The Vegas Golden Knights and Florida Panthers have done all the hard work to get to this stage of the competition, but the hardest part is yet to come as the best of seven games stands between the Stanley Cup winners and the bridesmaids who almost everybody forgets.
Here we will break down how the two teams match up, as well as how the betting odds are shaping up, who are the top US sportsbooks favoring, and if there is any value to be found in the Stanley Cup finals betting market.
How The Teams Match Up
For argument’s sake, we will just stick to playoff stats because these two teams are not who they were pre-playoffs, particularly the Florida Panthers.
- The Vegas Golden Knights have scored 3.65 goals per game and allowed 2.65 goals
- The Florida Panthers have scored 3.13 goals per game and allowed 2.69 goals
- Vegas has a very poor 63% penalty kill (3rd worst this postseason)
- The Panthers aren’t much better, having had a 72% penalty kill (4th worst this postseason)
- The Golden Knights have scored on 18% of their powerplays compared to Florida’s 28%
- Both teams are averaging around 32 shots per game this post-season
- The Golden Knights have had two shutouts while the Panthers have had one
- The Panthers’ playoff xG is 37.35, while the Golden Knights have an xG of 34.25
This is going to be an interesting series, to say the least, based on these stats ahead of the finals. This could be a Vegas or Panthers sweep, or it could just as easily go all the way to seven games and the totals could be a bit all over the place.
Don’t be surprised to see 2/3 goals in one game and 6/7 in the next. The previous five meetings between these two teams have produced 3/6/8/5/8 goals in each game. See what we mean?
2023 Stanley Cup Finals Odds
Conference Winners Favoured Over Wild Card
The Vegas Golden Knights are the sportsbooks’ favorite to lift this year’s Stanley Cup at -125 betting odds compared to the Florida Panthers at +130. Arguably because the Golden Knights won the Western Conference while the Florida Panthers just about made the post-season by the skin of their teeth.
Where’s The Value?
Honestly, the Florida Panthers at +130 NHL betting odds look like the best prospect of a bet for this year’s Stanley Cup finals, and honestly, we believe the sportsbooks have got this one wrong.
We would bet the Panthers down to as low as +100 to win this year’s cup. This is a much more evenly matched game than the odds suggest.
Who Gets Our Money?
The Golden Knights might be keen on Adin Hill at this moment in time following his 2.07 goals against and 93% save percentage. But the Florida Panthers are holding the ace, Sergei Bobrovsky, who is on fire this post-season and has single-handedly won the Panthers multiple games during these playoffs. Bobrovsky has only allowed 3+ goals once in his previous 9 NHL games.
The Panthers have also proved they can mix it both ways, they had to outscore the Boston Bruins in the first round, having allowed just over 3.10 goals per game. In both round 2 and 3 combined, Bobrovsky allowed just 1.77 goals per game.
This Panthers team was incredibly lucky to make the playoffs, but they have since turned into the hottest team in the NHL. The Knights won’t be an easy out and on paper are the slightly better team, but question marks remain if Hill can outplay Bobrovsky. Frankly, -130 is total disrespect to the Panthers.
We know where our money is going during this year’s Stanley Cup finals.
Panthers Best Value
Want an example of why the Panthers are overvalued? The Conn Smythe Trophy favorites are Florida Panthers’ players. Sergei Bobrovsky at +200, and Matthew Tkachuk at +250. We all know the Conn Smythe trophy will go to a player on the winning team (it does 95% of the time).
It’s also worth noting the Panthers are 6-0 this post-season during overtime and the Golden Knights are 3-1. The Golden Knights might win this year’s cup, but from a betting standpoint, they don’t hold any value for your betting picks, and the Panthers are better than their odds suggest.
*The line and/or odds in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.