NHL Betting Picks for Wednesday 5/8/24: Panthers Look to Tie Series Against Bruins

Scott Edwards Jr.
Scott Edwards Jr.@ScottEdwardsJr
NHL Betting Picks for Wednesday 5/8/24: Panthers Look to Tie Series Against Bruins

It's another big night of Stanley Cup Playoff action as another series kicks off and an important Game 2 takes place.

Whether it's moneylines or total goals, there are plenty of ways to bet on the NHL action all season. It's a long 82-game campaign, meaning that the best selections of each night can be very different based on backup goalies coming into play, injuries that add up, and if teams are due for positive or negative swings.

Let's dive into the best bets for tonight.

Note: Lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. All NHL betting odds and totals are from the NHL odds at FanDuel Sportsbook. All advanced statistics are used from MoneyPuck.com and NaturalStatTrick.com.

NHL Best Bets

Boston Bruins at Florida Panthers

Under 5.5 Goals (-114)

The Boston Bruins took a surprising 1-0 series lead against the Florida Panthers, winning 5-1 on Monday. It's hard to imagine that high score will be the theme of this series, which is why I like Under 5.5 Goals (-114) for Game 2 tonight.

Florida was coming off a week-long break, and the final result showed that. What isn't shown, however, is the offense created shots-wise. They're second in the NHL through these playoffs with 32.89 shots for per 60 minutes (SF/60), having had 39 shots in Game 1. This brings us to why I don't see the Panthers turning it up goal-wise like Boston did: Jeremy Swayman.

Swayman has been unbelievable through seven games. He's posted a 1.42 goals against average (GAA) and .955 save percentage (SV%). Swayman also leads with 11.17 goals saved above expectation (GSAx). The Panthers will find some answer for him eventually with the offense they create but not to the point where the goalscoring should be all too high in Game 2.

For the Bruins, they aren't scoring at a high rate -- 2.85 goals for per 60 minutes (GF/60) -- and had a lot of help from unexpected players last game. Being on the road, the Bruins will likely have to again weather the storm of a determined Panthers team and could find them in their zone more than they'd like.

Take the under with confidence.

Edmonton Oilers at Vancouver Canucks

Under 6.5 Goals (-130)

After what feels like forever, the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks will get their series underway.

Edmonton hasn't played since last Wednesday while Vancouver hasn't played since Friday. Both teams may not have their best hockey in the early going as a result, which is why I lean Under 6.5 Goals (-130) in this game.

Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet has confirmed that it will be Arturs Silovs in net. Based on the first round, this could prove to be a problem for the Oilers. Silovs was great in three starts, putting together a 1.70 GAA and .938 save percentage -- including a shutout in the series-clinching win.

In their six-game series against the Nashville Predators, the Canucks stopped them with just 1.99 goals against per 60 minutes (GA/60) and 2.65 expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60). Vancouver didn't score much in their own right, averaging only 2.16 GF/60 and having the lowest expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60) rate in the playoffs at 2.35.

The Oilers scored a lot as you'd expect with 4.37 GF/60, but their Corsi for per 60 minutes sat at just 57.59 and their xGF/60 at 3.36. Their power play scored 45.0% of the time in round one, notching 9 goals.

If the Canucks can avoid putting Edmonton on the power play tonight, this game should stay close and low scoring as I expect.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.