Public split, money backing Panthers for Stanley Cup Final

The Florida Panthers are the favorites to hoist the first Stanley Cup in franchise history, and the big money is largely backing them amid an almost even split with the Edmonton Oilers for betting slips.

Across the U.S. sportsbook marketplace, neither the Panthers nor the Oilers have attracted a consensus majority of tickets. ESPN BET has the highest percentage of Edmonton bets with 55%, while FanDuel boasts the most Florida tickets at 58%. All other books polled are within those numbers, and Caesars characterized the ticket split as “50-50.”

However, all of the books surveyed also have the Panthers as clear money leaders, with ESPN BET on the low end at 50% and FanDuel on the high end at an eye-popping 90%. While the former’s number could just be indicative of the elevated favorite price for Florida, the latter’s would seem to indicate that there is some genuine big money on the Cats to win it all in their second attempt in as many seasons.

With more cash backing the Southern team, the Panthers moved from -125 at the open to -135 as of Friday afternoon. The Oilers opened at +105 but are now +115 to win the series, per ESPN BET odds.

The financial support for Florida is reflected in the series prop markets, specifically, within Series Correct Score, where the Panthers’ 4-2 (+500) is the consensus most popular pick for bets and handle across the marketplace.

Despite the lack of support for the Oilers as a whole, star Connor McDavid is the favorite (+200) and most popular pick to take home the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoffs MVP — with the obvious caveat being that a member of the Cup-losing team rarely wins the award. The last to do so was Anaheim’s Jean-Sebastien Giguere in 2003.

Edmonton’s starpower, which also includes Leon Draisaitl, Zach Hyman and Evan Bouchard, drove bettors to the window before the postseason, meaning the books may still have future liability they want to offload.

“In a perfect world for BetMGM, the Panthers bring home the Stanley Cup in Game 7,” Matthew Rasp, the sportsbook’s sports trader, told ESPN.


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