2024 NHL playoffs betting tips: Panthers-Rangers best picks

What are the Conn Smythe chances for Chris Kreider (L) and Sergei Bobrovsky (R). Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Four teams are left in the quest to win the Stanley Cup, as the New York Rangers will host the Florida Panthers and the Edmonton Oilers will travel south to take on the Dallas Stars.

The Rangers and Panthers are led by a pair of top-notch goaltenders in Sergei Bobrovsky and Igor Shesterkin. However, both of these rosters are full of quality candidates to win the Conn Smythe Trophy, which you can find right here.

The Panthers, last year's Eastern Conference winner, are the current favorite to win the Stanley Cup, and you can find the rest of those futures odds here.

All odds accurate as of publish time. For more, go to ESPN BET.

Florida Panthers at New York Rangers

Madison Square Garden, New York; Wednesday, 8 p.m. ET, Watch live

  • Game 1 Puck line: Panthers +1.5 (-300), Rangers -1.5 (+210)

  • Series line: Panthers (-115), Rangers (-105)

  • Series length: Four games (+600), five games (+275), six games (+190), seven games (+200)

Best Bet: Sergei Bobrovsky to record over 36.5 saves in any game in the conference finals (+300). Some of the specials on offer are a little bit tempting, especially after Matthew Tkachuk came so agonizingly close to hitting the over on 7.5 shots in any game, which is alive for the conference finals, too (+400). But at the end of the day, taking this saves prop on Bobrovsky is basically betting that the best two teams in the Eastern Conference go deep into overtime just once in the series. The Panthers limit shots on goal, big time, but getting to 37 in extra time isn't asking too much. The odds on the other side for this same bet are for Igor Shesterkin to stop 44.5 and with a weaker payout (+250), so I am taking Bobrovsky.

Stay away from the specials that rely on the defense to score goals in this series. Only one team allowed fewer than the 22 goals that opposing blue-liners scored against the Florida Panthers this season -- and it was the 21 allowed by the Rangers. These were the best two teams in the regular season at limiting goals from the D.

If the Panthers win the Stanley Cup, who wins the Conn Smythe Trophy? Aleksander Barkov (+650). The freshly minted Selke winner has seen his odds of being the playoff MVP spike dramatically through the second round. He's doing everything on the ice to help the Cats win, including some goaltender-esque moves to keep pucks away from the net. There's little doubt he'd get the trophy based on results through two rounds. But we are only halfway to the Stanley Cup, so there is time for the script to change. If you want a longer shot, consider Bobrovsky at +2500. He's holding his own just fine but not stealing the spotlight like Jake Oettinger for the Stars (+360) or Shesterkin (+450). That could change quickly if part of the Panthers' Cup journey requires them to quell the Oilers' superstars, for example.

If the Rangers win the Stanley Cup, who wins the Conn Smythe Trophy? Igor Shesterkin (+450). Considering the other three teams still alive, there's little wonder that Shesterkin trails only Oettinger for lowest odds to take the Conn Smythe. The Rangers' path to victory is going to be a busy one for Shesterkin, and it's not like it has been a walk in the park to this stage. That said, sometimes the Conn Smythe is more about the mythos constructed by a player throughout the tournament; Chris Kreider (+6000) started building an MVP résumé in a single game with his Game 6 showing to punch the Rangers' ticket here. One or two more games like that, especially in the Cup Final, could be enough to pull an upset.