Oilers vs Panthers: The Panel's Picks & Best Bets For Stanley Cup Final Game 1

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Oilers vs Panthers: The Panel's Picks & Best Bets For Stanley Cup Final Game 1

Our Oilers vs Panthers Game 1 Picks

The Stanley Cup Final is almost upon us as the Florida Panthers and Edmonton Oilers do battle on Saturday night (8 p.m., ABC).

Florida embraces its status as -135 favorites with sports betting sites to open this series with a home victory in Game 1 with Edmonton at +115.

Last year the Panthers came in banged up, battered and bruised. Now, they skate into this final series healthy and raring to go after a lengthy rest. 

Our team at The Panel has checked out the stats, guides and key players ahead of the opener and are ready to deliver their three betting predictions.

Florida To Enjoy Home Cooking In Game 1

The Panthers stroll into the Stanley Cup Final as -135 favorites to take down Game 1 with NHL betting experts. 

After defeating the New York Rangers in three straight games, Florida has to feel good about itself, especially after they shut down the Rangers in Game 6. 

Aside from a late goal, New York looked like a shell of its former President Trophy self.   

Florida keeps showing its resolve and, more important, its scoring depth. Seven players have tallied 10 or more points for the team led by Matthew Tkachuk’s 19 (five goals, 14 assists). 

All four lines have scored at pivotal points in their Stanley Cup run, and sportsbooks tilt toward Florida, not just for their ability, but also because of their relentless attack. 

Panthers Can Pounce Late On

Do not underestimate the Panthers’ discipline. Last year they often lost their cool and got away with it. This 2024 version of the Panthers has shown the world they can straddle that fine line without crossing it. 

Florida may be the only team that can get Edmonton chasing the puck too much. The longer the Panthers can keep the series at even strength, the better off Florida is. 

The Oilers' special teams have been incredible (37.3% power play, 93.9% penalty kill). 

Florida and Barkov have shut down each top line in their three previous series, but Edmonton is the biggest test. 

The Panel believes Game 1 will be tight but that Florida will pull through at the big points in the third period. 

Florida played five straight one-goal contests (three going to overtime) to this point, so ride on the Panthers to pounce on the Oilers in Game 1.

The Panel Pick 1: Florida Panthers To Win Game 1 @ -135 With DraftKings

Matthew Tkachuk To Open The Floodgates 

This will seem daunting, but Matthew Tkachuk only has five goals in the postseason. 

However, when it comes to setting the tone, the forward has shined the brightest for Florida when it counts the most. He leads the Panthers with 19 points and knows the Edmonton Oilers well. 

On both sides, there are plenty of choices for a good first-goalscorer in this Stanley Cup Final. However, we have been here before. 

He has scored in every series opener and the first goal twice. Few players set the tone quite like him and fewer get under the skin of Oilers star Connor McDavid like he can.  

Tkachuk has come a long way from that “Battle Of Alberta” series in 2022. Edmonton won that series over Calgary but ultimately lost the war. He is a rare player who remembers defeats well without dwelling over them.  

The American plays all phases well but is the player who can come up the biggest when the chips are on the table. Picking Tkachuk to score anytime in the first period (+800) With FanDuel or to open Game 1 is in our sights.

The Panel Pick 2: Matthew Tkachuk To Score The First Goal @ +1200 With FanDuel

Bowling Over With Goals On Saturday

Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final series features quite a bit of firepower that has been on the shelf for what feels like months instead of around a week.   

Both teams have prided themselves on defense at the right time. Edmonton went into a shell during Game 6, allowed 35 shots, and still won by the slimmest of margins. Florida saw five of their six games go to the side of the Under against New York.

However, McDavid, Draisaitl, Bouchard and Nugent-Hopkins all have 20+ points for Edmonton. An adjustment period is quite possible, even likely. Florida will want to flex its scoring muscle. Add in some expected sloppiness, and a few more goals may occur.

Florida’s balance and surprising power play, along with the Oilers’ potency on the man advantage, feel like the perfect recipe for some goals on Saturday night.   

Given the talent on both rosters, expect both teams to combine for at least six goals or more in Game 1.

The Panel Pick 3: Florida And Edmonton Over 5.5 Goals @ -115 With BetMGM 

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