Panthers vs Hurricanes Prediction, Odds & Best Bet for NHL Playoffs Game 1 (Don't Expect Fireworks to Open ECF)

Florida Panthers vs Carolina Hurricanes prediction, odds and betting insights for NHL playoffs Game 1.
Florida Panthers vs Carolina Hurricanes prediction, odds and betting insights for NHL playoffs Game 1. / AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker

The 2022-23 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs continue on Thursday, May 18 as the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes are set to play Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Panthers vs Hurricanes Game 1 Info

  • Series: Tied 0-0
  • Date: Thursday, May 18, 2023
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • Venue: PNC Arena -- Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Coverage: TNT

The Panthers are back in the conference finals after nearly 30 years, advancing here by eliminating the Toronto Maple Leafs in five games. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes hardly broke a sweat against the Devils in Round 2, also needing just five matchups to send their Metropolitan Division rivals home.

Panthers vs Hurricanes Odds & Spread

  • All NHL betting lines, odds and prop bets are from FanDuel Sportsbook.
  • Moneyline: FLA: (+120) | CAR: (-144)
  • Spread: FLA: +1.5 (-205) | CAR: -1.5 (+168)
  • Total: 5.5 -- Over: (-134) | Under: (+110)

The Hurricanes enter this contest as home favorites on the spread and moneyline per FanDuel Sportsbook's odds. This 8 p.m. ET clash also features an over/under of 5.5 goals with the Over being favored at -134 odds. 

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Panthers vs Hurricanes Betting Trends

  • Florida is 6-0 straight up (SU) in its last six road games.
  • Carolina is 8-1 SU in its last nine home games.
  • The total has hit the Under in each of Florida's last five games.
  • The total has hit the Under in six of Carolina's last eight games against the Atlantic Division.

Panthers vs Hurricanes Prediction & Pick

These teams collided three times during the 2022-23 regular season with the Hurricanes winning the series 2-1. Only one of those meetings was played at PNC Arena, ending in a one-sided 4-0 win for Carolina. The victory helped the Hurricanes improve to 9-4 SU in their last 13 home games against the Panthers.

Having said that, the Panthers are playing with a lot more confidence now. They've already taken down two of the four best teams in the Eastern Conference and now head into Raleigh having won their last six road games. Furthermore, Florida has won five of its last seven clashes against Carolina overall.

The Panthers also have goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who hasn't surrendered more than two goals in five straight outings, playing to a .942 save percentage over that span. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes' Frederik Andersen has a .918 SV% in his last five outings and was even pulled in one of those contests.

The Hurricanes are an incredibly tough team to beat at home, but the Panthers have proven their doubters wrong all postseason. I wouldn't be shocked if Bobrovsky stood on his head again, leading to Florida stealing the first game of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Final Score Prediction: Panthers: 3 | Hurricanes: 2

Panthers vs Hurricanes Best Bet

For the best Game 1 bet, I'm taking the Under on the 5.5-goal total. Bobrovsky's terrific play has led to the Under going 5-0 in the Panthers' last five games. While the total has hit the Over in four of the Hurricanes' past five outings, that had more to do with the Devils' lack of reliable defense and goaltending. Plus, the Under is 27-19-1 at PNC Arena this season.

With three of the last four Panthers-Hurricanes tilts finishing with fewer than 5.5 goals as well, it's clear that the Under is the right call.

Bet: Under 5.5 Goals (+110)

Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Devon Platana also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username PepeSilvia0. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.