Over 5.5 for Panthers vs. Ducks NHL Picks

David Lawrence

Sunday, March 23, 2014 5:17 PM GMT

Sunday, Mar. 23, 2014 5:17 PM GMT

The Anaheim Ducks continue to slump their way through the stretch of the season. How will this affair against the Florida Panthers end up for our NHL picks?

Once the top team in the NHL, the Ducks are no longer even the top team in their division as the San Jose Sharks have caught up with them. Even so, they’re a massive -300 favorite on the NHL odds on Sunday night. You’ll have to think twice before laying that type of juice.

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The Florida Panthers Can Win Because…
The Ducks are a mess right now. If you only looked at the standings and the betting line, you’d think that this was one of the biggest mismatches in the NHL this season. In some ways, it is. The Ducks have 37 more points than the Panthers. However, that doesn’t illustrate how these two teams have played recently. Anaheim has lost six of eight and nine of 14.

The Panthers are 3-3-1 since acquiring Roberto Luongo, which includes a 3-2 win in San Jose just last week. They were facing similar odds in that game and still cashed in. Luongo has a .926 save percentage with Florida and gives this team a chance to win, which is more than the Ducks goaltenders can say these days. Anaheim has given up 3.22 goals per game in March, which is the eighth-worst average in the NHL.

The Ducks were once an indomitable home team as they were the last to lose at home in regulation. They’ve been a shadow of themselves in that regard as they’ve dropped four straight at the Duck Pond and seven of their last nine. Florida is offering great value for your NHL picks. They have more of a shot to win this game than you might think.


The Anaheim Ducks Can Win Because…
Florida is a complete mess. Sure, the Ducks are struggling but the Panthers are slumping even worse. They’ve lost 11 of their last 15 games as their offense has pulled a complete disappearing act. Florida has just 46 goals in that span, which boils down to 1.84 per game. Anaheim is definitely in a funk of their own but they are more than capable of getting to two or three goals, which is all they’ll likely need to win this game.

The Panthers are in a tight spot here as they played in Los Angeles last night. This is an east coast team that’s not only playing a back-to-back on the west coast but also in their third game in four nights. On top of that, the Ducks have owned Luongo, winning eight of 10 against him. He has a 4.53 GAA in that span. Take the Ducks with your sports picks.

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Outlook & Pick
There’s simply no way I can lay this type of juice with the Ducks as they’re in a slump. Florida is a crappy team but Anaheim doesn’t deserve to be favored by this much against anyone right now.

I’ll take the over as Luongo has a bad track record against Anaheim while the Ducks goaltenders have had trouble keeping the puck out of their net. This should be a high-scoring game.

Hockey Pick: Over 5.5 at Bovada

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