Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals is tonight, bringing plenty of pressure and a chance to move closer to the Stanley Cup Finals. What is the best way to approach tonight's game?
Note: Lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. Header links are to numberFire's betting model for each game. All NHL betting odds and totals come from FanDuel Sportsbook.
Hurricanes ML (-110)
This has been a much closer series than the 0-2 record would initially indicate. Both games have gone to overtime, and the Panthers have prevailed both times. A simple bounce of the puck could have the series tied 1-1 -- or even the Hurricanes up 2-0.
Through the first two games of the series, the Hurricanes have 11.9 expected goals scored in all situations compared to Panthers sitting at 7.51, according to NaturalStatTrick. The Canes also control a 54.99% Corsi For Percentage (total shot attempts) with the Panthers sitting at 45.01%.
It's not an exaggeration to say the Hurricanes have done everything they possibly can from a process standpoint except actually score goals. Having only 3 actual goals scored from 11.9 expected goals is a noticeable difference -- albeit in a two-game sample size.
The Panthers, as a team, have also been massively overperforming in terms of goals allowed, throughout the entire playoffs. In all situations, the Panthers have allowed just 40 goals while carrying 58.76 expected goals allowed.
The Hurricanes' offense and the Panthers' defense are both expected to regress in opposite directions; it's that simple. Give me the Hurricanes' moneyline tonight.