Panthers Open As Small Stanley Cup Final Favourites Over Oilers

The Florida Panthers converge to stop Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers during the first period at Amerant Bank Arena on November 20, 2023 in Sunrise, Florida.

The Stanley Cup could be just four wins away from returning to Canada for the first time since 1993.

With a 2-1 win against the Dallas Stars on Sunday night, the Edmonton Oilers clinched a 4-2 series victory in the Western Conference Finals and a berth in the Stanley Cup Final against the Florida Panthers. Florida, who represented the Eastern Conference last season as well, return to the dance after eliminating the New York Rangers. With two teams left, the hockey world is excited to see who will prevail, and while the action is still days away from resuming, Canada’s top sportsbooks are prepared with odds for those looking to place their bets.

Panthers Favoured In Stanley Cup Final

As we get ready for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, the margins are very tight. Many experts are projecting this as a close to 50/50 series, and the sportsbooks aren’t giving large gaps either. One thing that is consistent, however, is that they’re giving the slight edge to the Panthers, generally landing them between -125 and -135 to win it all.

The Panthers have the edge of prior experience to their name, losing to the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2023 Final. They’ve also had a slightly faster ride to the dance, losing one fewer game than the Oilers across the first three rounds. Edmonton has scored 0.26 more goals per game along their run, while Florida has allowed 0.32 fewer per-game – both near the top of the playoff charts in their respective metrics.

Sports Interaction+110-130
NorthStar Bets+112-132

The best value for Oilers bettors can be found at Pinnacle, who have them at +120. For Panthers bettors, head to Betway or Proline+, who have the Cats at -125.

2024 Stanley Cup Champions

EDM +110
FLA -130

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Conn Smythe Trophy Futures Watch

As we enter the series, the Conn Smythe Trophy race gets further into focus as well. A long list of candidates are available across the various books, but six in particular have stood out.

Connor McDavid (EDM)+200+175+210
Sergei Bobrovsky (FLA)+400+300+400
Aleksander Barkov (FLA)+400+400+400
Matthew Tkachuk (FLA)+600+600+600
Leon Draisaitl (EDM)+700+750+700
Evan Bouchard (EDM)+750+750+800

McDavid is on the top of every book, as the Edmonton megastar has both the pedigree boost of being the team’s captain, and a playoff-leading 26 assists and 31 points. Leon Draisaitl isn’t far behind him with 10 goals and 18 assists, and Evan Bouchard has shot up into the conversation thanks to his six goals and 21 assists from the blue line.

On Florida’s end, Sergei Bobrovsky’s performance in goal (12-5, 0908 SV%, 2.20 GAA) has him back in the same conversation that he was in last year, even if the numbers aren’t quite as gaudy as they were going into the 2023 Final. Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov’s stellar two-way play paired with 17 points in 17 games has him second among the Florida crew, while Matthew Tkachuk’s team-leading 19 points and gritty play also have him near the top.

Bouchard is the player amongst this group that I have the most interest in keeping tabs on, as his play has only gotten better with each series and his responsiblity has come to match. He’d likely still require an Edmonton win and it’ll be difficult for him to shake off the McDavid factor without individual domination, but with how things have gone, I wouldn’t rule that out just yet.

Should they storm out of the gate in this series, other players worth watching include Carter Verhaeghe, Sam Reinhart, or Gustav Forsling on the Panthers and Zach Hyman or Stuart Skinner on the Oilers. None are super likely, but have enough of a body of work that being the best player in the Finals could shoot them up the overall rankings.

2024 Stanley Cup Final Schedule

The league has released its schedule for the Stanley Cup Final, which could go well into the month of June.

DateRoad TeamHome TeamTime (ET)
Saturday, June 8Edmonton OilersFlorida Panthers8:00 p.m.
Monday, June 10Edmonton OilersFlorida Panthers8:00 p.m.
Thursday, June 13Florida PanthersEdmonton Oilers8:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 15Florida PanthersEdmonton Oilers8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, June 18*Edmonton OilersFlorida Panthers8:00 p.m.
Friday, June 21*Florida PanthersEdmonton Oilers8:00 p.m.
Monday, June 24*Edmonton OilersFlorida Panthers8:00 p.m.
* If necessary

Should the series go the distance, there would be just four days between the end of the season and the NHL Draft, and just a week between the end of the season and free agency. That’ll be a tight turnaround for the finalists to get started on next year!

Keep reading the latest NHL news on Canada Sports Betting to follow along with the series, including previews of every game in the Stanley Cup Final.