not, but NHL expert picks track the line movement and betting handles before deciding which way to turn.

We picked Florida to win in six games, and since the Game 1 winner has claimed 76.2% of all championship-round series, there’s no reason to think the Panthers won’t retain home ice in the series opener.

Panthers 3, Oilers 2

For NHL betting news, odds analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.


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