Stanley Cup Final Best Bets: Odds, Expert Picks for Panthers vs Golden Knights Game 2
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images. Pictured: Shea Theodore of the Vegas Golden Knights.
- The Florida Panthers look to even up the series when they meet the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.
- Our NHL experts have identified five bets for Monday night’s big matchup.
- Check out their Panthers vs. Golden Knights Game 2 analysis and picks, including an array of player props, below.
The best-of-seven NHL championship series continues tonight (8 p.m. ET, TNT). Vegas won Game 1, 5-2, on Saturday to take the early lead in the series.
Below, check out our hockey crew's top picks, including four player props and a regulation pick.
60-Minute Tie, 3-Way Line (+340)
Since Game 5 of the opening round, Florida has exceeded 60 minutes in six of its 13 contests. At +340 at FanDuel, it's worth betting that trend continues in Game 2 of the finals.
The Panthers were the superior team on Saturday night, posting a 51.2% expected goals-for rating. They out-shot and out-possessed the Vegas Golden Knights but were let down by an uncharacteristic performance from Sergei Bobrovsky. The playoff stalwart allowed four goals on 33 shots, posting his worst in-game save percentage since the first round against the Boston Bruins.
Monday's contest sets up as an ideal bounce-back spot for Bobrovsky as the Panthers look to pull even with the Knights before the Stanley Cup Final shifts back to Florida. More importantly, we're anticipating another solid effort from Matthew Tkachuk and company as they build off their assertive performance in the series opener.
Worth noting: The Panthers are a perfect 6-0 when a playoff game is decided in overtime.
Shea Theodore Over 2.5 Shots on Goal, 60 Minutes (+134)
Nicholas Martin: Shea Theodore was one of the more noticeable players from either side in Game 1, and he was rewarded with an assist and a beautiful goal. He played to an 83.78% xGF rating and generated three shots on goal from six attempts.
Considering his spectacular offensive skillset, nine points this postseason is arguably a disappointment. It is more logical to expect performances closer to what we saw in Game 1 moving forward than to count on quieter offensive play.
Since the start of the third round, Theodore has averaged 2.57 shots on goal and cashed the "over" in four of seven matchups. This series should set up well for Vegas blue liners to continue pouring in shots from sustained offensive zone time, and off the initial rush.
At +132, this is a great number to see if Theodore will continue to pour shots on goal like we saw in Game 1. Taking Theodore as an anytime goalscorer at +700, as well as over 0.5 points at +108, are both solid looks as well.
Matthew Tkachuk Anytime Goalscorer (+155)
Ryan Dadoun: Matthew Tkachuk didn’t come out strong in Game 1, recording no points, minus-1 rating and two shots in 18:37 of ice time. But after the Florida Panthers dropped that contest, they’ll be hungry to bounce
back, and Tkachuk should lead that charge.
Although Florida hasn’t faced a lot of hardship beyond the first round, Tkachuk has managed to come through when they’ve needed him. He has two goals and six points in four postseason contests this year following a loss.
The only occasion in which he was held off the scoresheet in a Florida playoff game immediately following a defeat was Game 5 against Toronto. And even in that instance, he still made his presence felt by firing six shots.
Tkachuk also has a knack for bouncing back on an individual level. At no point during these playoffs has he been held off the scoresheet in two straight outings. With so much on the line, I’m looking for him to come through Monday.
Jonathan Marchessault Anytime Goalscorer (+185)
Tony Sartori: In the wise words of – Thomas Lance, apparently? – "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." After cashing on Jonathan Marchessault to score at +195 in Game 1, we are going back to the well once again on the Vegas forward in Game 2.
After a quiet opening series against the Winnipeg Jets, Marchessault has exploded over the past three rounds. After he buried 10 goals over the past 11 games, we are going to back Marchessault to keep the hot hand going again.
This postseason, he leads the Knights in expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60) at five-on-five. The Barbeshev-Eichel-Marchessault line has been – by far – the most dominating line for Vegas this postseason, with all due respect to the fourth line (Carrier-Roy-Kolesar) that has played extremely well in its own right.
That aforementioned first line has generated an xGoals% of 57.3% this postseason, producing an excellent 3.40 xGF/60.
By far, the biggest concern in backing Marchessault to score is Florida goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who is putting together an epic performance in these Stanley Cup Playoffs. However, he finally came back down to earth a bit in Game 1, allowing four goals on 33 shots for a .879 SV%.
He is dealing with a below-average blue line in front of him, and both his surface-level stats and underlying metrics under the Cup Final were unsustainable. While he could still bounce back in Game 2, +185 is too good a price to pass up on Marchessault to score once again.
Brandon Montour Over 0.5 Points (-130)
Greg Liodice: Brandon Montour has had such an interesting playoffs. He’s gone from averaging more than a point per game in round one to registering only one point since round two (nine games to be exact). However, the books seem to think Montour is due to get off the snide.
Since the Eastern Conference Final, the offensively gifted defenseman has led the Panthers in high-danger chances, and he's ranked fourth with a 50 SCF%. With a shot that often reaches 100 mph, there are plenty of opportunities for Montour to get on the board.
Montour is a massive part of this team, and given his offensive potential, I can’t see him going pointless for much longer. This season was a career year for him, notching 73 points in 80 games, and the longest stretch he went pointless was three games.
The Panthers were pretty strong on Saturday, only to get stifled by Adin Hill. Perhaps if their goaltending held up, Florida would be up 1-0 instead of trailing, but I digress. Although -130 isn’t the most favorable number, I think it could be a solid play. Montour needs to get back on the scoresheet if Florida wants a shot at hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup. The chances have been there, and it’s only a matter of time.