Stanley Cup Final: Odds, predictions, and best bets for Game 4

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Golden Knights lead series 2-1 after overtime loss in Game 3

As expected, Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final was a lot more closely contested than either of the first two games, as the Panthers and Golden Knights we’re locked in a one-goal game from start to finish. Speaking of the start, Vegas didn’t have their legs in the first period. Florida had all the jump in the opening 20 minutes, and it nearly took Vegas the entire period to generate more than a handful of shot attempts. However, Matthew Tkachuk missed 17 minutes of action when he was pulled by the concussion spotter after a big hit by Keegan Kolesar, which helped the Golden Knights turn things around.

 

Vegas only trailed for 12 minutes, though, and they managed to tie the game before the first intermission, and they were the better team from that point on. The Golden Knights held a small edge in shot attempts over the final two periods and an even bigger edge in expected goals. The Golden Knights weren’t giving the Panthers anything in the third period, either, but Bobrovsky was perfect long enough for head coach Paul Maurice to pull him and score the game-tying goal. Florida has yet to score a power play goal (0-12) in three games versus the Golden Knights, and Vegas has gone 10 for 17 with the man advantage, but the Panthers killed off a penalty in extra time before Carter Verhaeghe scored the winner. Florida improved to 7-0 in overtime with the win.

Updated Series Projections

Series Winner

Vegas Golden Knights: 75% (-300)
Florida Panthers: 25% (+300)

Correct Series Score

VGK 4-1: 30% (+233)
VGK 4-2: 26% (+285)
VGK 4-3: 19% (+426)

FLA 4-2: 10% (+900)
FLA 4-3: 15% (+567)

Series Total Games

5 Games: 30% (+233)
6 Games: 36% (+178)
7 Games: 34% (+194)

Stanley Cup Final Game 4 Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

Vegas Golden Knights (+105) at Florida Panthers (-125)

The Golden Knights finished Game 3 with a 3.9 – 2.8 edge in expected goals in all situations and 64 percent of the expected goals at even strength. Ultimately, it was a bad defense on the part of Vegas combined with Florida’s desperation that led to Matthew Tkachuk’s goal in the final minutes of regulation, but the Golden Knights had they been able to beat Bobrovsky in the second half of the game that did them in.

I wouldn’t expect Vegas to flatline the way they did in the first 15 minutes again, though. The Golden Knights have been running insanely good in the playoffs in terms of shooting and saving luck, and it just wasn’t their night. My hockey betting model suggests Vegas will win Game 4 around 51 percent of the time, which means there’s value betting on them to win at +105 odds, which is one of the better prices available now.

It might be better to wait based on how the line moved toward Florida as we got closer to Game 3, though. Nobody has to make a bet right now, but if I did, I’d consider taking Vegas to win the next two games at +260, which is what is being offered at DraftKings. My model suggests the Golden Knights have a 30 percent chance of winning the next two games back-to-back, which converts to odds of +233.

I do think there’s enough value on Chandler Stephenson to score an anytime goal, though. Stephenson has seen a huge bump in ice time, though, and he’s registered nine shots on goal, including four in each of his last two games. His shot prop (1.5 shots on goal) has moved from around even money to -120, but his anytime goal odds are a lot more attractive than they were when the Stanley cup Final began, after failing to score in his last four games. In his career, Stephenson has scored on 15 percent of his shots.

Bet: Chandler Stephenson Anytime Goal +330 (0.5 units) at DraftKings Sportsbook

All bets tracked by Betstamp.