2023 Stanley Cup Final: Panthers vs. Golden Knights odds, NHL picks, Game 1 predictions from hockey simulation

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The 2023 Stanley Cup Final gets underway Saturday as the Vegas Golden Knights host the Florida Panthers for Game 1. Vegas earned the right to play for the Cup for the second time in franchise history by defeating Dallas in the Western Conference Final. The Golden Knights, who lost in five games to Washington in the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural 2017-18 season, outscored the Stars 21-12 in their six-game victory. Florida also has reached the championship round for the second time in its history after sweeping Carolina in the Eastern Conference Final. The Panthers, who were dispatched in four games by Colorado in the 1996 Stanley Cup Final, have won 11 of 12 games since being down 3-1 to Boston in the first round of these playoffs.

Florida is 9-1 on the road this postseason, while Vegas has gone 6-3 at home. Opening faceoff at T-Mobile Arena is set for 8 p.m. ET. Vegas is the -140 favorite (risk $140 to win $100) in the latest Golden Knights vs. Panthers odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over/under for total goals scored is 5.5. Before making any Panthers vs. Golden Knights picks, be sure to check out the NHL predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.

This model simulates every NHL game 10,000 times, taking into account factors like current form, individual matchups, injuries and short- and long-term trends when making NHL picks. The model seeks the best values on the money line, puck line and total.

Now, the model has set its sights on Golden Knights vs. Panthers and just locked in its picks and Stanley Cup Final predictions. You can visit SportsLine now to see the model’s picks. Here are the NHL odds and trends for Panthers vs. Golden Knights: 

  • Golden Knights vs. Panthers money line: Golden Knights -140, Panthers +118
  • Golden Knights vs. Panthers over/under: 5.5 goals 
  • Golden Knights vs. Panthers puck line: Golden Knights -1.5 (+196)
  • VEG: The Golden Knights are the eighth team in NHL history to reach the Final at least twice in its first six seasons 
  • FLA: The Panthers have won eight straight road games since losing their first-round opener in Boston 
  • Golden Knights vs. Panthers picks: See picks at SportsLine
Featured Game | Vegas Golden Knights vs. Florida Panthers

Why the Golden Knights can win

Vegas’ offense has been tremendous at even strength during the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, scoring 51 of its league-high 62 goals at either 5-on-5 or 4-on-4. Conversely, the Panthers have netted only 32 of their 50 overall tallies at even strength. William Karlsson, who has set the franchise record for most goals in one postseason with 10, and Jonathan Marchessault both have scored nine times at even strength while Chandler Stephenson has recorded seven such goals.

Jack Eichel is tied for fourth in scoring with 18 points during his first postseason while Marchessault has notched 17 as he enters the Stanley Cup Final with a five-game streak during which he has collected four goals and three assists. The 32-year-old Marchessault, who has registered 15 of his points over the team’s last 10 games, and Karlsson are among the six remaining members of the Golden Knights squad that reached the Final in 2018. Vegas also has six players that have won a Cup with other clubs — including Alec Martinez, Phil Kessel and Jonathan Quick, who have captured two championships apiece. See which team to pick here.

Why the Panthers can win

Florida has had a tendency to keep things close this postseason, especially of late as each of its last eight games have been decided by one goal. The Panthers won seven of those contests and are 9-1 overall in one-goal games during these playoffs, including 6-0 in overtime affairs. The club also has tightened up defensively since the first round, allowing fewer than three goals in eight of its last nine contests.

Matthew Tkachuk ranks second in the league with a franchise playoff-record 21 points and is tied for first with four game-winning goals, with three coming in overtime. The 25-year-old left wing netted four tallies in the four-game sweep of the Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Final, three of which were game-winners. Since replacing Alex Lyon as Florida’s starting goaltender in Game 4 of its first-round series, two-time Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky has gone 11-2 with a 2.21 goals-against average, .935 save percentage and his first career postseason shutout. See which team to pick here.

How to make Golden Knights vs. Panthers picks

SportsLine’s model is leaning Over on the goal total, as the simulations have the teams combining for 6.1 goals. It also says one side of the money line has all the value. You can only get the model’s pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Golden Knights vs. Panthers in Game 1 of the 2023 Stanley Cup Final, and which side of the money line has all the value? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Panthers vs. Golden Knights money line to jump on, all from the advanced model that has simulated this matchup 10,000 times, and find out.

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