NHL Playoff Odds: Panthers, Avs Laying Big Game 1 Prices

Florida Panthers center Sam Reinhart (right) loses his footing and is about to fall to the ice while trying to keep and Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (left) away from the puck along the boards
Image Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

After a quintet of thrilling Game 7s over the weekend — the final pair decided in overtime — the NHL took a well-deserved breather Monday. Now, though, the focus shifts to Round 2, and NHL playoff odds are back on betting boards from coast to coast.

The original 16-team field has been sliced in half, with marquee teams like the Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins and Toronto Maple Leafs among those ousted. Gone, too, are high-profile players like Auston Matthews, Sydney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, all of whom have traded hockey sticks for golf clubs.

Among the eight squads still lacing up the skates, one remains the clear-cut favorite to lift Lord Stanley’s Cup. That team is back on the ice Tuesday — no, not the two-time defending Cup champions. Nor the squad that finished with the league’s best regular-season record.

Props.com breaks down NHL playoff odds and action for Tuesday’s pair of conference semifinal contests — one from the East (Tampa Bay vs Florida) and one from the West (Colorado vs St. Louis).

Odds via WynnBet and updated as of 6:40 p.m. ET on May 17.

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Tampa Bay Lightning vs Florida Panthers (Game 1)

Florida Panthers center Anton Lundell (right) and Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (left) swipe at the puck with their sticks during a face-off
Image Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Puck Drop/TV: 7 p.m. ET/TNT
Moneyline: Panthers -160/Lightning +140
Puckline: Panthers -1.5 (+155)/Lightning +1.5 (-190)
Total: 6.5 (Over -125/Under +105)

Season series: Florida 2-1-1; Tampa Bay 2-2-0
Series odds: Florida -180/Tampa Bay +150

Lightning slap shots: Tampa Bay rallied from a 3-2 series deficit against Toronto, scoring a pair of one-goal victories at home (4-3 in overtime in Game 6) and on the road (2-1 in Game 7) to advance. The Lightning (55-26-8) actually were outscored 24-23 in the series but went 2-2 in Canada. … Left wing Nikita Kucherov had a team-high eight points against the Maple Leafs (2 goals, 8 assists). Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy had a 3.04 goals-against average and .897 save percentage. … Tampa Bay ranked 6th among 16 playoff teams on the penalty kill in the first round, allowing just four goals in 32 chances. … The Lightning are 12-5 in their last 17 games overall dating to the regular season. … The two-time defending champs scored 14 goals in three games against Florida this season but surrendered 15.

Panthers slap shots: Florida fell behind 2-1 in its best-of-7 series against Washington but rallied to win the last three games. Two of those victories (3-2 in Game 4; 4-3 in Game 6) were in overtime on the road. It was the franchise’s first playoff series win since reaching the 1996 Stanley Cup Finals. … The Panthers (62-21-6) won the President’s Trophy (most regular season points) and were the league’s highest scoring squad, averaging 4.11 goals per game. However, the offense produced just 20 goals in the seven games. … Center Carter Verhaeghe had a sensational series (6 goals, 6 assists). His 12 points rank second behind only Edmonton’s Conner McDavid (14). … Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky had a 2.79 goals-against average and .906 save percentage against Washington. … Nine of Florida’s 15 goals against the Lightning this season came in a 9-3 home win on Dec. 30.

Betting Nuggets

  • Tampa Bay is 24-5 in its last 29 conference semifinal games
  • Tampa Bay is 11-3 in its last 14 playoff games as an underdog
  • Florida is 44-15 in its last 59 overall and 48-11 in its last 59 at home
  • Tampa Bay is 18-6 to the Over in its last 24 overall
  • Tampa Bay is 5-2 to the Over in its last seven road games
  • Florida is 20-8-4 to the Over in its last 32 at home
  • The favorite is 35-17 in the last 52 Lightning-Panthers meetings
  • The Over in this rivalry is on runs of 20-9-1 overall and 10-4-1 in Florida

Game 1 prediction: Panthers 4, Lightning 3

St. Louis Blues vs Colorado Avalanche (Game 1)

Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri (foregrounds) reacts with a jubilant scream after scoring a goal against the St. Louis Blues
Image Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Puck Drop/TV: 9:30 p.m. ET/TNT
Moneyline: Avalanche -220/Blues +185
Puckline: Avalanche -1.5 (+110)/Blues +1.5 (-130)
Total: 6.5 (Over -130/Under +110)

Season series: Colorado won, 2-1.
Series odds: Colorado -425/St. Louis +325

Blues slap shots: St. Louis fell behind Minnesota 2-1 in the first round, then ripped off three straight blowout wins by a combined score of 15-5 to clinch the series. All six games were decided by either three or four goals. … The Blues are 18-4-2 dating to March 28. They’ve scored at least four goals in 19 of those 24 games and posted 14 multi-goal victories. St. Louis is also 11-2-1 in its last 14 road games (one of the defeats was in Colorado). … Behind goaltender Jordan Binnington (1.67 GAA, .943 save percentage), the Blues limited the potent Wild offense to just 16 goals. Among teams that played at least six games in the first round, that was the third-fewest allowed. … Left wing David Perron leads the team with nine playoff points (5 goals, 4 assists).

Avalanche slap shots: Colorado showed why it entered the postseason as the clear favorite to win the cup, sweeping the Nashville Predators in six games. The Avalanche posted three lopsided victories in Game 1 (7-2), Game 3 (7-3) and Game 4 (5-3). The only close call was a 2-1 overtime home victory in Game 2. … Colorado’s 5.25 goals-per-game average led all teams in Round 1. The Avs also converted an NHL-best 43.75% of their power-play chances (7-for-16). … Goalie Darcy Kuemper (1.63 GAA, .934 save percentage) was every bit as good as St. Louis’ Binnington in the first round). … Defenseman Cale Makar led Colorado with 10 points against Nashville (3 goals, 7 assists). … The Avs outscored St. Louis 12-11 in the regular season.

Betting Nuggets

  • St. Louis is 3-7 in its last 10 as an underdog
  • St. Louis is 15-5 in its last 20 against Central Division rivals
  • Colorado is 54-11 in its last 65 home games
  • Colorado is 8-20 in its last 28 conference semifinal contests
  • The Over is 22-9-1 in St. Louis’ last 32 overall and 13-2-1 in its last 16 on the road
  • Colorado is on Over streaks of 5-2 overall (3-1 vs. Nashville) and 6-1 in conference semifinal games
  • The favorite is 38-15 in the last 53 series meetings
  • In this rivalry, Colorado is 6-1 in its last seven clashes overall and 6-1 in the last seven at home
  • The last six head-to-head battles have gone Over the total

Prediction: Blues 5, Avalanche 3

NHL Playoffs Odds & Action Updates 

St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (left) shoots a wrist shot and scores against the Colorado Avalanche
Image Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Lightning vs Panthers

UPDATED 6:35 P.M. ET TUESDAY: Less than 45 minutes before puck drop, WynnBet has moved from an opener of Florida -155/Tampa Bay +130 to Florida -160/Tampa Bay at +140. The moneyline action in WynnBet’s NHL playoff market is heavy to the host Panthers at 74% bets and 89% cash. The puckline has shifted from Florida (-1.5) +155/Tampa Bay (+1.5) -190 to Florida +152/Tampa Bay -185. Action is split here, with 62% of the wagers on the Lightning and 79% of the money on the Panthers.

The total is holding firm at the opening number of 6.5, with a slight juice move from -110 both ways to Over -125. There’s lopsided action to the Over at 83% bets/73% money.

UPDATED 11:30 A.M. ET TUESDAY: Florida opened as a -150 favorite for Game 1 at BetMGM on Monday morning and within two hours rose to -160. The moneyline remains unchanged at Panthers -160/Lightning +135. Tampa Bay is seeing a very slight majority of the moneyline action at 54% bets/55% cash at BetMGM. The puckline has moved a smidge from the opening odds of Lightning (+1.5) -190/Panthers (-1.5) +155 to Lightning -185/Panthers +150. Ticket count (56%) and money (57%) both favor Florida.

There’s been no movement on the total, which is holding at the opener of 6.5/Over -135 on BetMGM’s NHL playoff odds board. Bettors are hammering the Over to the tune of 83% wagers/91% dollars.

Blues vs Avalanche

UPDATED 6:45 P.M. ET TUESDAY: Colorado hit WynnBet’s Game 1 NHL playoff odds board as a -225 home favorite with St. Louis at +190. The moneyline dipped as low as -210/+170 before ticking up to the current price of Avs -220/Blues +185. Colorado is fetching 62% of all moneyline wagers and 76% of all moneyline dollars. The pickling remains unchanged at Avs (-1.5) +110/Blues (+1.5) -130 on two-way action of 73% tickets on Colorado/74% dollars on St. Louis.

The total opened 6.5 flat and is now 6.5/Over -130. WynnBet customers are hammering the Over to the tune of 77% bets/90% money.

UPDATED 11:30 A.M. ET TUESDAY: The Avalanche opened and remain a -225 home chalk at BetMGM in Game 1. St. Louis is +180 on the take-back. Colorado is catching 54% of the early bets and 59% of the early money. The puckline also hasn’t budged from the opening odds of Colorado (-1.5) +110/St. Louis (+1.5) -135. It’s all Avs here at BetMGM, as 90% of wagers/89% of cash sides with the home team winning by multiple goals.

The total opened and is still pinned at 6.5/Over -135 on BetMGM’s NHL playoff odds board. As with Lightning/Panthers, the overwhelming majority of action is on the Over at 79% wagers/88% dollars.