NHL Betting Preview (June 24): Panthers vs. Oilers Game 7 Predictions

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins #93 and Zach Hyman #18 of the Edmonton Oilers celebrate after Hyman's goal against the Florida Panthers during the second period of Game Six of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final at Rogers Place on June 21, 2024 in Edmonton, Alberta.

One and for all, it all comes down to this. In an incredible rally, the Edmonton Oilers have bounced back from a 3-0 deficit in the 2024 Stanley Cup Final to tie up their best-of-seven series against the Florida Panthers. It’s arguably one of the most-anticipated National Hockey League games in many of our lifetimes as Edmonton looks to complete the first 3-0 comeback in a final since 1942. Can they close out the last mile tonight? Let’s take a look at what’s at stake and what could influence the result.

Bet on Panthers vs. Oilers GM 7

EDM -110
FLA -110

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The slight moneyline favourites are the Panthers, coming in between -105 and -125 on the top Canadian Sportsbooks.

Panthers vs. Oilers Best Odds

Panthers Moneyline Odds-105 @ Betway
Oilers Moneyline Odds+100 @ Pinnacle
Puckline oddsOilers +1.5 (-275) @ BetMGM
Oilers -1.5 (+220) @ Betway
Panthers +1.5 (-300) @ Betway
Panthers -1.5 (+244) @ Pinnacle
Total Over 5.5 goals (+130) @ NorthStar Bets
Under 5.5 goals (-139) @ Proline+
Time/DateJune 24, 8:00 p.m. ET
TVBroadcast: CBC, Sportsnet, TVA Sports
Stream: Sportsnet+
(How to watch the NHL in Canada?)

Last Matchup

The Oilers once again struck first in Game 6, courtesy of a Leon Draisaitl setup to Warren Foegele, who deposited his third of the playoffs to give Edmonton a lead which they’d carry all night. In the opening minute of the second period, Mattias Janmark also sent a pass across the royal road, finding an open and patient Adam Henrique. Aleksander Barkov quickly responded, but the goal was ultimately ruled to be offside. A breakaway tally by Zach Hyman late in the frame sent the crowd into a frenzy and extended Edmonton’s lead to three.

Barkov scored again a minute and a half into the third period, and this time it counted. Alas, it was too little, too late for his team, as the Panthers couldn’t build on it. Ryan McLeod and Darnell Nurse added empty-netters to put the game out of reach with a little over three minutes remaining.

Betting Florida Panthers (15-8 SU, 10-13 ATS, 11-12 o/u)

If the pressure wasn’t on the Panthers in Games 4, 5, and 6 of this series, I’m not sure if the pressure has ever been on a team more than it’s on them tonight. For the first time in a decade and the first time in the finals in nearly 80 years, a team has gone from one game away from a sweep to one game away from defeat.

The good news is that they still have an opportunity to close this out. One person who knows this feeling in the Panthers organization is Roberto Luongo, who saw his 2011 Vancouver Canucks fade back from a 3-0 lead against the Chicago Blackhawks, only to end up in Game 7 overtime, but ultimately still come out ahead in the series. Of course, those Canucks then went on to lose in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, so their connection could be seen in a couple of different ways.

From one goalie to another, though, a lot of eyes are on Sergei Bobrovsky tonight. The favourite to win the Conn Smythe Trophy through three games, Bobrovsky has since posted just a .793 save percentage over the last three games, conceding 12 goals on 58 shots. To say the Panthers need “Playoff Bob” back now is an understatement. He’s closed out his last three series strong (31 saves on 32 against Tampa, 22 on 23 against Boston, 23 on 24 against the Rangers). Does he have one more in him?

Betting Edmonton Oilers (15-9 SU, 10-14 ATS, 13-11 o/u)

Friday night’s Game 6 win was the first time that the Oilers won a game where Connor McDavid went pointless and shot less since…

Well, ever, as far as the McDavid era goes. Yes, while those nights are rare, it’s even rarer that the rest of the team comes through in spite of him having a quiet night. But it finally happened, and that should be seen as a positive sign for the Oilers. For one, it shows an ability to win by committee.

But secondly, McDavid usually follows those cold nights up with hot ones. McDavid’s followed up pointless nights in these playoffs with 1, 3, 2, 2, and 1 point respectively, not going two games in a row without a point since November. Being held off the shot map? An even better omen. It only happened twice this year, and he had 2 and 3 points in the follow-up games. Last year? It happened once, and he followed it with a goal. McDavid hasn’t followed up a shotless night with a pointless night since the 2017/18 season.

On top of this, the Oilers have been closers. All three times in these playoffs where they’ve gotten to three wins, they’ve immediately gotten the fourth in the next game. In fact, they’re 7-1 across the McDavid era with three wins to their name, having last lost in Round 2 against Anaheim in 2017.

Projected Panthers vs. Oilers Lines

Today’s Florida Panthers LinesToday’s Edmonton Oilers Lines
Carter Verhaeghe – Aleksander Barkov – Sam Reinhart
Evan Rodrigues – Sam Bennett – Matthew Tkachuk
Eetu Luostarinen – Anton Lundell – Vladimir Tarasenko
Ryan Lomberg – Kevin Stenlund – Kyle Okposo

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

Starting In Goal
Sergei Bobrovsky
Playoffs: 15-6-2, 2.38 GAA, 0.903 SV%
Season: 36-17-4, 2.37 GAA, 0.915 SV%
Warren Foegele – Connor McDavid – Zach Hyman
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Leon Drasaitl – Dylan Holloway
Mattias Janmark – Adam Henrique – Connor Brown
Ryan McLeod – Derek Ryan – Corey Perry

Mattias Ekholm – Evan Bouchard
Darnell Nurse – Philip Broberg
Brett Kulak – Cody Ceci

Starting In Goal
Stuart Skinner
Playoffs: 13-7-1, 2.46 GAA, 0.901 SV%
Season: 36-16-5, 2.62 GAA, 0.905 SV%

Both teams are betting on themselves, by and large. The Oilers won’t mess with what’s working — even if Evander Kane can find the strength to come in, I don’t see them taking anyone out. The Panthers are making one move: They’re taking Nick Cousins out for Kyle Okposo, a grizzled veteran who might be taking his final laps in the league tonight.

Connor McDavid to score over 1.5 points


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Panthers vs. Oilers Injury Concerns

The cone of silence continues here. Evander Kane (undisclosed but thought to be in connection with a sports hernia) is the only reported injury on either side. No doubt players are banged up, but we’re not going to hear anything until the dust is settled.

  • The two teams have split their last 10 games, going 5-5 since November 2022. Florida has a 6-4 edge against the puckline. The over has hit in six of 10 games on total goals, with four unders.
  • Edmonton is 6-4 across their last 10 games, with a 5-5 record against the puckline and six overs and four unders against the total goals line.
  • Florida are also 6-4 in their last 10 games, with a 3-7 record against the puck line, and an even 5-5 split across the total goals line.
  • While they didn’t have to rely on him quite as much on Friday, Edmonton is still Connor McDavid’s oyster. Over the last 10 games, he’s put up a team-leading five goals, 14 assists, 19 points, and 36 shots on goal.
  • Just trailing McDavid on goals and shots in that span is Zach Hyman, with four goals (including a breakaway in Game 6) and 32 shots on goal. Evan Bouchard is second in assists with 10 over Edmonton’s last 10.
  • Aleksander Barkov leads the Panthers in assists (six) and points (nine) over the last 10 games. Sam Reinhart, Evan Rodrigues, and Sam Bennett all share the goals lead with four apiece, and Matthew Tkachuk has taken the most shots on goal with 36.

Panthers vs. Oilers Predictions

A night like tonight is an absolute wildcard. The winner-take-all nature adds a layer of intensity and variability that blows anything else this season out of the water, and the nature of this comeback/collapse makes trying to pinpoint how tonight’s game goes even more chaotic.

One thing we can be pretty sure of is that there’s going to be a hero who steps up and wins this hockey game. Here are the goals, points, and shots on goal props for the star players on both teams tonight:

PlayerAnytime GoalPoints (Over)Shots On Goal (Over)
Connor McDavid (EDM)+160 (FanDuel)1.5 (-110, DraftKings)3.5 (+115, bet365)
Leon Draisaitl (EDM)+185 (FanDuel)0.5 (-210, FanDuel)2.5 (-125, bet365)
Zach Hyman (EDM)+145 (FanDuel)0.5 (-162, FanDuel)3.5 (+140, bet365)
Evan Bouchard (EDM)+500 (FanDuel)0.5 (-160, Pinnacle)2.5 (-125, Bet99)
Aleksander Barkov (FLA)+320 (FanDuel)0.5 (-160, FanDuel)2.5 (+120, bet365)
Matthew Tkachuk (FLA)+220 (Sports Interaction)0.5 (-170, FanDuel)2.5 (-180, bet365)
Carter Verhaeghe (FLA)+220 (FanDuel)0.5 (-128, FanDuel)2.5 (-150, bet365)
Sam Bennett (FLA)+370 (FanDuel)0.5 (+110, FanDuel)2.5 (+115, bet365)

As we’re probably gathering here, FanDuel is offering the best odds across the board tonight in terms of goals and points, while bet365 is cornering the market on shot props. I think almost everyone expects big nights that could lead to big scorelines from McDavid and Tkachuk, and at the same time, there’s a lot of wondering if we’ll see one last pop from players like Leon Draisaitl and Carter Verhaeghe, who have faded a bit down the stretch but have come up big for their respective teams in key moments.

Next, I wonder about the total goals line. On the one hand, this is the sort of game you’d imagine would be played with little margin for error, implying some love for the under of 5.5 (-139, Proline+). At the same time, we’ve seen four consecutive overs in this series, and the Oilers have been flooding the net in this push, scoring 18 goals in their last three games. So I wouldn’t be too surprised if someone backing the Oilers instead leaned on the over (+130, DraftKings). Ultimately, Edmonton has shown that they can win both ways, and two of the three wins have come with just one goal against, so I don’t doubt they can pull it off in an under situation.

For me, trying to decide tonight’s result is almost entirely based on hunches and vibes. These are two excellent, evenly-matched teams, and while Florida is on the precipice of an all-time collapse, they were the slight favourites to win the series going in, and going six or seven was an outcome on most people’s minds. The ball is in Edmonton’s court, but no outcome would surprise. Enjoy the last game of the year!

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