Stanley Cup Finals 2023: Florida Panthers Outlook

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Stanley Cup Finals 2023: Florida Panthers Outlook
© USA Today

The Florida Panthers have completed an improbable run through the NHL's Eastern Conference. Florida defeated the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-3, on Wednesday behind a Matthew Tkachuk goal with 4.9 seconds left in regulation. This gave the Panthers a 4-0 sweep over the favorite Hurricanes.

It is not just that Florida advanced or the stories behind this run. This Panthers team was a point away from not even making the playoffs. More than that, as Matthew Tkachuk, Aleksander Barkov, and the rest of the Panthers were celebrating, some intriguing numbers have emerged that are worth a look for people interested in Stanley Cup playoff betting.

Numerology And Odds Of The Panthers

One of the first interesting numbers is the number 27. It had been 27 years since the Florida Panthers advanced to the Stanley Cup Final. That Florida team was buoyed by Scott Mellanby, who killed a rat in the locker room during an early regular season game. Mellanby’s jersey number in Florida was 27.

Florida is the third team to advance past the Toronto Maple Leafs and get to the Stanley Cup Final. Also, before the playoffs, the Panthers had +1200 odds to advance out of the Eastern Conference. Those were the longest odds of any team. 

There's more.

Earlier this season, the sportsbook at Circa Resort in downtown Las Vegas had an exacta you had to see to believe. Last April, when the odds first came out, bettors at Circa could place a wager on the Florida Panthers to defeat the Vegas Golden Knights to capture the Stanley Cup. At that time, the odds on that two-team paring, and the final outcome, were +17700.  Basically, tossing $2 would yield a $356 payout. That’s a tidy $354 profit. 

The chances of this happening before the postseason was a mere 0.56% implied probability. This is no misprint. Now, Vegas is one game away from making this a lot more likely.

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Hey, Florida Is Not Done

With more NHL betting to go, it is worth noting that Florida did snap its run of Unders that connected. The game on Wednesday was crazy, as three goals were scored combined in the first 20 minutes. Ultimately, Florida and Carolina combined for seven combine goals in regulation, as both teams scored three goals or more. 

If one is pondering a Stanley Cup Final bet, the Florida Panthers are listed at +110. There is a possibility that number could lengthen in the coming days, especially if Vegas wins on Thursday night.

There may be a few numbers worth keeping an eye on, too. The Conn Smythe Trophy is one. The two favorites right now are Sergei Bobrovsky and Matthew Tkachuk. A few journalists remarked how maybe both deserve to share the award. However, both have been clutch in their own way. 

Matthew Tkachuk scored three game-changing goals in the Eastern Conference Final alone. He comes in at +350 currently. Bobrovsky has been masterful in goal as Florida advanced past three of the four best teams in the NHL. Some forget the Russian goaltender helped author one of the great upsets in the last decade.

Yes, 2019 was when the eight-seed Columbus Blue Jackets upended the Tampa Bay Lightning before the Lightning's Stanley Cup runs. Bobrovsky was amazing versus Carolina and carries an 11-2 record this postseason while saving 14.7 goals above average. He is the favorite at +200 to win the Conn Smythe now.

Now When Does The Stanley Cup Final Begin?

For Florida and fans alike, maybe that should be a prop. There is a possibility that the final round could begin before June 3. Stay tuned.

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