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

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Teams seeking the first championship in franchise history continue their quest when the Vegas Golden Knights host the Florida Panthers in Game 1 of the 2023 Stanley Cup Final on Saturday. Vegas, which entered the NHL in 2017-18, reached the Final in its inaugural season but lost to Washington in five games. The Golden Knights missed the playoffs in 2021-22 but finished first in the Western Conference this campaign and knocked off Winnipeg, Edmonton and Dallas on their way to the championship round. Florida, which was swept by Colorado in the 1996 Stanley Cup Final, finished one point ahead of Pittsburgh and Buffalo for the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference after winning the Presidents’ Trophy last season. It fell into a 3-1 hole in its first-round series against Boston, which set NHL records for wins (65) and points (135) this campaign. But the Panthers won 11 of their next 12 contests, eliminating the Bruins, Toronto and Carolina along the way.

Opening faceoff at T-Mobile Arena is set for 8 p.m. ET. Vegas is the -130 favorite (risk $130 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.

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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 -130, Panthers +110 
  • 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 is the highest-scoring team after three rounds of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, scoring 62 goals in 17 games and netting at least four tallies in 11 of its 12 victories. William Karlsson is tied for second in the league with a franchise postseason-record 10 goals, with half coming against the Stars in the Western Conference Final. The 30-year-old Swedish center is two points away from matching the playoff career high of 16 he set last postseason.

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Competing in the playoffs for the first time since being drafted second overall by Buffalo in 2015, Jack Eichel is tied for fourth in the NHL with 18 points. The three-time All-Star, who ended the regular season with a nine-game point streak, has landed on the scoresheet in 12 of his 17 postseason contests and has recorded a trio of three-point performances. Captain Mark Stone has been a force at home in the playoffs, registering all but two of his 15 points at T-Mobile Arena. 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.

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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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