Take Home Underdog Coyotes As Our NHL Pick Against Tired Panthers

Dana Lane

Saturday, March 5, 2016 1:14 PM UTC

Saturday, Mar. 5, 2016 1:14 PM UTC

The Panthers are in desperate need of a victory to keep pace in the Atlantic Division. They face the Coyotes who are completely out of the playoff race. See today's NHL pick here. 

Florida Panthers vs Arizona Coyotes
The Florida Panthers haven't been consistent since beating the Arizona Coyotes, 3-2, last month. Even in that game the Coyotes held the Panthers to only 25 shots, 15 through two periods. They also held a 40-28 face off advantage. 

The Panthers have not played well during their current road trip with a 1-2-1 record after a 3-2 loss to Colorado that dropped them into a tie with the Lightning for the Atlantic Division lead.  They have also dropped 7 of their last 10 road games. Another trend in its infancy size is the Panthers ability to have success against the Pacific Division dropping four of their last five  

Florida have lost four of the last five in Arizona and have scored only one regulation goal in each of the last four visits. 

The Panthers could have some new additions to their line up as Teddy Purcell and Jiri Hudler should have his visa problems solved. I never think the addition of new players is a good spot. It takes time for line mates to gel and get used to each other's speed. It can be disruptive for a few games. 

Jonathan Huberdeau could also be back after missing five games with a concussion. Again, too many moving parts and the odds makers over at the NHL odds boards know this too.  

What makes me worry about the Panthers is all the injuries to their center position. Derek MacKenzie has been placed on the IR with an undisclosed injury. Dave Bolland will not play again this season after being placed on the IR. 

Betting Analysis
Defensively I don't like the way Florida's top pairing is playing. Brian Campbell has 1 point in four games. Campbell is under sized and gets knocked off the puck too easy. Aaron Ekblad has shown some signs of slowing down with only one point since February 13th. Despite his size Ekblad is not a physical player. 

The Panthers have relied on Roberto Luongo, who has lost four of his last six starts, way too much. His goals against in his last 10 starts is 2.70.

They don't get a lot of pressure in opposing goaltenders with just under 28 shots/game . Even on the power play they aren't nearly as effective they have to be to make a serious run .

Coyotes center, Martin Hanzal, made the comment that everyone should look in the mirror and start competing. Let's see how the team responds when a quality player like Hanzal calls his teammates out. 

If you're looking for some solid totals plays the 'under' is 7-3-1 in their last 11 games against the Eastern Conference while the 'under' is an impressive 7-0 in their last seven games. 

My top NHL pick is to go with the Coyotes as a strong underdog to upset the Panthers in a surprisingly higher scoring contest. @DanaLaneSports 

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Free NHL Pick: Arizona +125
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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