A first-time champion will be crowned as the 2022-23 NHL season comes to a close with the 2023 Stanley Cup Final. The series begins Saturday as the Vegas Golden Knights host the Florida Panthers in Game 1 of the best-of-seven matchup. Each team is making its second appearance in the Stanley Cup Final after reaching the championship round for the first time early in their existence. Vegas advanced to the Final in its inaugural 2017-18 season, losing to Washington in five games, while Florida was swept by Colorado in 1995-96, its third campaign in the NHL and first postseason foray.
The Golden Knights were the top seed in the Western Conference after earning a franchise-record 111 points (51-22-9) during the regular season and knocked off Winnipeg in five games in the opening round of the playoffs before needing six games to eliminate both Edmonton and Dallas. Adin Hill has been superb since starting goaltender Laurent Brossoit went down with a lower-body injury in Game 3 of the second round against the Oilers, going 7-3 with a 2.14 goals-against average, .936 save percentage and two shutouts.
After winning the Presidents' Trophy in 2021-22, Florida barely qualified for the postseason, sneaking in as the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Panthers were one goal away from elimination in the first round as they trailed Boston, which set NHL records for wins (65) and points (135) this season, three games to one in the series and went to overtime in Game 5. Florida was victorious in that contest and went on to win 10 of its following 11 to write one of the best Cinderella stories in recent memory.
Below, we'll dive into the Stanley Cup Final from every angle, including a pick on the winner and a best bet on the series. As the seven-game matchup commences, the Golden Knights are -125 favorites (risk $125 to win $100) at Caesars Sportsbook, with the Panthers listed at +105 (risk $100 to win $105) to win the championship.
Golden Knights vs. Panthers full series odds
- Series winner: Golden Knights -125 | Panthers +105
- Series handicap: Golden Knights -1.5 (+175) | Panthers +1.5 (-210)
- Series alternate handicap: Panthers -1.5 (+180) | Golden Knights +1.5 (-220)
- Total number of games: Six (+190) | Seven (+200) | Five (+260) | Four (+600)
- Exact finish: Golden Knights in 7 (+400) | Golden Knights in 6 (+450) | Panthers in 6 (+450) | Golden Knights in 5 (+525) | Panthers in 7 (+550) | Panthers in 5 (+750) | Golden Knights in 4 (+1100) | Panthers in 4 (+1200)
What should you expect for the Golden Knights vs. Panthers matchup in the Stanley Cup Final? And what is the best way to handicap the action before it begins?... Join SportsLine right now to see full Panthers vs. Golden Knights playoff strategy from an NHL expert!
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