Panthers vs Capitals Game 3 Picks and Predictions: Florida Grabs Control

Florida struggled in Game 1, but take that for the outlier it was. After a vicious Game 2 win, we're backing the favorites to keep piling it on in our Panthers vs. Capital Game 3 picks — starring Jonathan Huberdeau.

Last Updated: May 7, 2022 10:20 AM ET Read Time: 4 min

The Washington Capitals will try to wrest back control of their quarterfinal series against the Florida Panthers when they shift venues to Capital One Arena for Game 3 on Saturday afternoon.

The Caps sprung a 4-2 upset in Game 1, before the Panthers roared back with an emphatic 5-1 triumph in Game 2.

Which team will earn a 2-1 series advantage when Game 3 is set and done? Find out in our free NHL picks and predictions for Panthers vs Capitals on Saturday, May 7.

Panthers vs Capitals odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

The Panthers opened as huge consensus favorites of -185 on Friday, and chalk-players were hardly scared off. Florida has gone to as high as -205 at some books as of this writing. 

The consensus total opened at 6.5 for the third straight game of this series, with action on the Over causing some sites to raise the vig to -130. Some 7.0s have even appeared.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right until puck drop and be sure to check out the full NHL odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

Panthers vs Capitals predictions

Predictions made on 5/7/2022 at 9:20 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Panthers vs Capitals game info

Location: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
Date: Saturday, May 7, 2022
Puck drop: 1:00 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN

Panthers vs Capitals series odds

Panthers: -350
Capitals: +270

Panthers vs Capitals betting preview

Key injuries

Panthers: None.
Capitals: Tom Wilson (Questionable).
Find our latest NHL injury reports.

Panthers vs Capitals head-to-head record

Panthers: 6-3-1, 43 goals for.
Capitals: 4-5-1, 38 goals for.

Betting trend to know

The Panthers are 39-12 in their last 51 games after scoring five or more goals in their previous tilt. Find more NHL betting trends for Panthers vs. Capitals.

Panthers vs Capitals picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Moneyline analysis

The Panthers are heavily favored to win Game 3, and while Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals may appear to be offering value as home underdogs, there is in fact no value in a losing ticket. 

Florida’s 5-1 victory in Game 2 over Washington is far more indicative of what this club can do than their Game 1 defeat. After all, the Panthers did win the President’s Trophy for clinching the best overall record in the NHL. Aleksander Barkov led the way with a goal and an assist in a game in which 12 Florida skaters notched at least one point. 

Caps netminder Vitek Vanacek was chased from the crease after allowing five goals on only 19 shots. Ilya Samsonov stopped all 17 shots he saw in relief, casting doubt on which goalie will get the starting nod in Game 3. Even if the “hot hand” in Samsonov gets the start as Washington returns home, bettors shouldn’t be swayed from backing the Panthers. 

Florida played to a 58-18-6 overall record in 2021-2022, with a solid but relatively unspectacular 23-9-6 record on the road. However, the Caps were just 19-22 against the moneyline in their own building this year. 

The trends favor the Panthers in this spot, as the betting favorite is 38-18 in the last 56 meetings between these two teams. Florida is also 70-22 in its last 92 games as a moneyline favorite, and 19-7 in its last 26 road games. Meanwhile, the Capitals are only 1-5 in their last six playoff games as an underdog.

Prediction: Panthers moneyline (-190 at BetMGM)

Over/Under analysis

The first two games of this series have stayed below the lofty total of 6.5, and it seems Under bettors are poised to strike again on Saturday.

The Panthers were a much lower-scoring team on the road in the regular season, notching only 3.56 goals per game as the visitors compared to 4.10 goals per game overall. Poor performance on the power play likely contributed to this gap for the Cats, as they were fifth overall in the NHL in power play percentage this year (24.4%), but just 14th on the road (20.2%). Florida averaged over three fewer shots per game in away contests compared to their overall figure. 

It was the reverse story for the Caps, as they scored only 3.15 goals per game at home in the regular season versus 3.27 goals per game overall. They’ve yet to prove they can get to Panthers netminder Sergei Bobrovsky in this series, as he sports a 2.02 GAA and .938 save % through his first two outings.

Trend bettors should note that the Under is 5-0 in the Panthers’ last five playoff games as a betting favorite, and is 4-1-1 in their last six road games. The Under is 5-1-1 in the Capitals’ last seven overall, and 32-14-7 in their last 53 playoff games as an underdog.

Prediction: Under 7.0 (-135 at DraftKings)

Best bet

We’ve yet to discuss the impact Jonathan Huberdeau has had on this series, and his breakout potential in Game 3. With the Panthers sitting as prohibitive betting favorites but looking hard to beat, we turn our attention to the prop markets for our top play in Game 3.

Huberdeau has only one assist through the first two games of this series, but it’s not for lack of trying. He has eight shots on goal through two games, getting unlucky enough to be turned back by Vanacek, who is off to a rough start between the pipes (4.21 GAA, .863 save %). 

But he led his club with five points (one goal, four assists) in three meetings with Washington in the regular season. Huberdeau also kept his goal-scoring output fairly consistent going from home to road games this year, as he notched 17 goals in 41 games at FLA Live Arena, and 13 goals in 39 away contests. 

As long as he keeps his shot output up, Huberdeau will find the twine eventually. Game 3 seems like the right spot to back him to break out of his minor slump.

Pick: Jonathan Huberdeau to score a goal (+210)

NHL parlays

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Use our NHL parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

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