The best in the West meets a beast in the East when the Vegas Golden Knights face the Florida Panthers in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. Sportsbook Review analyst Neil Parker provides his Panthers vs. Golden Knights picks and predictions based on the NHL odds from our best sports betting apps.
Four more wins is all it will take for the Vegas Golden Knights or Florida Panthers to hoist the Stanley Cup for the first time, and the two franchises couldn’t have taken a more different path to the postseason.
The eighth-seeded Panthers didn’t clinch a playoff berth until April 11, while the Golden Knights earned their spot on March 30 and ultimately finished atop the Western Conference.
Florida has gone on to win 11 of its past 12 games to pull off three consecutive series upsets, and picking against Vegas has been a popular pastime for pundits all spring.
While this is a Stanley Cup Final few forecasted, the play of Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky and forward Matthew Tkachuk have them in the Conn Smythe Trophy conversation and paved the way for Florida.
Still, it’s the Golden Knights trading as betting favorites to win it all.
Here is our best Panthers vs. Golden Knights prediction for Saturday (odds via our best NHL betting sites; pick confidence is based on a 1-to-5-star scale).
Panthers vs. Golden Knights pick
Moneyline: Golden Knights (-130 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐
Not intended for use in MA
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I’ve already highlighted why I’m backing the Golden Knights to win the Stanley Cup, and taking care of Game 1 on home ice will be the first step.
There are two reasons I’m fading Florida.
First, the Panthers have had a higher goals for percentage than expected goals for percentage at five-on-five in each of their first three series. More importantly, the gap in the two metrics has climbed in consecutive rounds.
Florida scored 60% of the 5v5 goals against the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Final, but the Panthers only generated 42.4% of the expected 5v5 goals.
Not only is that unsustainable, the reason there has been such a gap rests squarely on the shoulders of Bobrovsky. He’s sporting a .935 save percentage during the postseason after posting a .905 mark across 185 regular-season games in four years with the Cats.
And, Brickwall Bobby has been even better as the postseason has progressed with a .954 SV% to eliminate the Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina.
The levee breaks Saturday.
Quickly turning to Vegas, it’s simple stuff: the Golden Knights are talented, deep, and well-coached.
Finally, I also value Vegas sporting a 6-3 playoff record while allowing just 1.93 5v5 goals per 60 minutes at T-Mobile Arena.
Panthers vs. Golden Knights best odds
|Vegas moneyline||Vegas moneyline||Vegas moneyline||Vegas moneyline||Vegas moneyline|
There isn’t a huge gap in the available odds for the Vegas moneyline across our best sportsbooks. I think it’s important to note that I consider this a fair price, and I’m not surprised the odds have stabilized with a four-day lull between the Western Conference Final and Saturday’s Game 1.
To reinforce the legitimacy of this line, Pinnacle has the Golden Knights priced at -124, and Circa has the number at -132. My price is -127, but I was conservative when applying a home-ice advantage for Vegas, and it’s also important to note there isn’t a vig attached to my number.
Panthers vs. Golden Knights odds
Panthers vs. Golden Knights odds analysis
|Panthers moneyline||+110||+108||+110||+118 🔥||+115|
|Golden Knights moneyline||-130||-130||-130||-140 ❄️||-136|
|Panthers +1.5||-230||-225 🔥||-238||-240||-250 ❄️|
|Golden Knights -1.5||+195||+184 ❄️||+195||+196||+200 🔥|
Caesars hanging the worst odds on both sides of the moneyline should steer prospective bettors to one of our other recommended sports betting sites. Betting the puck line is straight forward. PointsBet is listing the best number for Vegas, and FanDuel is presenting the best odds for Florida.
Additionally, it’s worth highlighting that BetMGM released betting insights Thursday, and 60% of the betting handle was on the Panthers moneyline. On the flip side, Vegas -1.5 had received 78% of the betting handle on the puck line.
|Over||5.5 (-120) ❄️||5.5 (-118)||5.5 (-115)||5.5 (-115)||5.5 (-115)|
|Under||5.5 (+100) 🔥||5.5 (-104)||5.5 (-105)||5.5 (-105)||5.5 (-105)|
Again, there aren’t huge disparities in the prices across our best live betting sites. For perspective, it’s also worth highlighting the early betting action through BetMGM has been on the Over with 71% of the handle.
Panthers vs. Golden Knights game info
- Date: Saturday, June 3, 8 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN, ABC, Sportsnet
- Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
Panthers vs. Golden Knights pick made 6/2/2023 at 11:15 a.m. ET.
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