The Vegas Golden Knights host the Florida Panthers in a quest to see who can raise their first Stanley Cup in Game 1 of the 2023 Stanley Cup Final on Saturday. Vegas, who only entered the league during the 2017-18 season, is making its second Stanley Cup Final appearance after losing to the Washington Capitals in five games in 2018. Bruce Cassidy's men finished the regular season atop the Pacific Division and defeated the Winnipeg Jets, Edmonton Oilers and Dallas Stars on their way to the Stanley Cup Final 2023. Meanwhile, Matthew Tkachuk and the Panthers squeaked into the Stanley Cup playoffs in the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. Florida then rallied to defeat the Presidents Trophy-winning Boston Bruins in seven games, then beat the Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes.
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
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
Tkachuk has been a huge factor in the Panthers winning 11 of their last 12 games. The 25-year-old left wing has registered a franchise playoff-record 21 points in these playoffs and has scored four game-winning goals. Three of those game-winners were scored in overtime, where Florida has a spotless 6-0 record on their current playoff run.
But Florida has also buckled down defensively as the playoffs have progressed, which will help them against an offense-first team like Vegas. Sergei Bobrovsky has gone 11-2 with a 2.21 goals-against average and .935 save percentage since becoming the de facto starting netminder in the first-round series against Boston. The Panthers have also shown they can lock down and win one-goal games, and are 9-1 overall in these playoffs when they lead by just one goal. 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.