Boston Celtics and Florida Panthers on Verge of Championship Sweeps

The Florida Panthers beat the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night in Alberta, Canada, taking a 3-0 Stanley Cup Finals lead. That came one night after the Boston Celtics beat the Dallas Mavericks to go up 3-0 in the NBA Finals.

That is the first time since 1996 that both June championship series have been 3-0, when the Colorado Avalanche led the Stanley Cup Finals and the Chicago Bulls led the NBA Finals. The Avalanche went on to get the sweep over the third-year expansion team Florida Panthers, while the Bulls required six games to put away the Seattle SuperSonics.

Just the year before, in 1995, there was a double sweep. The New Jersey Devils beat the Detroit Red Wings in four games, and the Houston Rockets swept the Orlando Magic. The only other time that the NBA championship and Stanley Cup were decided by sweeps in the same year was 1983. That year, the New York Islanders beat these same Edmonton Oilers to win their fourth consecutive Cup, and the Philadelphia 76ers got revenge over the Los Angeles Lakers, who had beaten them in the Finals in 1980 and 1982.

Betting Odds We See Sweeps

The Panthers are now -2500 to win their first Stanley Cup, but they are still slight underdogs when it comes to completing the sweep. Game 4 is Saturday night in Edmonton. The Stanley Cup will be in the building in case it is needed for a postgame celebration, but the Panthers are +102 to win the game. Edmonton is -122 to extend the series to a fifth game, which would be back in Florida on Tuesday.

The Celtics are -3500 to close out their 18th NBA Championship, but they are also underdogs going into Game 4 on Friday night. The Mavericks are one-point favorites to send the series back to Boston for Game 5 on Monday.

The NHL does have a history of teams coming back from a 3-0 deficit, albeit a very small history. It’s only happened four times in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with the last team to complete the series comeback being the 2013-14 Los Angeles Kings. The only time it’s happened in the Finals was 1942, when the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Red Wings.

NBA teams that go up 3-0 have a perfect record, now up to 156-0 after the Celtics sweep on the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals. Four times a team that was down 3-0 was able to get to a Game 7 before losing the series. The last of the teams to do that was the Celtics, just last year.

So don’t expect Boston to let up. In the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals, they fell behind the Miami Heat, 3-0, but then won 116-99, 110-97, and 104-103, before losing Game 7 at home, 103-84. In that Game 7 disappointment, Jayson Tatum had just 14 points and Jaylen Brown had 19.

Boston is nothing if not motivated to end this series as quickly as possible.

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