Florida Panthers and NY Rangers featured in our NHL expert picks for May 22

NHL Playoff Expert Picks & Preview: Eastern Conference Final Begins

We're well into the Stanley Cup playoffs now. Every day of the NHL postseason, Michel Anderson and myself, have you set with daily expert picks:

NHL Playoffs Betting Picks

Visit our NHL betting hub daily for expert analysis for every series and playoff betting tips to find an edge for every bet.

Rolling Records
Michel: 43-23 (+8.83 Units)
Josie: 29-34 (-4.27 Units)

Game 1: Panthers vs rangers preview & pick
The Game: florida panthers vs nY Rangers, 8 PM ET

Florida Panthers+1.5 (-290)O5.5 (-108)-115
NY Rangers-1.5 (+235)U5.5 (-112)-105


Josie's Take: It's Eastern Conference Final time! Despite being slight underdogs, the Rangers have won three straight Game 1's dating back to last season, two of which have been at Madison Square Garden. 

Only happening six times since 2018 according to our database, the Rangers are 4-2 SU when hosting the Panthers as underdogs. The OVER has been a noticeable 5-0-1, too. Rounding out the regular season, the Panthers were 8-2 SU as road favorites, with each moneyline being -120 or steeper. 

The deciding factor of this series will be how well Florida stays out of the box. The Rangers are capitalizing on 31.4% of powerplays (ranked third). Yet even so, the Panthers are killing off 86.1% of penalties. 

For me, I'll need to observe which goalie is playing like he's prepared to steal the series. Both Conn Smythe contenders, Igor Shesterkin has allowed at least three goals in his last trio of starts while Bobrovsky is looking a tad more steady by allowing just two or fewer.

Until then, following the trend of the OVER will do.

Pick: OVER 5.5 (-108)

Michel's Take: Both of these teams have had some time to rest. Florida's last game was May 17th (four days ago) while the Rangers have been off a day longer with their last game being May 16th. 

For all of you tailing me through the playoffs, you'll remember that the last time Florida had a long layoff I faded them. And that bet hit. I'm doing so again today.

The Panthers are 1-3SU after a break of three days or longer this year, including that loss to the Bruins in Game 1 of Round 2. Now they take on the Rangers who are 5-0SU when they themselves are on a break of three days or longer.

Not to mention that New York has the fourth-best away record this year at 25-12-4.

Pick: Rangers ML (-105)

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