The wait is over. The Stanley Cup Final is set to get underway on Saturday night as the Vegas Golden Knights and Florida Panthers collide in Game 1.
As always, I will be betting on every single game this series. I’m not just going to give you a moneyline pick for tonight, but I’m also going to give you my bet for the total and a player prop to sprinkle on.
Let’s jump into it.
Best NHL bets for Stanley Cup Final Game 1
- Golden Knights -130
- OVER 5.5 (-120)
- Jonathan Marchessault OVER 0.5 points (-150)
Golden Knights -130 vs. Panthers
The Panthers deserve credit for this playoff run but I think it’s going to fall one series short.
Believe it or not, Florida has been largely outplayed throughout the playoffs despite what the final score of the games may tell you. They’ve only outshot their opponents twice all postseason. One of those times was in Game 1 against the Bruins, which they lost regardless. The other was Game 3 against the Maple Leafs in what was their most impressive performance of the playoffs.
Their advanced analytics don’t look great either, sporting an expected goals per 60 minutes of -0.55.
I don’t think they’ll win this series and I don’t think they’ll win Game 1 in Vegas.
OVER 5.5 (-120)
With how Sergei Bobrovsky has been playing this postseason, it’s going to be tough to hit submit on an “OVER” bet, but I think that’s the move to make in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Bobrovsky will meet his match against a Golden Knights team that has been far and away that best shooting team so far in the playoffs. They have scored on 12.16% of their shots on goal, which is a big reason they’re four wins away from their first Stanley Cup.
It’s also worth noting that neither team has played at a top tier level in terms of defense in the playoffs. In fact, the Panthers have an expected goals against of 3.52 per 60 minutes of play. That’s the second worst mark amongst the 16 teams who competed in the postseason.
The Golden Knights haven’t been much better with an expected goals against of 3.18 per 60 minutes, which ranks 10th in the playoffs.
I think the move to make is to take the OVER in Game 1 and then re-evaluate heading into Game 2.
Jonathan Marchessault OVER 0.5 points (-150)
Jonathan Marchessault is one of my picks to win the Conn Smythe Trophy, so I think he’ll get off to a hot start in the Stanley Cup Final and record at least one point tonight.
He’s averaging a point per game so far in the playoffs and he recorded seven total points in six games against the Stars. As long as Bobrovsky doesn’t stand on his head for 60 minutes again like he has all postseason, Marchessault is in a good spot to record a point tonight.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.