NHL Betting Preview (April 1): Panthers vs. Maple Leafs Predictions

With the Stanley Cup Playoffs fast approaching, the Toronto Maple Leafs will be spending the final few weeks of the regular season fine-tuning for post-season action. It should come as no surprise, then, that the back end of their schedule crams some potential opponents into its mix, like the Florida Panthers, who eliminated them last season. Monday, the Leafs will have their penultimate look at this year’s version of the team, hoping to take advantage of home ice.

Bet on Maple Leafs vs. Panthers

TOR +116
FLA -128

The Maple Leafs are slight home underdogs, coming in at +116 on the moneyline.

Panthers vs. Maple Leafs Betting Odds

Maple Leafs Moneyline Odds+116 at Pinnacle
Panthers Moneyline Odds-120 at NorthStar Bets
Puckline oddsMaple Leafs +1.5 (-219 @ Pinnacle)
Panthers -1.5 (+205 @ NorthStar Bets)
Totalover 6.0 -118 @ Pinnacle
under 6.5 -119 @ NorthStar Bets
Time/DateApril 1, 7:00 p.m. ET
TVBroadcast: Sportsnet, TVA Sports (French)
Stream: Sportsnet+
(How to watch the NHL in Canada?)

Betting Toronto Maple Leafs (42-22-9 SU, 29-44 ATS, 39-32-1 o/u)

The Maple Leafs come in feeling pretty good about themselves after a commanding win against the Sabres in Buffalo. While the Battle of the QEW still went to their rivals due to an extra overtime point, Toronto effectively won the war in this one, invading their building, controlling the game for a complete 60 minutes, and essentially striking midnight on any last hopes of a playoff push.

John Tavares opened the scoring five minutes into the first period with his 24th of the season, and Nick Robertson followed him with some insurance in the second. Auston Matthews gave the fans what they’ve been waiting all week for in the third, tucking home his 60th goal of the season with five and a half minutes to go. In the last minute of play, a sketchy hit from Rasmus Dahlin on TJ Brodie created a commotion – not enough for a line brawl, but enough for the officials to put 100 penalty minutes on the board, giving everyone on the ice a 10-minute misconduct. Ilya Samsonov made 34 saves for his third shutout of the year.

Betting Florida Panthers (47-22-5 SU, 29-44 ATS, 39-32-2 o/u)

Of course, the Panthers aren’t the Sabres. The difficulty curve is much higher here, with Florida following up their Stanley Cup Final run from last year with another solid regular season, creating an expectation for another long playoff run.

They probably wish that they started the spring a little bit better, though, as things haven’t been totally rosy in recent weeks. After winning their first two games following the trade deadline, the Cats have dropped six of eight, including a pair to divisional opponents Tampa Bay and Boston. They do come in with a bit of a positive vibe after beating the Red Wings on Saturday, though that was by the skin of their teeth too, having spent the majority of the game trailing and having blown the lead that earned in the third within a minute of taking it.

Even with their struggles, they’re a team you can’t fully underestimate. They play chippy and stingy and tend to elevate to opponents like Toronto.

Last Matchup

Speaking of tight games that ended in a shootout, that’s exactly how the last game between these two teams went down back in November. Kevin Stenlund opened the scoring for Florida, only to be matched by Noah Gregor in the second period. That would be it for goals in game action, with nothing to show for in the third or overtime. Gregor ultimately stepped up for the Leafs again, winning the game for them in the sixth round of the shootout.

Projected Panthers and Leafs Lines

Today’s Toronto Maple Leafs LinesToday’s Florida Panthers Lines
Tyler Bertuzzi – Auston Matthews – Max Domi
Bobby McMann – John Tavares – William Nylander
Matthew Knies – Pontus Holmberg – Nick Robertson
Connor Dewar – David Kampf – Noah Gregor

Simon Benoit – Jake McCabe
TJ Brodie – Ilya Lyubushkin
Mark Giordano – Conor Timmins

Starting In Goal
Ilya Samsonov
20-6-7, 3.03 GAA, 0.893 SV%
Evan Rodrigues – Aleksander Barkov – Vladimir Tarasenko
Carter Verhaeghe – Sam Bennett – Matthew Tkachuk
Eetu Luostarinen – Anton Lundell – Sam Reinhart
Nick Cousin – Kevin Stenlund – Steven Lorentz

Gustav Forsling – Aaron Ekblad
Niko Mikkola – Brandon Montour
Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Dmitry Kulikov

Starting In Goal
Sergei Bobrovsky
33-16-3, 2.40 GAA, 0.913 SV%

Toronto’s lineup is currently projected to carry over from Saturday though, with the day-to-day nature of some of their injuries and brushes with illness, a lot can change in the span of 48 hours.

The Panthers are running more or less the roster you’d expect them to carry into the playoffs. It’s an impressive group, with the ability to stack stars all the way down to the third line, and a deep group of six defencemen.

Auston Matthews to score a goal


Panthers vs. Maple Leafs Injury Concerns

The Maple Leafs placed Mitch Marner on retroactive LTIR on Saturday morning, though this was mostly to make cap space for Marshall Rifai to come up as a spare defenceman. Marner has been out long enough with a high-ankle sprain that he can return at any point and be activated off of LTIR, but I wouldn’t count on it just yet.

The Panthers are effectively healthy at the moment, with no noteworthy injuries to speak of.

  • The Panthers are 6-4 against Toronto in the last 10 games between the two teams, dating back to last March. This includes the playoff series against them. Florida has won on the puckline in eight of 10, and the under has been the play when it comes to total goals, hitting nine times.
  • The Maple Leafs are 6-4 in their last 10 games, along with having a 7-3 edge against the puckline. The total goals over has hit in six of those games.
  • The Panthers have been worse off, sitting at 4-6 in their last 10 games. Their puckline record matches this, and they’ve also only cleared the total goals line in four of those 10 games.
  • Newly re-anointed 60-goal man Auston Matthews leads the Maple Leafs in goals (six), assists (nine), points (15), and shots on goal (56) over their last 10 games. Seems like a pretty good player.
  • Weirdly enough, it’s the goal statistic where Matthews’ lead is shared, rather than outright. Tyler Bertuzzi and William Nylander also have six in Toronto’s last 10, Bobby McMann and John Tavares each have five, and even the likes of Pontus Holmberg and Nick Robertson have three.
  • Sam Reinhart leads the way for the Panthers over their last 10 games, scoring six goals and adding five assists for eleven points. Matthew Tkachuk leads the team in assists with six, and shares the shots on goal lead with Reinhart and Carter Verhaeghe (30).

Panthers vs. Maple Leafs Predictions

  • With the milestone now behind him, some may wonder if Auston Matthews lets off the gas a little. I think he keeps marching, knowing that good form going into the playoffs is a must. For the best value on this one, you can get him for -115 on bet365.
  • I suspect that Sam Reinhart will look to have some respect put on his name in the goals race too, so look to him to shoot the puck a bunch in this one. His line is set at 2.5 shots on goal and he’s taken 15 in his last four games. Your best value is at NorthStar Bets, coming in at -114.
  • These two teams have typically landed on the under, and both of the currently projected netminders are playing great of late. It’s hard to say no to another repeat – Northstar Bets has the best value for under 6.5 total goals at -119.

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