Oilers vs. Panthers odds for the Stanley Cup Final: Edmonton is a heavy underdog thanks to early deficit
The Edmonton Oilers are now heavy underdogs after falling behind, 2-0, in the Stanley Cup Final. Photo by Wilfredo Lee/AP.

The Edmonton Oilers are behind 2-0 in the Stanley Cup Final and now have quite an uphill battle ahead of them.

The latest: After getting outplayed in Game 1, the Florida Panthers turned things around with a more well-rounded showing to take Game 2. Edmonton has only scored once through two games, which is a credit to the Panthers' physical play and the work of its star goalie, Sergei Bobrovsky.

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The favourite: Florida Panthers (-455)

Florida was already the favourite entering the series, so it makes sense to see the odds tighten significantly now that the Cats hold a two-game lead.

The Panthers, frankly, have no glaring weaknesses. They have nine players with double-digit playoff points and are coming off a dominant showing against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference final.

Here's how they performed in some key metrics of the series:

TeamxGF%SCF%HDCF%
Rangers42.28%40.48%38.16%
Panthers57.72%59.52%61.84%
Stats via Natural Stat Trick

Florida ranks first among all playoff teams in expected goal share (57.9%), scoring chance share (57.6%) and high-danger save percentage, per Natural Stat Trick.

Carter Verhaeghe, a fifth-year player playing in his third Cup Final, paces the team with 10 goals. But the most compelling individual story right now belongs to Bobrovsky.

The two-time Vezina has turned aside 50 of 51 shots so far against the Oilers, including a 32-save shutout in the opener.

Other Stanley Cup candidate

The underdog: Edmonton Oilers (+355)

Edmonton is back in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2006 and this team feels special. But it needs to find a way to score.

That might sound funny given that the Oilers have Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and 54-goal scorer Zach Hyman. But they've struggled mightily to beat Bobrovsky so far.

Based on the quantity and quality of their scoring chances, the Oilers have 4.81 xG in this series (as measured by Natural Stat Trick). But they only have one actual goal.

Pessimists might look at Game 1 and say that if the Oilers couldn't win that game, they can't win the series. Edmonton held a huge lead in shots (+14) and chances (+13) in a 3-0 loss.

Optimists will have a different slant: Edmonton has been the better team in one of two games, and the series doesn't truly begin until somebody wins on the road.

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