Vegas can take a big step to the Stanley Cup in Game 2 against Florida

The Vegas Golden Knights wouldn’t win the Stanley Cup if they could win Game 2 on Monday night. But in a city built on the odds in its favor, the Golden Knights’ advantage would seem quite strong.

Teams with a 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Final win the series 90.6% of the time, with a 48-5 record. The Florida Panthers wouldn’t be dead if they lost Game 2 on Monday night, but they would be in trouble.

Vegas won Game 1 at home, 5-2, on Saturday and the Golden Knights are -140 favorites at BetMGM to win Game 2.

Game 1 was much closer than the final scoreline shows. Vegas had a big third period for the win. Game 1 was tied 2-2 after two periods, then Vegas scored three goals in the third. He was still tied in the third due to amazing backup by Vegas goaltender Adin Hill. Florida edged Vegas, 35-34. Vegas just had a few key plays that turned the game in its favor.

The Panthers wouldn’t be too intimidated 2-0 in the series. They returned after losing 3-1 in a series to the top-seeded Boston Bruins in the first round of the playoffs. But Florida doesn’t want to be in that big hole coming home. Based on how the Panthers played in Game 1 and how solid they were throughout the playoffs, they should feel good about their chances of tying the series on Monday night.

It should be another entertaining game with lots of hits, like the first game was. If the Golden Knights can find a way to win, history says they’d be in pretty good shape.

Vegas Golden Knights right wing Mark Stone, left, celebrates his goal against the Florida Panthers with Brett Howden (21), defenseman Zach Whitecloud (2) and center Chandler Stephenson.  (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

Here’s a first look at the sports betting slate for Monday:

MLB has 8 games

It’s a light sports day. The NBA Finals moves to Florida for Game 3 on Wednesday. And MLB also has a light schedule due to travel.

There are still eight games to play. Game 1 will take place in the afternoon as the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox complete a four-game series at Fenway Park. The Red Sox won the first game but the Rays came back to win the next two. It doesn’t get any easier for Boston, as the Rays will pitch Cy Young candidate Shane McClanahan. The Rays are -165 favorites.

One of the best games of the night was the Houston Astros against the Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays are -125 favorites. Toronto will start Alek Manoah, who had a big season in 2022 but is off to a rocky start this season with a 5.46 ERA. Houston looks like a good underdog game.

What is the best bet?

Let’s go with the Panthers. Some zig-zag bets have worked in the NBA, with the Miami Heat winning in Game 2 after struggling in Game 1. Florida didn’t struggle in Game 1 against Vegas, they just lost a hard-fought game . The Panthers could catch a few more breaks in Game 2.

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