NHL Outlook: The Florida Panthers are Projected to Finish Ahead of the Maple Leafs and Behind the Penguins in the East

SEASON FORECASTS AND FUTURES PICKS

Their championship odds are 25/1, 3.8% (#14 best). If futures lines were not heavily juiced, the Panthers would be a good betting value. Their 3.5% chance to win the championship (based on simulations) is #10 in the league. In simulations, they win the East 5.5% of the time and are not a good value at 12/1, 7.7%. They are projected to finish with 100 points and go over their pre-season futures line of 95.5. Their playoff chances stand at 78.3% (6.7% to win the division). Their average wins per simulation puts them at #7 in the East.

For winning picks against the spread, total and money line for all NHL games by our proven computer model and leading handicappers visit SportsLine.com where you can also get fantasy basketball and daily fantasy optimal lineups from CBSSports' Top Experts.

REGULAR SEASON RECAP AND UPCOMING GAMES

After 30 games, their expected win percentage is 52% based on the money line odds. At 15-10-5 they are in line with these expectations. Money line backers would be down quite a bit (318 units). They are one of the best teams against the spread (16-15) for a 301 profit. Their over-under record is 18-11-1. Their 36-32-14 record last season failed to meet expectations. Their expected win percentage was 49%. Putting a 100 units on them to win every game would have cost you -1114 units. They were not good on puck lines going 45-37 (-450 loss). They went over 47 times and came in under 29 times. Their next game vs the Bruins should be close. The Panthers are winning 48 percent of computer simulations. The table below shows their upcoming games, their simulation based win percentage and their recent head to head record (WL, ATS, OU).

OPPONENTSIM%H2H WLH2H ATSH2H OU
12/14 BOS48%3-2, +2223-2
12/16 OTT68%3-1, +882-2
12/20 DAL71%0-2, -2001-1
12/21 CAR41%0-4-1, -5003-2
12/23 TB37%1-4-2, -4925-2

TEAM STATISTICAL STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES

Their record is slightly better than it should be. Their average goal differential is +0.1 which ranks #17 in the league, but their rank based on points (per game) is #16. They are the #18 ranked team in goal differential (based on all teams' road stats) and the #17 ranked team among home teams. Based on goal differential, they are trending up. Their average goal differential in their past 6 games is +0.83 (#8 over this stretch).

OFFENSIVE STATS PER GAME (League Rank):

SituationGoalsGoal%Shots on Goal
All 31 Games3.35 (#5)9.9% (#12)33.8 (#5)
Road3.29 (#6)9.9% (#13)33.4 (#3)
Home3.41 (#10)10% (#15)34.2 (#9)
Last 6 Games2.67 (#18)8.2% (#18)32.5 (#8)

DEFENSIVE STATS PER GAME (Lower # is Better):

SituationGoals AllowedSave%Shots Against
All3.26 (#27)89.5% (#26)30.9 (#9)
Road3.64 (#27)87.7% (#2929.7 (#3)
Home2.94 (#22)90.8% (#18)31.9 (#27)
Last 6 Games1.83 (#2)94.4% (#2)32.7 (#23)

TEAM FANTASY LEADERS

The table below show the most valuable fantasy players on the team led by Sergei Bobrovsky who is projected to be the #5 Goalie the rest of the season. The Better Option column shows the player directly above him and the Better Than column shows the player directly below him in the projected position rankings.

PLAYEROWN%RANKBETTER OPTIONBETTER THAN
Sergei Bobrovsky875Semyon VarlamovPhilipp Grubauer
Jonathan Huberdeau1003Leon DraisaitlAlex Ovechkin
Aleksander Barkov1004Jack EichelEvgeni Malkin
Mike Hoffman9611Matthew TkachukGabriel Landeskog
Evgenii Dadonov969Mark StoneJohnny Gaudreau
Keith Yandle994Roman JosiKris Letang
Brett Connolly4227Jakob SilfverbergKyle Palmieri
Vincent Trocheck6048Paul StastnyNick Bonino
Aaron Ekblad9119Alex PietrangeloDrew Doughty
Chris Driedger739James ReimerIlya Samsonov