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NHL · 6 months ago

Stanley Cup Final Game 1: Florida Panthers vs. Vegas Golden Knights Best Bets

Zachary Cook

Zachary Cook

Stanley Cup Final Game 1: Florida Panthers vs. Vegas Golden Knights Best Bets

The Vegas Golden Knights and Florida Panthers both won their respective conferences and are set to face off in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final tonight.

All odds courtesy of the FanDuel Sportsbook

Florida Panthers (+108) vs. Vegas Golden Knights (-130) Total: 5.5 (O-118, U-104)

Two teams on opposite ends of the spectrum enter Game 1. The Panthers knocked off three favorites in the Eastern Conference as an eight-seed, just one year removed from winning the Presidents’ Trophy. On the other hand, the Golden Knights were the top seed in the Western Conference, and the chalk won out. As much as these teams had a fair gap during the regular season, that’s not as prevalent with this series. 

The Golden Knights are listed as slight home favorites for Game 1 on the moneyline at -130, while the Panthers are priced at +108. Both teams have been getting quality goaltending and timely scoring, meaning there’s a lot of intrigue surrounding how this matchup will ultimately play out. 

During the regular season, the teams split matchups, and they were both tightly contested, meaning we’re expecting much of the same tonight.

Looking toward the goalie matchup, the visiting Panthers will continue to ride Sergei Bobrovsky between the pipes while the Golden Knights counter with Adin Hill. Florida’s netminder has posted an 11-2 record, paired with a .935 save percentage, while Hill is sitting at 7-3, along with a .937 save percentage. It’s hard to give an edge here one way or another with how dialed in these goalies are, but the experience factor certainly favors Bobrovsky. 

Minus their opening-round series against the Winnipeg Jets, the Golden Knights have been quick starters in their other two postseason Game 1’s. We expect that notion to hold again tonight and for the Golden Knights to parlay some early momentum into a Game 1 victory. 

Best Bet: Golden Knights moneyline (-130)

In their two regular-season matchups, Vegas and the Panthers tallied three and six goals. The total for Game 1 is 5.5, with the over priced at -118, while the under is at -104. These teams each have substantial underlying numbers on both sides of the puck, which makes it a little more challenging to handicap how to project this opening matchup in terms of the total. We’re more inclined to look towards a feeling-out process from both teams in Game 1, in addition to the strong goaltending, which means the value the under presents here at -104 should be targeted tonight. 

Best Bet: Under 5.5 (-104)