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Panthers vs. Flyers odds, prediction: Don’t bet on a high-scoring affair

Philadelphia goalie Carter Hart should continue his strong start and tame the Panthers’ potent offense.

Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart heads into Thursday's game against the Florida Panthers with a 4-0 record. Hart has stopped 130 of the 137 shots he's faced. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart heads into Thursday's game against the Florida Panthers with a 4-0 record. Hart has stopped 130 of the 137 shots he's faced. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)Read moreTim Nwachukwu / Getty Images

Last season, the Philadelphia Flyers were the least profitable team in the NHL from a betting perspective — and that’s putting it kindly. Philadelphia finished at -23 units, meaning if you had wagered $100 on all 82 Flyers games a year ago, your bankroll would be lighter by $2,300.

This season? The Flyers stand alone at the top of the NHL’s profitability standings, at +5.1 units.

Sure, Philadelphia has only played six games (winning four). But the fact remains that Flyers bettors are sitting on a nice early-season nest egg thanks to the team’s surprisingly strong start. Will Philadelphia deliver for its backers yet again Thursday when it faces the Florida Panthers for the second time in eight days?

Here’s how we’re attacking Panthers vs. Flyers from a wagering point of view.

Note: Odds updated as of 11:30 p.m. ET on Oct. 26.

Panthers vs. Flyers Prediction

Under 6.5 goals, +105 (at Caesars Sportsbook)

Panthers vs. Flyers Prediction: Analysis

You don’t have to be a detective to discover the primary reason for the Flyers’ success: It’s been all about goaltender Carter Hart.

Philadelphia’s 2016 second-round draft pick has given up just seven goals on 130 shots in his four starts. That’s a scintillating .946 save percentage, third-best in the league to this point. And Hart’s 1.75 goals-against average ranks fifth.

The most important stat: The Flyers are 4-0 with Hart in net — cumulative score: 14-7 — and 0-2 without him. The two defeats: 3-0 to San Jose at home on Saturday and 4-3 at Florida on Oct. 19.

It’s been quite the turnaround for Hart, who split time with veteran Martin Jones last year, going 13-24-7 in 44 starts with a 3.16 goals-against and a .905 save percentage.

Like most goalies last season, Hart struggled against Florida in two starts. The Panthers, who scored an NHL-best 4.02 goals per game in 2021-22, hit that average against Hart, tallying eight total goals against him. Florida tacked on an empty-netter in each contest, winning 4-2 in Philadelphia and 6-3 at home.

Toss in last week’s victory, and the Panthers have now won four straight against the Flyers (including one in overtime).

However, Florida comes into this contest off Monday’s surprising 4-2 loss at Chicago as a massive favorite. It was just the second time this season that the Panthers gave up more than three goals in a game — but it also was the third straight time that the team’s high-powered offense tallied fewer than four goals.

Which brings us to our Panthers vs. Flyers prediction: Even though last week’s clash in Florida barely slipped over the 6.5-goal total — Philadelphia got the final tally with 3 seconds left in the game — the Under has been the play for both squads.

» READ MORE: Full sports betting coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer

In front of goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (2.85 goals-against, .908 save percentage), the Panthers are 4-2-1 to the Under this season, with the last three in a row staying low (5, 5 and 6 combined goals).

Meanwhile, since a season-opening 5-2 win over New Jersey, the Under is 4-1 for the Flyers. And if not for that buzzer-beating final goal in Florida, Philadelphia would be on a five-game Under streak.

This doesn’t figure to be a no-doubter — after all, in 13 combined games, the Flyers and Panthers have played in only three contests with fewer than five total goals. But our money is on two solid goaltenders to keep the lamp from lighting more than six times Thursday night. Bet Under 6.5 goals at +105 odds at Caesars Sportsbook.

Panthers vs. Flyers Odds (via Caesars Sportsbook):

  1. Moneyline: Panthers (-210) @ Flyers (+185)

  2. Puck line: Panthers -1.5 goals (+115) @ Flyers -1.5 goals (-135)

  3. Total: 6.5 (Over -125/Under +105)

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