Justin Cuthbert breaks down the first-round matchup between the Florida Panthers and Washington Capitals.
JUSTIN CUTHBERT: Let's finish up the Atlantic, and the other first-round series has the Florida Panthers as minus 355 favorites over the Washington Capitals to come back on the 2019 Stanley Cup Champions. 2018 Stanley Cup champions is plus 270. The series handicap, so again, minus 1.5 is Florida at minus 152.
I would still play that number, but I'm really happy that I got on it early, and I got the Panthers to win in six games or less, again, of the spread minus 1.5 at minus 128. Very, very thrilled about getting that bet in. I could see the Capitals winning one maybe two games because Florida's goaltending is unpredictable, a little shaky at times.
But Florida, this is the class of the NHL this season. They are so attack oriented, they're so deep, they're so talented, and they've been the best team in the NHL as the Presidents Trophy winners. While Washington has performed, they performed good to start, Capitals performed good down the stretch, or at least pretty decent, but for the most part, I haven't thought that they've separated themselves much from the average teams in a season where parity was very, very lacking.
I don't think this is your normal 100 plus point team. I don't think they're of that distinction. I can't see the series going 7. I can't see Washington pulling the upset, so I have Florida minus 128 on the series handicap, one of my favorite bets and still valuable, I think, at minus 150.