Florida Panthers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Playoff Series Best Bets


May 1, 2023

The Florida Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs are set to face off in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs after both teams came out on top in the opening round. The Panthers pulled off a monumental upset, came back from down 3-1 against the Presidents’ Trophy winners, and knocked out the Boston Bruins.

On the other hand, the Maple Leafs finally exorcised their demons and won a playoff series for the first time in nearly two decades, defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games. 

Toronto Maple Leafs (-168) vs. Florida Panthers (+136) 

Toronto Maple Leafs

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s run of heading to three straight Stanley Cup Finals is now over, thanks to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Toronto finally manufactured that killer instinct that they had been direly missing with their current core. A big reason is that they got the goaltending they had been missing in prior attempts, which saw Ilya Samsonov win the goalie battle in Round 1. In addition, the Maple Leafs star forwards played like stars, which hadn’t consistently transpired. Along with Auston Matthews showing the hockey world why he’s a legitimate superstar, veteran defenseman Morgan Rielly put together his strongest playoff round to date in a Maple Leafs uniform. There’s a lot of momentum for the Maple Leafs heading into Round 2 with home-ice advantage.

Florida Panthers

We talked about this when previewing their opening-round series against the Bruins, which highlights that the Florida Panthers don’t exactly have a poor roster. They couldn’t find goaltending for most of the season, but Sergei Bobrovsky finally started to play like a number-one netminder once he got the net back for the Panthers midway through their first rounds series. Suppose the Panthers can continue to get above-average goaltending out of Bobrovsky. In that case, it’s certainly within the realm of possibility that they complete another upset and move on to the Conference Final. Florida has one of the top offenses in the NHL and can match the Maple Leafs goal-scoring prowess. The critical question that needs answering is whether or not they can limit them enough to make this a competitive series. 


After Toronto slayed their opening-round playoff demons, will that finally give them the push they need to make a deep postseason run? Although we’re uncertain how deep they’ll ultimately go, this matchup is favorable to Toronto and one where they can continue finding playoff success. It’s not an elite price that you’re getting the Maple Leafs at to win this series (-168), but it’s one that bettors should feel comfortable backing. Toronto has the edge in most facets of this series, leading us to back them to advance to the conference final. 

Best Bet: Maple Leafs to Win Series (-168)

Thumbnail photo via Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

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