The Vegas Golden Knights opened the NHL’s Stanley Cup Final on home ice with a Game 1 victory, and they’ll look to defend it again tonight.Florida Panthers (+115) vs. Vegas Golden Knights (-138) Total: 5.5 (O-128, U+104)
Game 1 of this series was much closer than the final score indicated, but Vegas ultimately got more done to take first blood. These two teams are very evenly matched despite how far the gap between them was in the regular season, and there’s a lot of merit in expecting a long series, even if Vegas ultimately takes a 2-0 series lead.
The Golden Knights are listed as slight home favorites on the moneyline for the second game in a row, where they’re priced at -138, while the visiting Panthers are sitting at +115. There’s enough value on both sides of the equation that you can make a compelling case for either team, but Florida will need to play a much more disciplined game if they have hopes of getting on the board in the series.
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 11-3 record, paired with a .931 save percentage, while Hill is sitting at 8-3, along with a .938 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, even if that wasn’t the case in Game 1.
Vegas has proven to be a tough team to take down on home ice, and that should be no different tonight. The Panthers weathered the storm in the opener but couldn’t find enough offense, while Bobrovsky looked human for the first time in the postseason. If the Knights can continue playing their two-way brand of hockey, along with getting strong goaltending from Hill, we like their moneyline price to win at home.
Best Bet: Golden Knights moneyline (-138)
In their two regular-season matchups, Vegas and the Panthers tallied three and six goals. Thanks to three third-period markers, Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final saw seven goals scored. The total for Game 2 is 5.5, with the over listed at -128, while the under is at +104. It’s only a three-game sample size now, but we’ve seen these teams exceed the projected total in two of three matchups. With Bobrovsky finally looking at least somewhat human and the prospects of Hill continuing with a .938 save percentage feeling unlikely, there’s value in looking toward the over 5.5 goals tonight at -128.
Best Bet: Over 5.5 (-128)
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